AREM publishing - going to the wall?

Discussion in 'UK All Regions' started by Mark Pope, Oct 9, 2006.

  1. Mark Pope

    Mark Pope Member

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    I certainly hope not...

    I rang Arem this morning to find out about the lack of magazines since subscribing to their 'best of friends' subscription back in June.

    I got a recorded message that went along the lines of "This is Arem Publishing. The offices are closed while we are in discussion about the future of the business." I was given the option to leave a message, but I saw no point.

    So, I'm afraid that it looks like Arem is going to go the way of Creative Monochrome :sad: Pity.
     
  2. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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  3. Mark Pope

    Mark Pope Member

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    So I can wave bye bye to my subscription money then :sad:
    I'm disappointed that there has been no communication from Arem. Unless that's standard practice when firms go belly up.
     
  4. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    we can, and it is.
     
  5. bogeyes

    bogeyes Member

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    If its true that is very grim news indeed, Arem offered amatuer photographers a chance to get their work published.
     
  6. roy

    roy Member

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    It is just as well that I did not renew recently when invited to.
     
  7. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The Arem Forum is offline too. Don't know how long it's been that way though - haven't checked it in months...
     
  8. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    May be that's why they went bust. :confused:
     
  9. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    It was working on Sunday last, although only digital chatter.
     
  10. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    That's why I haven't been there in months! :smile:
     
  11. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Dave. Your link gets me to the website. Is this all ex Arem mail order stock? Some prices look very good - like a liquidation sale- but others seem "normal"

    The strange thing is that I cannot get to the site via google. It just doesn't seem to be there. On the site there is no mention of postage and packing or being able to do mail order. It is as if it's a high street shop with a quickly set up and not very good website.

    I rang the number and got an ansaphone so left a message. Do you have any more info on ddands. These days I feel I can't be too careful when dealing with a company I have never heard of.
    Thanks

    pentaxuser
     
  12. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Dave and anyone else. I should have added to my last post that you can get on to the Arem site and ther's doesn't seem to be any hint of a problem there. A little worrying.

    pentaxuser
     
  13. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    I cannot add much except that some from the PPC have brought from them recently. I get the impression that this is an emergency website since previously your order would have gone through AREM. Try contacting them by email. It is a cheque/cash only set-up since they do not have credit card facilities, presumably that went with AREM.
     
  14. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Dave and others interested. I have just finished talking to Mike Radcliffe who is the contact mentioned on the website. You are essentially right but Mike Radcliffe says that Darkroom and Digital Supplies intend to develop the website and the mail order business, including credit card arrangements. While some of the stock list and prices is the result of the Arem demise, he intends to maintain prices around the ballpark od prices listed and believes that mainstream B&W stuff such as Ilford will provide a viable business. So the sale isn't a one-off but will be on-going

    I was impressed by him and his intentions and I mentioned APUG which he had never heard of but whose site he will now look at.

    I think this will reinforce his belief that there is a place for another photo supplies company dealing directly with the public.

    For those interested the website can be found via the Internet Explorer search bar. This site is regularly updated with current stock and anyone wanting to order should e-mail or ring and he will ensure that the stock required is put to one side and sent on receipt of a cheque. If it has already been sold in the meantime he will contact you by return. He had a large order from a college on Ilford Pearl and Glossy-not surprising at these prices - hence his low stocks of RC glossy and zero of RC Pearl.

    Presumably in the near future as effort is made to develop the site then googling it will also work.

    I hope we have a phoenix rising from the Arem ashes.

    pentaxuser
     
  15. pyrometol

    pyrometol Member

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    Only a whisper, but was talking to a club member last Friday and found out that the paper/ developer side of AREM were a separate company to tne publishing side. So, it may survive. Here's hoping, pyrometol
     
  16. Mark Pope

    Mark Pope Member

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    It will be a real shame if the publishing side does fold. I joined for the magazine and best of freinds book.
    Ho hum.
     
  17. David Henderson

    David Henderson Member

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    If you call the number on Arem Publishing's web-site ( as I've just done) you get a message saying that they have been forced to stop trading with immediate effect. They invite questions by email or postal address (which since the last rising from the ashes has been Roger's house I believe).

    Ah well - no Best Of Friends. Pity- first because it was good; second because it would have had a couple of my photographs in it. Funny- last time they went under they were just about to run a feature on one of my colour portfolios. I imagine that's a coincidence though!
     
  18. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    Copied below is a statement circulated by email by Roger Maile which should clarify matters.

    AREM PUBLISHING LIMITED
    OUTLINE OF EVENTS LEADING TO DECISION TO CEASE TRADING

    The company published magazines, books and electronic media aimed at the photography serious enthusiast market, together with a mail order service for materials fulfilled by another company.

    The management accounts for 2005 indicated a profit of around £20,000, confirming a significant turnround on the first year start-up loss of around £50,000. This left cashflow tight, but it was believed to be manageable assuming the trading performance continued to strengthen.

    In the spring of 2006, the sole director Roger Maile, injected further personal funds of £25,000 to strengthen the cashflow. £5,000 of this was allocated to the purchase of the capital equipment and the balance was allocated to be drawn down in lieu of salary, clearing the way to attempt to attract new ordinary share capital investment in the business (at which time, the balance of director’s loans would also be converted to shares, so that new investors could be assured that their funds would not be directed to paying off director’s loans).

    Shortly after this money had been injected, the trading performance of the business declined noticeably. The initial belief was that this reflected inertia on the part of customers during an exceptional and sustained period of very hot weather.

    The company initiated promotions during the summer to try to counter the downturn in trade. This included mailings launching a ‘Summer Festival’ with print sales, extra discounts and other special offers and the launch of a new online service (paid by subscription). The response to these initiatives was weak and the trading situation did not improve.

    Roger Maile contacted a number of people who had shown exceptional support for the business and interest in its activities, inviting a new share subscription to total between £25,000 and £50,000. Although one or two of the ensuing discussions might have led to raising a part of the target figure, the amount involved would be insufficient to address the mounting problems and the timescale envisaged by potential investors did not correspond with the needs of the business.

    Matters were brought to a head in September when the mailing house refused to send out two newly published magazines, pending payments due of around £850. In normal trading circumstances, day to day income would have enabled us to meet such a demand quickly – indeed, the total normal trade and government creditor position was around £15,000, which would normally be much less than a month’s trading income. However, because of standing orders, salary payments and so forth, we were unable to free up the money needed to get the magazines released and this delay inevitably worsened trading performance. Late in September, HM Customs and Revenue indicated its intention to get a distraint order unless a payment of around £2,000 was made.

    At the end of September, in the light of the magazine delays, the threat of a distraint order and the inability to secure external investment of a sufficient amount, Roger Maile conducted a fundamental review of the business position and the potential to trade out of the situation. The conclusion was that the business was now insolvent and without a reasonable prospect of alleviating that position in the short term. Nick Charlton, the only other employee, was made redundant with effect from 30 September (he had been paid up to that date).

    Detailed consideration and review over the weekend of 30 September/1 October confirmed the view that it was necessary to cease trading with immediate effect and seek professional assistance to close the business.

    Roger Maile was able to arrange a meeting on 10 October with James Money of KPMG, Crawley. He confirmed that, in his opinion, appropriate actions had been taken. His view was that the saleable assets of the business would be insufficient to attract an insolvency practitioner to take on the responsibility of the liquidation of the business. He advised that under such circumstances it would also be unlikely to be financially attractive for an individual creditor to take on such action. Roger Maile was therefore advised to write to creditors explaining the position and to pursue any further discussions with them direct. This record of events has been written on 11 October as supporting material to go with individual letters to these creditors.

    Roger Maile
    Director
    11 October 2006
     
  19. Annemarieke

    Annemarieke Member

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    Thanks for letting us know, Dave.

    Pity there won't be a new BoF book.

    Anne Marieke
     
  20. mono

    mono Subscriber

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    ... and I had just payed a 2-years subscription-renewal!
    And off the money goes again!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2006
  21. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

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    Thanks for the info, Dave. I was wondering what was going on too. It's a shame. I liked the mag, the BoF book and the calendar.
     
  22. Peter Black

    Peter Black Subscriber

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    I exchanged emails with Roger Maile at the end of November regarding their demise, and he was optimistic that the mail-order side of things could be made to work. I just noticed that they now have an eBay shop up and running at the link below:

    http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Darkroom-and-Digital-Photo-Supplies