Tyrrell Publicity & Promotions

Tyrrell Publicity & Promotions

Level 2, 10-16 Queen Street, Melbourne, 3000
PH: (03) 9629 7000    e: leanne@tyrrellpr.com.au

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FAMILY COMPANY MERCHANDISERS FOR AUS OLYMPIC TEAM


Family businesses account for around 70% of all businesses in Australia. They come in all shapes and sizes but none are quite the same shape and size as this one. This is the story of one family business that started selling paper bags out of their suburban garage more than 50 years ago and now boasts a national network of over 4000 customers and 18 stores. It’s a powerful story of perseverance and opportunity; of family cooperation and drive. They sell products most of us use every day and other products we might use once a year.

Everything they sell creates an energy, excitement and sense of togetherness within an otherwise disconnected society.
They hold the official merchandise agreements for Australia's major sporting events and the first and only Official Licensees for the Australian Olympic Team Decorations and Display Merchandise. An agreement they have held since Sydney 2000.
They promote made in Australia and are passionately Australian. They donate sales from Official Products back to the Australian Olympic Team.
They are Claude Lombard and his three daughters Danielle, Michelle and Anouk; together they operate Lombard The Paper People and they want to see Australia show its colours for Rio 2016.


EARLY BEGINNINGS
Hard work and drive is in the Lombard genes. Claude's father, Alexander Lombard, started the business in his garage at age 63 and one year later Claude had joined him in the family business.
"I used to cut a tonne of white butcher's paper, one inch at a time for bakeries. If they are still in business they still buy from us" Claude Lombard
From their first store in Melbourne in the 70's, Lombard The Paper People has developed a loyal corporate customer base and is the largest independent owned paper business in Australia selling disposable paper products, party decorations and event merchandise. This year they will sell 400,000 cartons of coffee cups: recyclable and made in Australia.
"We are a very unusual company. There is no-one else like us. We sell more balloons daily than coffee cups- in fact we are not motivated by money, that's just a sideline" Claude Lombard
"Now we sell more in an hour than we used to sell in a year when we first started." Claude Lombard

THE WAREHOUSE FIRE
In the early hours of November 11, 2004 the business was struck with its biggest disaster when its head office and warehouse in Flemington burned down. It was the largest Australian warehouse fire on record at the time, but Lombard The Paper People were fully operational the next day, thanks to their loyal staff and national warehousing network.
It was a very difficult time for the family and the business but with the help of the local community, the family and staff who worked tirelessly to rebuild and continue supply to their loyal customers.
"Only 4% of businesses can bounce back after a crisis like that and then only 4% are still in business a year later. Look at us; 10 years on and still going. There is no one like us," Claude Lombard.

NO FAMILY CONFLICT
Whilst many family businesses deal with internal conflict and disagreements regularly, the Lombard family seems to avoid it.
"There are no conflicts because we all think the same. We are not motivated by money- only to do a good job and be successful," Claude Lombard.
At a recent promotional photo shoot for the 2016 Olympic merchandise; there was only laughter and jokes as the three generation of the Lombard family posed for the photographer.

ABOUT CLAUDE LOMBARD
His three daughters started working in the business as soon as they finished university and now operate most areas but Claude Lombard, Philanthropist and Australia Day Ambassador is not planning to throw it in just yet.
He is fit and energetic, with a creative mind thanks to his active lifestyle and young mind set. He goes seven rounds in the boxing ring every Thursday morning and goes to the gym twice a week with the same training partners he has had for over 40 years, and goes to yoga on Wednesdays. Prior to that, his sport was fencing where Claude showed his traits of patriotism, loyalty and drive.
Claude was ironically himself awarded an honorary Olympics medal for his work in lobbying that sport should be apolitical and athletes should not be pawns in politics. He was successful in sending the Australian Olympic Fencing Team to the 1980 Moscow Olympics and they competed under the international Olympic Flag.
This medal hangs with many other treasures in Claude's art studio where the accomplished artist - creates abstract artwork of great proportions and paintings, which he exhibits regularly at shows and exhibitions throughout Victoria. The family are now working closely with the Australian Olympic team.
Claude has great empathy for those less fortunate having migrated to Australia from England on a £5 ticket assisted passage. He was awarded his Australia Day honour for his philanthropic work.

He is a voluntary member of the Melbourne Day Committee which acknowledges the date of August 30 as the date when the Enterprize schooner sailed up the Yarra to find a site for a town called Melbourne.
He wears eccentric socks with matching pocket kerchiefs and is not afraid to wear a funny hat for a photo shoot.

THE NEXT STAGE
There is a succession plan for the three daughters, who have been coming to work with their father since they were in nappies, to continue the business. They already have a pact- unanimous agreement or it won't go ahead.
"In 1988 I was interviewed and then I said there is no limit to this company. I still think the same way. In this business it's about deciding which apple on the tree you want." Claude Lombard
The head office reception wall is a tribute to the family and the business and their involvement in the development of Melbourne as an events capital with personal thankyou letters, photos and articles from major event organisers from the Pink Ribbon Day, AFL and NRL Grand Finals and Spring Racing Carnival.
Now Lombard The Paper People want to encourage fervour, energy and patriotism for Australia at the 2016 Olympics.
So in summary - words from the man himself to his fellow Australians.........
"Show your Aussie colours and gratitude for a country that is indeed the land of opportunity"