From January to June: Carriage Charges. Our UK carrier has increased our prices for the first time in 3-4 years, so we will be passing on some of charge which can be seen in our new pricelist. The maximum charge will now be £8 (£7.75). We will still continue to pay part of the cost as your order goes up in value. Flower and Butterfly motifs. Prices shown on the price list for these articles are for a bag of 144/50pcs respectively. Tulles. We have various types in stock now that we have not issued samples for. These include a tulle with Ivory spots, 2 different sparkle tulles, a softer quality of tulle that is frequently used for many of our embroideries( not flame retardant) this is available in many different colours - not all held in stock. A Cotton/Nylon tulle similar in appearance to Silk tulle. Most of these qualities are shown on the pricelist and samples can generally be provided upon request. We also keep tulle with crystals on, see sample of P702 (Crystals on Organza). Credit Limits. As mentioned last month we plan to implement a tighter control of credit limits this year. We will be requesting that everyone who deals with us provides a full update/confirmation of their business details including status (Ltd Co/Partnership/Sole Trader) plus partners names etc. From the 01/02/08 credit limits will be set at a maximum of £250 for any customers we do not hold this updated data for. Customers requesting a higher limit than we offer may be asked to provide references of other companies where they have a sound credit history for larger sums of money. Data Protection. We are now registered to hold personal information for our customers. Newsletters by e-mail. We are going to re launch sending our newsletters by e-mail doing it completely in house.The new format will still have a link each month to the pricelist and most months there will be a link to new images also. Returning Goods. We have always had a very generous policy of accepting any of our goods back, as long as they are still a running line, even if they have been correctly supplied by us. In these circumstances we only credit the actual fabric and not cutting charges or transportation charges. But I do not think it is unreasonable to ask that we are advised first of what is being returned and the reason why. I also think that it is reasonable to request/expect that if you feel there is a possibility they may be returned that you retain the original packaging and any information ticket that it comes with. Maintaining/Updating your Sample Books. We are now able to supply the roll fix tape/glue dispensers that we use for producing the books. We have been able to buy direct from the manufacturer, so can offer them at a price significantly below normal retail stationers. Ongoing we would also be able to provide refills for them from our normal stock. This is the easiest and cleanest way we have found for re-sticking items in your book or attaching the new additional colours.
From July: Errors on recent samples. P427 header has the design number shown twice and not the width. It should be 98cm. P303 should show as 90cm width P22 Dress Net the price of this has been increased, as it is now 150cm wide.
From September: Dress Nets and Tulles. The situation regarding availability of these products is at present very uncertain. For those of you who are not aware, practically all of the net/tulle sold in the UK comes from the only existing UK manufacturer. The last 6 months has seen the situation get far worse. Historically on basic colours the manufacturer operated a stock/ or in production service, but we placed an order mid July for basic net in Ivory and the scheduled delivery date is not until end September/ early October. Normally we have another large wholesaler to go to that hold large stocks, but in recent times they have often got very little or no stock available either. The manufacturer has also decided it would be a good time to announce a 5% price increase! It may therefore be necessary to make further price adjustments before the end of the year.
From October: Dress Nets and Tulles. The situation with the British manufacturer has reached a point of no return. We wrote to them requesting to know the full facts regarding the reasons for the ongoing delays and informed them that there is much speculation in the trade as to the reasons why this was happening, and said we would prefer to give our customers the true facts. We received a reply from a junior member of their management who has accused us of making slanderous comments about their company, and also informed us that we do not spend enough with them. Strange really that it did not occur to them we may be needing to buy it from alternative sources. This response was an excellent example of how to lose customers. And still they declined to give an explanation. So although this cannot be confirmed first hand, allegedly it seems there have been serious breakdowns of machines combined with a view within the company that the future is in China and that relative to the company's overall business, the British bridal market (where they have build a virtual monopoly) is a long way down the priority list. We are no longer prepared to compromise our reputation for supply of such an essential product by relying on a manufacturer who treats its customers in such a manner. We can still supply most of their products by buying them through an intermediate supplier at a higher price, subject to them having stocks available. But mid- term we are in negotiations to buy from one of 2 European suppliers who hopefully have a higher regard for their customers. As mentioned last month we do also currently have some alternative qualities of tulle in stock
From November: Current Financial Situation. I know everyone will be aware of the current financial uncertainties in the world, but here is a short summary how it affects us as a business: the main difficulty we currently face is the continuous fall of the pound against world currencies like the Dollar and Euro. This means that everything we buy from countries like USA, Japan, China and Taiwan we pay for in Dollars and all European countries we deal with we pay in Euros. This means currently that we are facing increases of over 20% on things we pay for in Dollars, compared to rates as recently as 3 months ago. We have always had a constantly increasing stock, but the current situation means that we have for the first time got to take steps to reverse the recent stock increases, because the currency variations have caused significantly reduced margins. This means the steps we need to take are to reduce the amount of new lines we buy where we have not already sold part of our commitment to a customer. Therefore this means there will not be as many new lines appearing in the coming months as in recent times, but there will still be some new qualities especially in the areas of edgings/ motifs with crystals. The second thing we also have to do with immediate effect is to increase the price of a limited number of lines where there have been recent deliveries. There will be a universal assessment of all prices as usual to take effect from January. Anyone buying the lines affected now at special prices for bigger quantities will also receive amended prices. Dress Nets and Tulles. The latest situation with these qualities is that we are in the final stages of negotiations to become the sole distributor for a European manufacturer. In the mean time there will be a period of change over. There will be a more limited choice of colours on the new dress nets of around 20 colours, so we may still offer some of the UK production, but everything should be clearer and finalised in the next month. Agent Wanted. One of our major customers still producing Bridesmaids dresses solely in the UK is looking for an agent to cover the South of England. If anyone knows of someone who may be interested, please contact us and we will forward on the details. Wedding/ Bridesmaids Dress manufacturer. Do you have too much work? Are you looking for an established UK company that can help to produce your garments? If the answer is yes to these questions please contact us and we can give you a contact name based in North London. New Website. We are in the process of building a new website. Many of the pages will be bi-lingual (English/French). It is expected to be ready early December, we will give you an update next month.
From December: Customer of the year award. In these times of gloomy predictions, we have decided to do something different and make an award for our customer of the year. The winner has been chosen for her constant cheerful outlook in these difficult times, combined with her useful input into the type of products we should look to introduce for future, and finally just for being an especially nice person to deal with (all our customers are nice usually). To find out who the deserving winner is, visit the News page of our new web site (that will be live) in just over a week. It will also be announced in the bridal press (Attire) in early January. Dress Nets and Tulles. We have just received the final test piece of tulle and net done with flame retardant finish, so subject to its approval by our major customers things should be finalised shortly for us to become the sole distributor for the European manufacturer. Currently we can still offer the UK production. Cornelly Embroidery. Our supplier of this service is closing their factory at the end of the year, so we do not expect to be able to continue offering the current service. We do have a couple of possibilities to explore and will be able to confirm this next month. Regarding the veils we offer we are sure we can resource them from another manufacturer. What we will also do is look to start offering a range of veils incorporating some of the edgings we currently run. Financial Situation. We would like to make all customers aware that whilst we are prepared to discuss with any customer problems they may face in paying us, we do not accept being ignored or promises that do not get honoured. In these circumstances we do issue solicitors letters followed 7 days later by a court summons, even for small amounts. Closing Down/retiring. If you are considering doing either of these, and you do not have anyone to pass your sample books onto, then please inform us, we will probably be able to offer you something for them. How much will depend on the condition and age of the books. Prices. As a seasonal gesture we are leaving all prices the same until the beginning of January, at this time we will be increasing a large proportion of articles. All increases will apply to orders/invoices from the 5th of January. New pricelists will be available from 5th January. Forward requirements for fabric. This is a subject we periodically mention. If you have fabric requirements for future orders next year, it is helpful to our planning of placing orders with suppliers to know in advance that you require it. This mainly applies to the more higher priced articles that we do not hold such big stocks of and many of these items also take longer to produce. This is more important now than ever, as the current climate dictates that our stock holding will reduce next year, and many articles will not be re-ordered until they reach a lower level than now.