Member log in

Croxley calls time on NZ production in face of cheap imported stationery

Croxley Stationery, whose stationery brands include Olympic, Warwick and Collins, plans to cease manufacturing in New Zealand because it has struggled to compete with lower-cost imports in a market where the printed word is giving way to electronic communications.

The company would cease manufacturing at its plant in Avondale, Auckland, next year to focus on being a stationery wholesaler, it said in a statement. The firm grew out of the UK's John Dickson & Co that opened in its first New Zealand branch in 1920, according to the company's website. The company is now a unit of US-based Office Depot Inc.

"I'm truly sorry for our staff that it has come to this but there are a number of external influences that have forced our hand," said managing director David Lilburne. "We are operating in an environment which has seen a decline in postal use and a reduction in demand for traditional paper based office products. Emails have replaced envelopes and writing pads.

"The widespread availability of cheaper imported products is also a factor as is the foreign exchange rate which impacts on our ability to successfully export products manufactured here," he said.

Closing the plant would result in 100 jobs being lost at the plant, it said. The company will make a final decision on Sept. 4.


Comments and questions

In the old days, all letters were written on tear-off pages from a Croxley
pad; some had printed lines, while other pads had clear unlined -- and more transparent -- pages with a dark-inked lined guide sheet underneath to help keep your writing even. And we learned to write, using an Osmiroid, or Sheaffer or Esterbrook fountain pens; rich folks used Parker pens.

Croxley’s iconic brands such as Olympic, Warwick and Collins are the stories of New Zealand pioneering entrepreneurs and businesses: from the returned servicemen who used their gratuities to set up the Olympic brand in 1948; to the Williamson brothers from Dunedin who co-founded the stationery wholesaler Wiljef, surviving the depression of the 1930s to continue manufacturing Warwick brand stationery; and Collins diaries with its heredity in 1819 Scotland, manufacturing the first diaries for the New Zealand market in 1881 from Sydney, and setting up in New Zealand in 1888. The Croxley brand of paper and envelopes have their roots in John Dickinson & Co, which opened its first New Zealand branch in 1920 and eventually became the company Croxley Stationery. Over the past several decades these New Zealand household brands have had various associations, gone through mergers, and have been bought and sold. They now all reside under the umbrella of Croxley Stationery. - historic links ...