Service Graphics consolidates Display operations

Darryl Danielli
Thursday, November 4, 2021

Service Graphics, part of the Paragon Group, has proposed the closure of one its Display large-format facilities.

The business rebranded in 2019
The business rebranded in 2019

According to a report in County Gazette, largely based on a letter sent to staff at Service Graphics’ Taunton operation, the facility is set to close by February 2022.

The Somerset regional title said the company cited the impact of the pandemic as the main cause of the closure.

The operation is the former Debenhams inhouse wide-format business Magenta Print & Display, which Paragon acquired three years ago.

At the time of the acquisition the 5,600sqm facility employed 75 staff and had sales of around £10m. It was subsequently rebranded and rolled into the Service Graphics brand, which now also includes wide-format operations in Brentford, the Octink business it acquired in 2020, Chippenham, which was formerly Image Factory, and the original Service Graphics operations in Glasgow and Skelmersdale.

According to the letter reportedly sent to staff the “facilities” of the Taunton business, presumably the kit and work, will be spread across the four remaining production sites that make up the Service Graphics Display business. And while the jobs of the 38 staff employed at Taunton are at risk, the article reported that impacted staff could apply for 16 new operational roles.

While the Taunton factory is predominantly focused on wide-format work, the factory is also home to an operation of its sister Print & Design business, which focuses on print on demand and includes the Tod UK acquisition and 22 repro centres.

“Service Graphics is actually two businesses, Display and then Print & Design, they’re separate businesses, but share the same name,” said Mike Holyoake, managing director of Service Graphics Print & Design.

He said that Display was essentially consolidating its manufacturing facilities into four centres to create a more efficient business model.

He stressed that the recently launched Service Graphics Southern Mail business, which shares the Taunton factory earmarked for closure, is “completely unaffected”.

He said that the business, which specialises in shorter run direct mail and hybrid mail, occupies around 300sqm at the site and is in the final stages of securing a new, larger home in the local area, with a view to moving in late January.

“Taunton was always going to be a temporary measure, because regardless of what is happening at Display in Taunton, we have high ambitions for the business, and I’m pleased to say that we’re already significantly ahead of budget and expectations and we’re only four months in [since launching the business].”

He said that while the restructure was sad news for the impacted Service Graphics Display staff, plans were already in motion prior to the decision to relocate Southern Mail to facilitate further growth and increased headcount.

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