Express Print: Kuhn calls for industry cohesion
Queensland print business owner Walter Kuhn is calling on the industry, and in particular industry suppliers, to adopt a cohesive approach to companies such as Express Print & Mail, who he says appear to be able to shed large debts and move on.
Kuhn who owns Kuhn Corp, said: “Do industry suppliers really want to be seen to be supplying businesses that were formerly broke with millions of dollars in debts, supporting them in their new venture where they are competing directly against the rest of us?
“The industry needs to come together. Suppliers should know that printers are not going to be happy if they are supplying a competitor that has effectively wiped out a huge cost from its business, meaning they can go to market with sharp prices, because they no longer have to bear those debts.
“The rest of the Queensland print industry is paying its taxes, we are all paying our rent, our super, our power bills, and that is all reflected in the prices we go to market with. We are now competing with an outfit that has managed to ditch millions of dollars in costs, and that is not a level playing field. It is up to suppliers to take action.”
Kuhn also said the actions of businesses that are able to walk from large debts and carry on casts a cloud on the rest of the industry. He said: “It makes a mockery of the print industry, and makes banks even more reluctant to get involved.”
Printers pressuring suppliers to withdraw from failed companies is not new, most famously Stephen Anstice, then head of IPMG, told the suppliers that if they sold to Geon after it had been bought by US private equity fund KKR he would never buy from them again, virtually every other sizeable printer immediately fell into lockstep behind him, just days later Geon was dust.