The move follows what the Scottish firm’s managing director Stuart Mason described as “six months of difficult trading”, following the company’s bid to achieve a five-fold increase in profitability by focusing on high-margin work.
Anne Buchanan and James Stephen of BDO Stoy Hayward’s Glasgow office were appointed joint receivers on Thursday 4 April, with the £2.5m turnover business’s 15 staff laid off upon their appointment. BDO is understood not to be looking to sell the business and is simply concentrating on realising the value of its assets.
In a statement, Mason said: “I fully accept that this happened on my watch. There have been a number of reasons why the business has suffered in recent months but again I accept this was my responsibility.
“The issues we had mainly related to margin and getting the right mix of margin and turnover, poor and underperforming equipment, franchising the business, and a general decline in print.”
Almost exactly a year ago, Mason revealed that he was planning to cut around £750,000 of the then £3m firm’s “unprofitable revenue” to boost its profitability five-fold.
The ambitious strategy followed a 12-month, £1.2m investment package that included a four-colour-plus-coater Komori LS29, a Xerox Color 1000 digital press, an Agfa Avalon platesetter and a substantial investment in wide-format kit, including an Agfa Anapurna M1600.
According to Mason, the restructuring plans were working, but “just not quickly enough”.
Mason praised the support he had received from suppliers and even the firm’s bank, understood to be Clydesdale Bank. However, he said he was “devastated” by the impact the firm’s closure would have on Ink Shop’s workforce.
“My staff have all been long serving, hard working and a dedicated part of the team. I am devastated that they now find themselves in this position,” Mason said.
At its peak, Ink Shop, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, had sales of £3m and, as well as its Cumbernauld production hub, it had eight retail storefront operations across Scotland.
In 2006 Mason unveiled a plan to create a 200-strong franchise network across the UK, although this was later shelved.