Go to Gratnells trade buyer login

GratViews, Trade News and Views from the World of Gratnells The View From Harlow with Murray Hudson, Managing Director


Furniture Manufacturers

Catalogues / Distributors

Kit Manufacturers


Spencer is soon jetting off to Russia, Israel and Korea.

Goodness me, what a summer that has been. I signed off my last newsletter with words of optimism and hope, and it appears they have been realised. While it was suspected that there was growth to come in the education supply business it was heartening when it came true. After a dodgy start to the year and a rather questionable Easter, orders at tray towers have been humming along through the summer and into the autumn. The end of 2012 was strong so I think I can optimistically say that the signs are good for the last quarter of 2013. There seems general consensus that the school buying cycle has moved from the old 'end of financial year' splurge in March to the autumn/winter. The Findel group have moved their catalogue launch dates to reflect this change.

Remploy no more
It was disappointing to see that no one was prepared to buy the education side of Remploy. A call from Mike Jenkins laid bare a sad tale in which many people will lose their livelihood. We all wish Mike and his colleagues well in the future. It does however mean many millions of pounds of capacity will be released into the marketplace.

Acquisition trail

Congratulations to Clive and team at Morleys after their acquisition of the Reflections on Learning and Hands On mail order brands from Tim at Commotion. It represents their first expansion into learning resources and general educational supplies. Clive says 'The brands will operate from Morleys existing site in Bicester, Oxfordshire, creating up to six new roles.' Good luck to all.

Science in Zimbabwe
Export has always been a key part of Gratnells business. Europe, America and the Far East have long been enthusiasts of our trays and storage, but Africa has always been difficult. However, through UNICEF we have partnered with a UK based company to provide more than 2000 schools in Zimbabwe with science storage and equipment. The project is being led by a Dutch company and is currently underway. The logistics are extremely complicated and even the box labels took weeks to agree on. The first 500 frames are about to be shipped and we will be working flat out until the new year to complete the order.

Is this the funniest YouTube video from a science department ever?
It's not often that that I get completely bowled over by our customers. However, this short video made by some science technicians at Steyning Grammar School with a ping pong ball and some trays left me howling with laughter. I challenge you not to smile when you see this.

Learning Walls The popularity of learning walls especially in primary schools is proving ever greater. To cater for the storage aspect of this Gratnells has a special tray range which is not as deep as our traditional trays. It means the learning walls do not stick out so far into the classroom eating up valuable space. The tray range is called the N range and is designed for 400mm deep carcasses. The range is available in shallow and deep along with a new Jumbo tray in January 2014. Samples are now available for all who want them.

And finally.......

After more than forty years working in the education industry my father will be retiring at the beginning of October aged 80. I will be putting him forward for an ERA Lifetime Achievement Award next year and hope that you will all support him. We are also hoping to hold a 'do' in the Birmingham area on the day before the Award bash. I'll confirm and send out invitations nearer the time.’ Until then raise a glass to Neville Hudson, the hardest working man in the biz!

I'm going to put my feet up........zzzzz

Gratnells website | Gratnells blog | Follow Gratnells on Twitter | Contact Us
Unsubscribe to this newsletter

Gratnells Ltd, 8 Howard Way, Harlow, Essex CM20 2SU, UK
Tel: Freephone 0800 169 6854 Export line: +44 (0)1279 213 903
Email: trays@gratnells.co.uk