TSA chief notes some optimism in face of Covid-19 crisis

9 September 2020

The latest update from David Stevens, CEO, the Textile Services Association (TSA) to its members is noticeably more upbeat in its tone than previously. Stevens told members: “No one is pretending that the next 12 months will be easy, and the recent results from the Business Pulse Survey show most of us believe we will not return to pre-Covid revenue levels for 24 months.

“However, I am more optimistic that we are starting to see some recovery and I have had many reports that August has been better than expected with one or two laundries even busier than last year.” He continued to say the team at the TSA is fully aware it needs to continue to offer support and that it had many new members now on board.

Stevens also revealed the Business Pulse Survey among members highlighted that since lockdown 57% of people’s revenue trend is well below their expectations which almost goes hand in hand with 61% describing their current trading as well below average. “Unfortunately, as we expected, the time people estimate their business to return to pre-COVID-19 revenue levels has increased with 52% selecting the longest option of 24 months,” commented Stevens.

Meanwhile, the TSA continues to lobby Parliament for relief for laundries and has also announced board member Mark Wolfenden has been tasked to lead the lobbying project team as it plans to launch a two-message attack: one focused on a healthcare agenda with the other on the short-term support for the hospitality laundries.

On healthcare, Stevens said he is encouraged that there is dialogue between NHSI and the Cabinet office (“we have clearly got laundry on the agenda and they definitely know who the TSA are now”). He reported that the Cabinet Office has asked for advice on how to sterilise single use gowns as they have very large stocks of non-sterile gowns. “While we don’t want single use gowns long term at least we are now being consulted and we are part of the conversation.  The Cabinet Office has acknowledged that they want to go reusable but use the existing stock first.”  TSA has been told they still Cabinet Office to establish a user group to develop the reusable isolation gowns proposal.

Stevens also reported briefly on the experiences of other national trade associations:

France: uncertainties prevail but August trading quite good and above expectations

Germany: good trading in tourist areas but cities still very quiet

Australia: still quarantined, tourism seriously affected and volumes very low

Belgium: hospitality still down and sector suffering. Easier to find workers!

Finland: few restrictions remain. Government support for fixed costs continues and volumes picking up well

Czechia: city hotels half empty but tourism sites picking up

Norway: few restrictions now in place with volumes recovering well

Switzerland: turnover back to 70% - 90% depending on exposure to hospitality sector

Since the start of 2020, TSA has now had a total of 28 new members joining with a mix of laundries and supply partners. To become a Member of the TSA, please get in touch at [email protected] or call 0203 151 5600.



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