A statement regarding the recent pandemic, the loss of our wholesalers Bertrams Trading and its impact on our business.
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have been put under a lot of pressure as revenue has been severely hit, and normal business practices halted. Fantom has been no different.
In our case, multiple events have had to be postponed with revenue from forthcoming ticket sales disappearing overnight. We have been unable to sell our products through trade outlets, and new titles and projects have been paused.
In yet another blow, on Friday evening, we learnt that our wholesalers Bertrams has gone into administration, citing the pandemic and changing habits in customer behaviour as the reasons for their closure.
Bertrams had been non-operational since the beginning of the pandemic, and therefore all our third-party sales (including Amazon) were paused. They have been working their way through existing stock on their own shelves and those at the wholesalers. We had hoped that, with bookshops opening last week, there would be a slow return to normality with books ordered and pushed through the supply chain as before.
However, this will not materialise.
Now that Bertrams has ceased trading, a major disruption to our supply chain has been created. We will be working hard to correct this with other distributors and wholesalers, but this will take some time to arrange. Ultimately, this will see most titles out of stock in many online stores for the next few weeks.
Bertrams has gone into administration owing Fantom a five-figure sum of money from unpaid invoices dating back to before Christmas. It is unlikely that we will see even a small percentage of the money. This will not only impact on us, but also our hard-working authors who rely on their royalties from our titles.
We can confirm that, unless noted otherwise, titles are in print and available to purchase direct from us in the meantime through our website. There will inevitably be a delay to forthcoming and yet to be announced projects, but we are committed to continuing to bring a range of exciting and diverse titles to market.
At this point we ask for your help. As a small, independent company, we need our customers more than ever to survive.
Now is the time to purchase the book you have always wanted. Now is the time to tell your friends about the great audios you have listened too. Now is the time to look towards booking your tickets for future events. We need your help. You have been great supporters, many of you for over a decade now, and we hope you will continue to be during these very uncertain times.
Thank you for your time and support, and wishing everyone safe and well.