Murky Depths

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Greenwich

Major Greenwich employer goes under

Morden Wharf - previous plan

A company in operation since 1796 with a large factory on Greenwich Peninsula has gone under.

Spicers was part of a group with 1,200 employees that supplied office furniture – and that’s not a healthy market right now.  Though they were already in trouble and seeing losses before March 2020.

Courtesy Google. Site entrance

I stumbled on this story while looking at plan for 1,500 homes at the adjacent Morden Wharf site in Greenwich.

Spicers site in red. Morden Wharf in orange. Former cruise liner site below 

To the rear of the site away from the Thames remains a large number of industrial buildings and I wondered who operated them – and what chance residential buildings would possibly encroach in coming years.

Spicers beside Morden Wharf. Click to enlarge if too small to read

Anyway, the very first building I looked up – and one that is large in size and a modern structure – was the Spicers distribution depot. I googled them and the found their website had no security certificate. Odd I thought, but recent events help explain why.

Site to the left behind factory

The company recently saw a 50 per cent decline in sales before going under in May. An auction was recently held for branding and copyright ownership. Some other parts were sold such as OfficeTeam who may retain a presence though its early days. Their Facebook account went quiet three weeks ago.

What the future holds for the site; who knows? Housing is possible years down the line if OfficeTeam dare not to take on the entire site, but it would take changing the status of land. Anyway, housing may be slow to rise next door. Developers of Morden Wharf announced job cuts this week totalling 13 per cent of employees.

 

5 Comments

  1. Charles Calthrop

    That’s a real shame and I suspect IKEA had a lot to do with that. If you worked in an office over the years there’s probably a Spicers filing cabinet somewhere – big grey and noisy as hell to open but solid as anything. Compared to the glossy white offerings from Spicers Viking et al the IKEA stuff is the way companies can get in with the hip crowd. It’s companies that make solid boring and dependable that will have the hardest time getting rid of old stock and getting new stuff in. Thank you for digging this out.

  2. CDT

    What a terrible shame my heart goes out to the all the staff at Spicers at this very difficult time who could lose their jobs. .

    Most large companies do buy their furniture and equipment from large office furniture suppliers. they hold accounts with.

    I suppose it is like anything else during these difficult times where finances are tight if do you do not need to replaces items you will make them last longer rather than upgrading them for the sake of it. I guess the same applies to office furniture.

    I hope a buyer can be found for Spicers so these jobs can be protected.

  3. Graham

    | Iagree CDT I hope a buyer can be found for Spicers to protect these staff from losing their jobs. Such terrible news at this very difficult time which was not helped by the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Now rather than playing petty party politics having slanging matches with each other.

    We now need to be demanding answers as to where did Covid-19 actually start?
    what caused it?
    How did it get in to the UK if started abroad?
    And why did it paralyse the UK and the world for so long?.

    As it as devasted our economy and jobs and ruined hundreds of thousands of lives here in the UK.

    To many questions remain unanswered around Covid-19.

    • Charles Calthrop

      Unfortunately nothing useful will be revealed or ever made public. You can see already how health workers are being relegated back from national heroes to by-the-hour employees. The PM has already tried to lay the blame on care homes (even though councils such as Birmingham admit they were paying to offload vulnerable seniors). The press have already moved elsewhere – like Brexit this will be forgotten soon enough by everyone with a reputation to protect. All we can do is try to look out for one another and try to show a little more concern for our neighbour

    • Covid-19 is widely believed to have originated in a Wuhan wet market, although some conspiracies say it is a lab produced virus that ‘escaped’ accidently or otherwise.

      A virus is highly infectious and is passed on before any symptoms appear. Further, some people are asymptomatic and pass the disease on without developing the illness themselves. Given that 40,000 plus people have died from covid-19 in the UK alone and the pandemic is out of control in many other countries, an initial lockdown was the only response that governments had.

      Prior to covid-19, many businesses were already in trouble with job losses announced almost on a weekly basis. Assigning blame is not helpful as the response of national governments was slow and poorly organised.

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