38 jobs axed and new lease of life for Sheffield school uniform supplier

School Trends headquarters in Sheffield.
School Trends headquarters in Sheffield.

A Sheffield school uni-form supplier which went into adminstration with the loss of 38 jobs has been reborn as a new company.

School Trends went into administration before Christmas, with administrators at KPMG making 38 redundancies straight away.

Some 21 staff were retained and the firm was sold on December 31 to a firm called Barlow Park which ‘intends to honour outstanding orders’.

School Trends, of Waterthorpe, hit the headlines in September when a “technical glitch” left anxious parents and kids without uniforms at the start of term.

The company supplied more than 5,000 schools and academies.

At the time, managing director Paul Essex blamed a technical problem with a major supplier and an “exceptionally high volume of orders”.

Bosses called in administrators KPMG on December 21. Howard Smith of KPMG said Barlow Park acquired the business, assets and company name and would continue to trade under the School Trends brand.

He added: “School Trends is a major uniform supplier and so this deal provides welcome continuity for schools and parents.

“While it’s unfortunate that redundancies had to be made, we are pleased that a deal could be secured quickly prior to the New Year to save the business and continue trading.

“The new leadership team is committed to getting up to speed in addressing outstanding orders, but also to press on, invest in the business and further improve its offering.”

Barlow Park is a company formed by Tim Thrall, “an experienced professional in the sector,” he added.

The company in administration has changed its name to ST Realisations 2018.

School Trends was set up by Peter Beeby and Richard Jones in 1989. Mr Jones died in 1994, aged 45. The firm became employee-owned in 2004.

It meant workers owned the majority of the company through individual shares with the remainder being held in a trust fund so ‘we are all involved across company decisions and changes’.

Customer and supplier enquiries to: 0114 2512501.