Carole Middleton’s company has seen a ‘terrible Christmas’ of business and is now in a dispute with suppliers over their payment agreement, it has emerged.
The Princess of Wales’s mother owns party decoration supplier, Party Pieces.
It was founded in 1987 when Carole was looking for inspiration for her daughter Kate’s fifth birthday party.
But the company faced difficulty over the recent festive period with a dip in customer spending due to the cost of living crisis.
Carole, who famously started the business on her kitchen table, is now reportedly doing her utmost to bolster its prospects and has taken on the challenge herself by dealing directly with suppliers.
Carole founded the company in 1987 when she was looking for inspiration for her daughter Kate’s fifth birthday party
Kate’s mother Carole launched her party paraphernalia business in the US in October last year (pictured looking at the products and posters)
Carole Middleton pictured for Party Pieces campaign
A source told the Daily Mail: ‘Carole’s been explaining that it’s been a terrible Christmas — made worse by the postal strikes.
‘She’s emphasised that she’d like to continue doing business with them [the suppliers] but would like terms allowing Party Pieces 90 days [in which to pay for goods] rather than the usual 30 days.’
However, Carole’s appeal to suppliers has so far been unsuccessful.
‘They’re saying, “No” to 90 days’ credit,’
Carole admitted a year ago that the company was operating in a ‘competitive market’, adding: ‘We work hard to stay ahead of the trends and ensure we have original designs and “I wish I’d thought of that” products.’
Last October it was revealed that the firm racked up a loss of £285,506 in 2021, taking its total deficit to £1.35 million.
This was reportedly a consequence of ‘continued investment in the company’s growth plans, including the launch of a wholesale division and the opening of new territories in the U.S., Europe and Middle East’.
The brand’s best-selling Party Pieces Collection features products such as plates, napkins, cups, hats, balloons, treat stands and decorations.
The firm is based at Child’s Court Farm in Yattendon, Berkshire and employs around 40 people.
It comes after the brand launched a rewards system in November so customers can earn points by shopping, just weeks after the collection was expanded to the US.
Carole visited several US stores to see her products herself, which were featured alongside cardboard posters of her.
The Princess of Wales ‘ mother Carole Middleton recently launched a rewards system for her party paraphernalia business – weeks after expanding the company to the US
Carole has recently celebrated her 68th birthday at home this week, rather than on the ski slopes or in Mustique, the Caribbean island where she and her husband Michael visit often.
‘I often go away on holiday for my birthday,’ Carole announced on Party Pieces’ official Instagram account, ‘but this year I am bringing the sunshine to me by throwing a party featuring lots of bright and bold colours.’
Party Pieces has declined to comment.