Company hit by reduced volumes

All Sorts UK in liquidation

All Sorts UK was based in Wimborne, Dorset. Image: Google Maps
All Sorts UK was based in Wimborne, Dorset. Image: Google Maps

Direct Mail specialist All Sorts Mailing Solutions has gone into liquidation after closing its doors last month.

Malcolm Rhodes and Luke Venner of Bishop Fleming were appointed liquidators of All Sorts UK Ltd on 13 December 2023.

The Wimborne, Dorset-based business had ceased trading a week earlier, on 5 December, and 10 staff were made redundant on this day.

The liquidators told Printweek that reduced mailing orders from customers as well as the impact of Royal Mail strikes, which dominated much of 2022 and eventually ended last summer, contributed to the failure of the business.

All Sorts managing director Tim Beech told Printweek: “Our biggest customer was affected by market conditions and really reduced their volume, so our volumes went down and, looking forward, it was not really sustainable, so we took the decision to put [All Sorts UK Ltd] into liquidation.”

He said more than half of the “well qualified” staff that had been made redundant had already found new jobs.

The company’s most recent turnover was £916,056, according to its latest published accounts for the year ended 31 August 2022.

According to the notice of statement of affairs for the company, filed at Companies House, the business had an estimated total deficiency as regards members of nearly £335,000.

The liquidators said there was no possibility for any sale of the business, and that its fixtures, fittings, equipment, and stock were sold via agents by public auction, with “book debts secured to bank”. They said any anticipated return for creditors was “uncertain at this time”.

According to its website, All Sorts served a number of industries and clients included B&Q, Dorset Council, McCarthy Stone, Verifone, and the NHS. It offered mailing, data management and data cleansing, print management, project management, envelope enclosing, and storage and fulfilment services.

Established in 1998, it ran kit including inserting machines, inkjet printers, folding machines, and guillotines, as well as Ricoh printers which it leased, and could offer fully personalised mailing items up to A4 6pp.

The listed active directors on Companies House for All Sorts UK Ltd were Beech and David Kirkpatrick, both are also directors of Pardy & Son (Printers) Ltd, a specialist auction catalogue production house based in Ringwood, Hampshire.

While having the same shareholders, Beech said the two companies were no longer otherwise connected and that Pardy & Son (Printers) had not been affected in any way by the closure of All Sorts UK Ltd.

Beech said All Sorts became a subsidiary of Pardy & Son when the former was bought back in 2004, but that the businesses were demerged “around four or five years ago”.

Up until its closure, All Sorts was still responsible for printing some of Pardy & Son’s catalogue mailings but Beech said intercompany trading “wasn’t that great”.

“It did our biggest mailings but we’ve placed those elsewhere, so going forward there’s absolutely no effect on Pardy’s at all.”

Pardy & Son produces some of its smaller mailings in-house while it will continue to put out larger mailings to another third-party supplier.

Beech added: “Because of its niche, Pardy’s is actually reasonably strong in terms of its turnover and forward outlook.”