Monday, April 18th, 2016
The Sherwood Group celebrates its 40 years in June 2016, having risen from a Trade printer to an award winning printer in the greeting card and packaging industries.
On June 1st 1976, with capital investment of £10,000, Maurice and Barbara Bacon founded The Sherwood Press next to the Royal Oak Public House in Beeston, Nottingham. “Maurice Bacon effectively planted a little acorn on Villa Street in Nottingham, with the vision that his company would one day become a major oak of its own” said Business East Midlands magazine in 1997. Now celebrating 40 years of trade, Sherwood can reflect on the successes of the family-owned business.
The first and main areas of business included print of catalogues, annual reports, educational material, calendars, leaflets and posters. In 1978 the printer moved from Villa Street to Gamble Factory at Newdigate Street in Nottingham where it was joined by Gordon Graphics in 1981 to handle pre-press requirements. Experiencing further growth, Sherwood became a Limited company and moved to its current premises at Hadden Court, Glaisdale Parkway in Nottingham in 1985.
In 1994 The Sherwood Press was named ‘Nottinghamshire Company of The Year’ which was a major boost for the printer; created more jobs and helped to almost double its turnover from £4.5m to £8m in 1997. “It has meant more than I ever expected and has directly helped us to get orders”; Maurice Bacon reflected on the benefits and prestige that came with achievement of the Award.
The Sherwood Press entered the greeting cards market in 1991 and proudly printed Christmas cards for the Royal Household, charity sector and many publishers. By 1997 the printer produced up to a million cards a day and in 1996 it was awarded “Printweek Prism Greeting Card Printer of the Year”.
Maurice and his wife Barbara retired in March 1998, leaving their three children in charge of the business. Jeremy Bacon took over as a Managing Director, Richard Bacon as Commercial Director and Sarah Shortt as Group Management Accountant. At that time, Sherwood employed around 60 people. In 2008 The Group formed a strategic alliance with Loxleys Print and Richard Bacon was appointed as Managing Director. Loxleys celebrated 160 years of business in 2014.
Today, The Sherwood Press employs over 100 members of staff in the Nottingham site and had a turnover of £12m in 2015. Greeting card printing constitutes 50% of the business alongside production of packaging and point of sale. In 2009 the printer acquired Shore To Shore packaging company and has successfully grown the packaging side of the business with the achievement of BRC accreditation for food packaging in 2010.
Jeremy Bacon became a CEO of The Sherwood Group in 2011 and Graham Garrod was appointed as a Managing Director. The same year saw the establishment of Semplice, The Group’s manufacturing plant in China for the production of greeting cards, packaging and gift packaging and to complement the Sherwood Press Hong Kong office, founded in 2003. Continuous investment in both plants and improvement of production capabilities and staff expertise have been pivotal to the success of the business. Jeremy Bacon adds: “It has been quite an achievement, but we are not resting on our laurels, we are continually investing into the next 40 years!”
Last year, The Sherwood Press rebranded to “The Sherwood Group” to reflect the changes in the business during the past couple of years. The word “Press” was dropped from the company logo to highlight the fact today Sherwood is more than just a printer. The Group has secured a dozen of awards for the manufacture of both greeting cards and innovative packaging, the recent ones being The FMCG Packaging Printer of the Year award from The PrintWeek Awards in 2014 and 2015. The Group balanced the respect of Sherwood’s heritage and rich history by keeping the oak leaf in the logo, but modernised and refreshed it.
Jeremy Bacon added: “Sherwood today is a far cry from the business Maurice started in 1976 with a room of a 1000 sqft and a second hand press. Today the wider Group has a turnover of £28m and employs 350 staff on two continents. The values of the business are the same, striving to be the best in the markets we serve. I would personally like to thank all colleagues past and present in building the business we have today and in the future”.
Sherwood will be marking its 40 years of business at the PG Live show and it will have a party with customers on 10th May 2016 to celebrate its successes. A staff party will be also taking place in Nottingham in June to further celebrate the company’s 40th birthday and status as a multiple award winning printer.
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