Draw a line under the Polestar years and continue to rebuild

Monday, June 28, 2021

As the curtain draws on the Polestar saga, with the last remnant of what was once the UK’s largest print group being dissolved, I can’t help but wonder if we will ever see its like again?

In terms of scale, of course, it’s already been usurped by both Paragon Group and Walstead Group, but I’m thinking more in terms of if there will ever being another business that wields so much negative power and influence over the industry. I truly hope not.

Because whether it be because of the pensioners set adrift, the former staff and suppliers left out of pocket, the rivals ruthlessly driven into the dust or the banks and private equity investors forced to write off the kinds of sums even Euromillions lottery winners would struggle to comprehend, the level of reputational damage that one group did to the entire industry is likely to outlive us all.

But then perhaps that’s the one positive the Polestar name leaves; it will become the synonymous with how things shouldn’t be done.

Maybe the havoc it reaped in its various guises will even be considered cathartic in the future, and the business leaders of tomorrow will talk about the industry in terms of ‘before’ and ‘after’ Polestar.

Because I like to think that even though it’s only been five short years since its collapse, we’re a very, very different industry now. We’re more dynamic, more collegiate and more, well, moral.

And, as we emerge from the impact of the pandemic those traits are going to more important than ever as the industry reshapes, rebuilds and is reborn.

So, rest in peace Polestar, because despite your worst efforts the print industry never will.

 

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