TJ Books & Hobbs form alliance

Richard Stuart-Turner
Friday, April 30, 2021

Cornish book printer TJ Books and Southampton-based printer Hobbs the Printers have entered into a new alliance.

Hobbs (L) with Watts: "We believe this is a smart business move"
Hobbs (L) with Watts: "We believe this is a smart business move"

The two firms said their new working partnership means that if either operation was to be disrupted by an unforeseen event, such as a Covid-19 outbreak, a print job could be easily transferred to the other partner, ensuring minimal delay for the client.

The agreement also means that both organisations can collaborate when the opportunity arises, to offer a joined-up approach for tender opportunities. They said this would give them a wider range of services and increased firepower for greater security of supply.

The two businesses will continue to work independently, however, according to TJ Books managing director Andy Watts.

“I don’t think there’s a company out there who hasn’t felt the effects of the recent industry challenges and the last year’s pandemic,” he said.

“However, as we were when we performed our management buyout [in January 2018], and as we were with our recent rebrand and machinery investment, we’re excited about the prospect of looking beyond the now, and to driving the future of print.

“We are therefore collectively taking the lead with our pioneering collaborative approach with Hobbs the Printers. Forming this alliance was an absolute no-brainer.”

Watts added the alliance has been designed to provide the customer with peace of mind, “knowing that whatever the challenges or their unique print requirements, we will work together to provide a solution and get the job done in a swift turnaround”.

“Our industry is very reactive by nature and this collaborative support allows us to react quicker,” he said.

Based just outside Padstow, TJ Books was rebranded from TJ International last September. It has recently invested in a raft of new equipment as part of a £1.5m-plus investment drive aimed to increase its capacity and flexibility.

This included a Canon varioPrint iX3200 HD inkjet press, which was installed late last year to run alongside two existing continuous-feed Canon ColorStream inkjet presses; two Ricoh digital toner printers, a Pro C7200 and a Pro C9200; and a Duplo DuSense.

The business was founded in 1969 and employs just over 120 staff at its 7,700sqm site. Watts heads up the company alongside finance director Andy Adams.

Specialising in both trade and STMA (scientific, technical, medical and academic) printing, it produces 1,000 titles a month, on average.

Southampton-based Hobbs, meanwhile, was established in 1884 by William Hobbs. Today its 130 staff provide a comprehensive range of print and fulfilment related services into multiple markets.

Managing director David Hobbs said: “We’re delighted to announce this unique partnership with TJ Books who we hugely respect as major players in the industry.

“With so much uncertainty in the world due to Covid-19, we believe this is a smart business move that will benefit both of us as well as the industry at large.

“What is great is that whilst both companies have similar processes and equipment, each also offers different, more specialised services.”

He added: “TJ Books and Hobbs the Printers share the same beliefs in providing excellent customer service.

“Should either of us be affected by Covid-19, heaven forbid, through unexpected sickness, the other is there and committed to providing support by helping to complete a client’s order on time. This gives us a resilience that many other companies don’t have at this time.”

Further specifics regarding the workings of the alliance were not available at the time of writing.

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