Carlisle Consolidation of UK Trade Operations for John Ritchie Ltd

Press Release from John Ritchie Ltd, 14/10/10: Carlisle Consolidation (pdf, 1.7mb)

Press Release from John Ritchie Ltd, 14/10/10: Carlisle Consolidation (pdf, 1.7mb)

IN A PRESS RELEASE issued this afternoon, John Ritchie Ltd have announced the consolidation of their UK trade operations under one roof at STL Carlisle.

It’s a decision that undoubtedly demonstrates a renewed trade confidence in the company as they have fought to recover from last year’s turmoil under their former owners, Biblica, and reflects well upon all involved in running STL’s distribution and wholesale services this year: congratulations to everyone concerned.

Consolidation of most stock at STL is expected to be completed by mid-October, leaving the Kilmarnock site dedicated to developing the company’s publishing and retail services. Ritchie trade partners who do not have STL accounts will be contacted separately with further information.

Full Press Release:


The past 12 months have been a period of significant growth for the Kilmarnock based company, John Ritchie Limited. As part of its ongoing business development, it acquired Penfold Card & Gift in Bicester, Eikon Bible Art and most recently the STL Distribution business in Carlisle at the start of 2010.

The priority over the first 6 months of this year was to stabilise the distribution business and carry out a strategic review of the new expanded organisation to determine its future direction.

After consultation with a small number of staff in Kilmarnock, John Ritchie Ltd is now proposing to further enhance its service to the UK Christian retail trade by integrating all Ritchie trade distribution operations into the Carlisle warehouse. This re-organisation will enable Ritchie to provide a consolidated ordering facility and more efficient supply of products to its trade customers. The existing Kilmarnock site will focus on developing its Publishing and Retailing functions.

Ken Munro, CEO of John Ritchie Ltd said: “I believe this re-organisation of activities is essential in order to improve efficiency and further enhance the excellent support for all our customers. John Ritchie Publishing enjoys an important heritage within Scotland and Northern Ireland and it is our intention to further support this core market through our retailing and publishing activities. STL Distribution offers unparalleled service levels to the UK Christian book trade. By bringing Ritchie’s stock range into Carlisle we will continue to strengthen and broaden the product range we bring to market.”

The majority of stock will be transferred to Carlisle by mid-October, at which point all order enquiries should be directed to STL Distribution. Further details will follow shortly for Ritchie trade accounts that do not have accounts with STL Distribution.

2 thoughts on “Carlisle Consolidation of UK Trade Operations for John Ritchie Ltd

  1. Not entirely unexpected news and certainly seems to be a sound business move. Though I do sincerely hope any job losses really will be kept to the barest minimum possible.

    However I do hope this does not mean they are combining their repping force as I do actaully get to see a Ritchie/Penfold Rep/ASM which is not the case with an STL Rep/ASM!!

    I don’t recall seeing an STL Rep in person since Tim Alban left, and though Laurie does a good job of including me on his email list it really isn’t the same as seeing a rep in person – hmm there’s a thought, perhaps this is another reason why my actual sales with STL put me under their Partnership Scheme joining threshold – though it is very nice of Richard McChesney to make an exception and offer me terms even though I’m not making the grade :0)

    So anyway I really really do hope that the repping force won’t be merged, or at least if there is thought of such it is that they might be merged and ALL reps/ASM’s retained so that there are more reps allowing STL ASM area’s to be sorted properly so that there aren’t gaps in the overlap or reps stretched to tightly and widely trying to cover things without any chance of real and honest success.

    My thoughts however are with those that might be going through a consultation period of facing a major upheaval in their futures – that’s never really fun even at the best of times.

  2. I think the key question here is whether the Penfold stock at Bicester is also going to Carlisle, which seems ambiguous to me from this communication – it depends what they mean by ‘all Ritchie trade distribution operations.’

    What I had gathered was going to happen, and what I think this does mean, is that the existing Ritchie/Penfold reps will continue to represent Penfold Card & Gift, who will remain in Bicester, while the Ritchie books & bibles will go to Carlisle and be repped by STL. So as far as representation is concerned it will be a re-alignment rather than a merger.

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