Redundancies at Trust Media after m.b.o.

Redundancies at Trust Media after m.b.o.

Christian book supplier Trust Media has begun redundancy consultations with staff after a management buy-out of the business.

Ken Munroe, c.e.o. of John Ritchie Ltd, recently bought the Carlisle-based businesses of Trust Media—formerly STL Distribution—from John Ritchie this month and began consultations with the 70-strong staff base this week.

His acquisition of the company has brought with it a “substantial investment” according to Trust Media’s marketing director Pete Barnsley, but a wide-scale review of the efficiency of the business is also underway following the purchase.

Barnsley said: “Since January there has been a big injection of capital so for the business this has been a really positive move. But it has also brought with it a review of the whole business which includes consultations with staff. There will be a degree of staff reduction but we don’t know how many yet. It will be fewer then 20 positions.”

Barnsley said part of the business review has involved reducing the number of publishers it works with by around two thirds.

“Before, the business always operated as a one-stop-shop for retailers but since 2009 the market has changed significantly,” Barnsley said.

“People now shop around and go direct to the publisher and there are fewer bookshops on the high street. However, we are still working with major publishers like Hodder, HarperCollins and Lion Hudson."

Trust Media is now supplying some titles to W H Smith and it has increased the number of titles it sells on Amazon.

While it will continue to concentrate on the religious sector, Trust Media will also expand into the secular market, perhaps in the card and gift business, Barnsley said.