2009 delivered some of the darkest days our industry has ever experienced. And being a Top 100 company didn't provide any shelter from the economic turbulence. Quick and small commercial printers have weathered storms before, but this recession was a real beast in anyone's book.
This year's Top 100 sales decreased 15.56% on the year for a total of $512,447,521. That reflects the departure of Ginny's Printing at the request of its management. Trukmann's Reprographics also exited the list for failure to report for three consecutive years. Both companies were Top 100 members of long standing and their combined sales in 2008 totaled $27.11 million—a significant loss to the group.
(To view the 2010 Top 100 Chart as a PDF, please click here.)
Of course, a certain percentage of the list shifts from year to year. While most companies return, there are always a few that drop out and are replaced by newcomers. So in addition to comparing the companies reporting this year against last year's group, we also measure them against their own performance in the previous year. This year's group reported 2009 sales down by 13.33% compared to its own 2008 sales.
In order to avoid wild swings from one year to the next, when a company that has previously reported sales of $5 million or more fails to update its numbers, we keep it in the list, but report it as having estimated sales figures. Normally, unless we have verifiable information that tells us differently, we leave their sales at the last amount they reported. This year, however, was in no way "normal." Since the 11 companies that failed to report had to operate in the same economic conditions as everyone else in the list, it would be unfair to assume that their sales levels held steady. To achieve some semblance of fairness, we found the average sales difference for the entire group (8.88%) and reduced the sales of those 11 businesses by that amount. And yes, they were informed in advance that this would be done.
There are two companies in this year's list that have failed to update their numbers for the second year in a row. If they do not report updated sales figures next year, they will be removed from the list. They are #14 Brandon's Communications Group and #30 MarketPlaceDirect, with aggregate sales of $11.84 million.
There are 12 new companies in this year's list. The highest ranking debut company is ASAP Printing Corp. in Salt Lake City, which took the #4 spot with sales of $13.6 million. Another high ranking newcomer is #22 Elm Press of Terryville, CT, with sales of $6 million. The cutoff for making the list slipped below $2.5 million for the first time in several years. This year's bottom line was $2.25 million.
As the face of our industry segment changes, a couple of new applicants challenged our concept of what constitutes a quick/small commercial printer. You might be surprised to see a BCT among the entries. But after reviewing the services the company offers and its apparent relationship to the business community in Houston, TX, where it is based, we concluded that there was no reason to exclude it. The same goes for Pad & Publication Assembly Corporation. The company is extremely focused on a specific niche, but the equipment being used, products offered, and the way its president Joan Buehler promotes the business seem to fit the model. Both companies made the cut.
Top 10 Thunder
There was a fairly serious shakeup in the Top 10, due primarily to the exit of former #3 Ginny's Printing and a precipitous fall by last year's #5 Direct Connect Solutions. AlphaGraphics (Alphaprint), last year's #9 shop also slid out of the Top 10 to land at #12 this year.
The first two spots are still held by the quick printing divisions of commercial printers CCI/ Coakley Tech and Balmar, respectively. ColorNet/Rockville Printing & Graphics moved from #4 to #3 and the #4 spot was taken by debut company ASAP Printing. Econoprint (Madison) moved up one slot to #5, Western Graphics jumped from #8 to #6, and AccuCopy stepped from #10 to the #7 rung. Landmark Print and Hatteras Printing broke into the Top 10 at #8 and #9, respectively. Copy Central (Fairbanks Enterprises) rounded out the top dogs at #10, but that marks a slide from its previous spot at #7.