STL UK: Up to 30 staff face redundancy as first fiscal year yields poorer results than anticipated

Trade Announcement from John Ritchie Ltd 08/03/2011 (pdf, 53kb)

Trade Announcement from John Ritchie Ltd 08/03/2011 (pdf, 53kb)

STL DISTRIBUTION, CARLISLE, have entered another consultation period with staff, this time in which up to 30 — just under one quarter — of the 124-strong workforce face redundancy as the company comes to terms with poorer financial results than anticipated over the last year.

All Carlisle based staff have had face to face meetings with senior management and departmental representatives are being appointed for ongoing consultations. It is hoped that a significant proportion of the reductions will be achieved through voluntary redundancy, but approximately 15% of the workforce is likely to face compulsory redundancy once the consultation period ends in April. For all concerned, however, the situation marks yet another traumatic phase in the company’s recent history.

In a trade announcement issued yesterday, CEO Ken Munro reviews some of the challenges faced by the company over the past year, noting that the trade overall is in a period of transition as it struggles with a continuing decline in high street sales combined with increased internet trading and the emergence of new technologies:

… the trade in which we operate is experiencing a period of very significant transition. A combination of a continued decline in overall High street sales, the proliferation of internet traders and the rapid evolution and implementation of new technologies have driven unprecedented change, challenges and opportunities within our sector.

In addition to the factors noted above the prevailing general economic climate combined with unusually harsh winter weather in December has exacerbated the many difficulties that the Trade was facing. STL distribution was not immune from these difficulties and as a result revenues for 2010 were less than planned. As a consequence we face important challenges as we enter the second fiscal year of ownership, challenges which will be addressed in order to secure the future success of the business.

In light of the issues outlined above we are throughout the month of March conducting a consultation with our staff to ensure that we effectively manage costs and importantly, align our business and competencies to a rapidly re-shaping industry landscape.

The company expects to emerge from the consultation in a strong enough position to rise to future opportunities with a clear focus on delivering the best possible customer service and supplier partnership.

The announcement closes with a call to prayer:

Please remember all staff within the group in your prayers as we move through this process.

  • My thanks to Pete Barnsley at STL for providing this information.

11 thoughts on “STL UK: Up to 30 staff face redundancy as first fiscal year yields poorer results than anticipated

  1. More sad news, my thoughts and prayers with all involved – let’s hope that together we can see this season of trials out and in the end take back and increase the workers and our outreach.

    Perhaps this is a time for more discussion all round and for seeing how and where we really can support each other, even when this may mean making choices that involve small losses to make larger gains.
    For me this has now become an issue of dawning awareness and something to think hard on and follow through on, perhaps this is or could be the start of a Bookshops Lenten observance – supporting others in our industry even if the margin may be better elsewhere – if we can do it through Lent in a time known for fasting, penance and prayer then perhaps we can really change things going forward, and find the cost a worthwhile one to make and maintain.

  2. I keep reading comments on Facebook and the Blogs about people being too busy – job, family etc – to visit bookshops so they shop on-line. They feel sorry for people losing jobs but can’t support them by shopping off-line. What does this say about Christian caring and community? After all, the family of the Church is the real Big Society.

  3. I totally agree, Carole. Please can I encourage all Christians to support their local Christian bookshop? Sure, we all shop on Amazon etc. but it is only in a bookshop that you can handlle the real live product, examine the cover, read the blurb on the back and see the whole range of superb Christian writing on offer. And don’t forget the other plus of bookshop shopping: the expertise of the person behind the counter. The phrase ‘use it or lose it’ should be in the mind of every thinking Christian out there. Use the bookshop, purchase books, renew your mind; or next month the bookshop might be another boarded up shop on your high street and the bookshop staff (and staff at STL Distribution)be queueing up at the job centre. Does it matter? It certainly does if you are one of those people with your job at risk and a mortgage to pay.

  4. Having read something today about Call Centres being the modern “dark satanic mills”, I also feel sorry for staff having to work in mail order warehouses which are like production lines. In a shop the dialogue with customers, even the ratty ones, enlivens your work, and informs also because of their feedback.

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  6. I suspect the staff at Carlise are now paying the price for the errors made by KD

    now in USA

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