Laurence Prince, founder and chairman of Danilo (pictured above) has had dealings with all manner of A list celebrities in the calendar and card company’s 43 years – from Sir Cliff Richard to Kylie – so confronting a Government minister and mainstream media about something he believes in is certainly not something he would shy away from.
In a letter to Business Secretary Alok Sharma as well as to his local MP, Eleanor Laing, Laurence highlighted how the government’s decision to close non-essential retailers is another ‘nail in the coffin’ for high street retailers as well as being incredibly damaging to so many companies supplying them.
As a significant part of Danilo’s business is in dated products (calendars and diaries) the timing of the closure of non-essential retailers has hit hard.
“We have produced many of our 2021 ranges of calendars that are sold in all major High Street outlets. These are dated products that have been produced especially, and then there are the Advent calendars that have to be sold in November.
In the last week alone we have had over £500,000 worth of orders cancelled by retail store groups for goods that we have had to pay for,” quantified Laurence to give an indication of the financial impact of the Government’s decision for its lockdown policy for non-essential retailers in England. “The Chancellor has instituted plans to help businesses etc, but who is going to compensate us for the costs of goods that we have paid our suppliers for?”
As Laurence reinforces: “The Government and local government are always going on about the decimation of the High Street – this is yet another major nail in that coffin that will drive more people onto companies like Amazon which, although employ a lot of people, do not pay any reasonable UK tax, and cause air pollution by the amount of vehicles on the road.”
Ending on his plea, Laurence said: “I look forward to hearing a satisfactory response and this time I hope the government does do a U-turn and regains some credibility.”
Consumer PR expert Jane Baerselman of Teal Communications is working with the Danilo team to handle the media interest in this timely situation. ‘Calendar sales take a hit as shops shut’ was the headline of a story in The I newspaper yesterday which warns how the current lockdown will “decimate” sales for ‘the UK’s largest producer of calendars’ as retailers withdraw their usual seasonal orders due to their being unable to open.
“We also had another piece lined up to appear in The Sunday Times, but we were ‘trumped’ by news of the US election. You can’t win them all!” said Laurence.
Top: Laurence Prince, founder of Danilo is revered as the king of calendars in the UK.