GENEVA, Switzerland – As a communications consultant I do a lot of business with local printers. One could say, printing in Switzerland means not only good quality but also high prices; it is hard to imagine how some of these businesses keep afloat in an economy where the Swiss franc is rising and printing beyond Swiss borders is increasingly common. Yet, it was with sadness that I learned that the second largest printing business in Geneva had quietly closed its doors after 26 years of work, resulting in the loss of 30 jobs.
SRO-Kunding, a family-owned and operated, award-winning print and design firm was established in 1989 after the merger of two companies (Kunding had been established in 1832.)
A long chain of poor timing and bad luck is said to be behind this bankruptcy.
In 2013, the printing company upgraded its machinery for almost CHF2 Million francs but failed to secure their lease for an additional 10 years forcing them to move.
In true Geneva fashion, the complicated move cost an additional CHF1 Million francs and was delayed by three months after discovering that the new facilities could not handle the weight of the machines.
The nightmare though, was far from over.
With the delay, contracts were lost but salaries still had to be paid.
The value of the franc then climbed and printing costs became excessive, even for Geneva.
Clients soon outsourced printing outside Switzerland and demanded a 40% price reduction.
The owner was able to gather the last salaries, find a new placement for the apprentice and close shop.
Its website is still active but there’s no one left to “run the press.”
More details on Bilan.