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COVER STORY: AFTER LOCKDOWN


‘We want to help the hospitality industry reopen and understand some guests may have been worried about the hygiene of the bedroom linens and towelling’


David Stevens, TSA


have started to see an increase in activity within our customers as they begin to re- open their businesses in accordance with the various easing of restrictions. During the last two weeks of April volumes were approaching some 30% of normalised activity with further increases expected as the restrictions, particularly on hotel stays, are relaxed.


“At the end of April, we continued to have 1,450 of our employees on full or partial furlough, although we expect this number to reduce significantly in the coming weeks as employees return to work in response to increasing volumes. “We have commenced the


the Rest Assured Scheme, which includes marketing material that TSA laundries can give to hospitality operators to display, verifying that their linens and towels have been hygienically processed. There are different versions of the literature for different sectors, such as hotels, restaurants and leisure facilities. “We want to help the hospitality industry reopen and understand some guests may have been worried about the hygiene of the bedroom linens and towelling,” says Stevens. “The Hygienically Clean campaign underlines and explains the research and the procedures we have implemented. In simple terms, the key message to consumers is: “It’s safe to go and enjoy the hospitality services we have all missed for so long. You can sleep well.” The Hygienically Clean guidance and documents are available to download from the Covid Resources section at tsa-uk. org. For marketing materials, hospitality operators should talk to their laundry service supplier.


Visit www.tsa-uk.org for more information.


@LCNiMag M


eanwhile, as TSA/UKH were fine honing their hospitality campaign, Johnson Service


Group, (JSG), one of the UK’s largest linen and uniform rental operations was reporting improvement in trading as Covid-19 restrictions eased.


JSG, with CEO Peter Egan at the helm, held its Annual General Meeting on 5 May and there was good news to impart despite the challenge of Covid-19. The Group made the following statement: “As expected, trading in the first four months of the year has continued to be impacted by the various lockdown restrictions although we are now beginning to see an increase in demand as restrictions are starting to ease. “Workwear volumes in March were around 96% of normal levels and the Group has seen a slight continuous improvement during April as more businesses were allowed to open.


“Progress continues to be made on the fit-out of our new workwear plant in Exeter and it remains on target for completion in the final quarter of this year. “In HORECA, volumes in the first quarter were some 11% of normal. We


commissioning of our new hotel linen plant in Leeds as we plan for increasing volumes. The site is expected to be operational by 17 May, congruent with the anticipated further relaxation of restrictions in England, and will allow us to transfer the work for our Yorkshire based customers that is currently processed in North Wales. Furthermore, the factory locations that were mothballed over the winter months are also now operational, albeit with reduced headcount in line with current volumes. “We continue to be confident in our ability to be agile and responsive to increasing volumes from our customers as the hospitality market recovers over the coming months. Our strong balance sheet means that we are well positioned to continue to invest in the business to support our long-term growth prospects. “Bill Shannon is to retire from the Board at the conclusion of the AGM. Jock Lennox, who was appointed to the Board on 5 January as an independent non-executive director and chair designate, will become chair of the JSG Board. The Board would like to thank Bill for his significant input and counsel as both a non-executive director and latterly as chairman.” ■


June 2021 | LCN 9


David Stevens, CEO, Textile Services Association


Peter Egan, CEO, Johnson Services Group


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