Nigel Toplis, the new owner of the Kall Kwik brand in the UK, visited the Great Titchfield Road centre in London recently to help celebrate Kall Kwik's 30 years trading in the West End. The centre was opened in 1982 by Jeff Tang and became one of Kall Kwik’s best performing centres.
Nigel - who stepped in to buy the Kall Kwik licence last December - is delighted to be involved once again with the franchise operation he left in 2002. Since then he has become managing director of the Bardon Group whose stable of franchises includes Recognition Express, ComputerXplorers and the Zip Yard.
Nigel comments, “Kall Kwik has always been special to me. I am really looking forward to working with the centres again to strengthen the brand and restore Kall Kwik to its rightful position in the marketplace. I have kept in touch with many of the owners during the past decade, and one of my first priorities is to get round all of the centres to get a feel for how the land lies. I have known Jeff Tang and his team at Great Titchfield for a very long time and it is great to see how well they are doing.”
Great Titchfield Kall Kwik is to be a training centre for new franchisees, which its manager Tony Plews sees as testament not just to the centre's financial success but also to the working practices and ethos of its management team. He explains, “We are very lean – we buy slowly and carefully and never rush into any decision without thinking it through carefully first. All of us wear several hats and multi-task effectively. We treat our staff well, and build lasting relationships with suppliers and customers. We may not necessarily be the cheapest but customers know that if they want something printed for 9am tomorrow morning it’ll be there.”
Great Titchfield is now fully digital having said goodbye to its last litho press last year. The centre’s latest purchase is an HP Latex poster machine which is both state of the art and environmentally friendly for both the end user and employees.
Thirty years ago the company’s main business came from the rag trade, but as the West End fashion industry declined, the media world grew. Now the bulk of Great Titchfield’s business comes from production houses and television companies. However, no job is too small for the five strong team, most of whom have worked there for 18 years.
“Some print shops have a sign on the door saying minimum order £15 but we don’t do that,” said Tony. “We aim to impress everyone who comes in. Most people are connected to a business in some way or other, and the man who needs a quick copy of his passport one day is very likely to remember the service we gave him when his boss needs some large format posters printed.”
And Tony’s thoughts on the return of Nigel Toplis? “Nigel has been a good friend to us for many years. We worked well with him before and we look forward to working with him now. He’s just what Kall Kwik needs after the last few years of uncertainty. He always does what he says he’s going to do – just like us!”