London printers merge
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Two long-established central London printers have merged to capitalise on the continuing requirement for fast turnaround printing in the capital, despite the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic.
PrintroomSoho, which had been trading for around 30 years, has merged with First Colour, which was established 22 years ago.
First Colour is based just north of Oxford Street in the West End, and has a walk-in street level shopfront as well as a 420sqm basement production facility.
Both firms saw business drop off dramatically in the early days of lockdown, with PrintroomSoho mothballing its operations for two months.
However, First Colour owner and managing director Cliff Finn said that his firm – which offers a 24-hour service Monday to Saturday – had remained open throughout.
“When we were in full lockdown it was like the Marie Celeste around here, but we stayed open printing for the NHS and government,” he explained.
“I’d always been on friendly terms with the team at PrintroomSoho, and the pandemic has focused everyone’s attention on how to survive the situation – putting the two businesses together makes us busy.”
He said the firms had similar customers and equipment, which made the merger a perfect fit. PrintroomSoho had been located on nearby Eastcastle Street.
“Customers completely understand it,” Finn added.
PrintroomSoho managing director Anthony Antoniades remains with the company and has moved over to First Colour’s Newman Street operation, while his business partner has left. Two staff also transferred over, taking the total employees to 12.
The First Colour website has been updated to reflect both firms’ branding.
Finn said that as well as being well known as a trusted supplier to nearby brand owners, PR and creative agencies, the merged operation was also winning new business.
“We’re getting a lot of new accounts, people are coming to us because when a customer wants something in central London they want it now. They don’t want people getting back to them in a day or two,” he explained.
“The great thing about operating 24 hours is that if you’re open and picking up the phones, you will do business. Our USP is that we do it today, or next day.”
The firm’s equipment includes five- and two-colour litho presses, alongside small- and large-format digital printing kit and extensive in-house finishing facilities.
The operation employs 12 staff and is targeting sales of £2m once the worst effects of the pandemic pass.