Staff at School Trends' new base on Holbrook Enterprise Park.

New premises and 20 jobs planned at reborn Sheffield school uniform business

A Sheffield school uniform company that rose from the ashes of a firm that went bust has started a new chapter in new premises with plans to create 20 jobs.

Thursday, 20th June 2019, 4:13 pm

School Trends has left the “ghosts” of its old base and taken a smaller building where it can operate more efficiently, on Holbrook Enterprise Park.

The firm is “very busy” embroidering uniforms for the new school year in September and bosses say if that continues they will need another 20 people by the end of the year.

The original School Trends went bust in December after failing to deliver hundreds of orders worth £60,000 before the start of the 2018 school year.

The Waterthorpe company was snapped up by a consortium led by Tim Thrall, who is now managing director.

He said: “This is a new start for us. There were a lot of ghosts in the old place. Our new site is cheaper, more efficient and a quarter of the size.

“Our first six months were all about winning back confidence. We’re very busy now, it’s school uniform season ahead of September.

“Hopefully we’ll create jobs and have another 20 on the payroll by the end of the year.”

The firm, which has 29 workers and four temps, had £200,000 from an Australian investor, Mr Thrall and business partner Mark Raven put in £50,000.

The old company went bust with the loss of 38 jobs after problems with a sole external embroiderer.

The new one has spread the risk by using four sub-contractors and doing some embroidery in-house. Mr Thrall said.

When he took over in January he said: “The previous management tried their best, they made some poor decisions, but the main crisis was not of their making. They were at the point of taking legal action before being overtaken by events.

“The problems distracted the whole management team and caused cash flow issues. The firm let down a lot of customers, it was an extremely emotive issue

“We believe a great little business has been struggling for years to get out. We plan to improve customer service, invest in the website and social media. I want this to be the Amazon of the decorated schoolwear market.”

Last month, administrators put the former headquarters on Holbrook Industrial Estate on the market with a price tag of £2.3m. Proceeds will be used to pay the creditors of the old company.

Agent Chris Brooksbank said it was “quite large” and would only suit a handful of people. But he’d already received a few calls.

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