While digital retail signs are an up and coming trend—market research firm iSuppi Corp., in its report "Economic Downturn Impacts Growth of Signage and Professional Market", projects global shipments of retail digital signs are set to rise to 2.5 million units by 2013, a 26.8 percent CAGR from...
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While digital retail signs are an up and coming trend—market research firm iSuppi Corp., in its report "Economic Downturn Impacts Growth of Signage and Professional Market", projects global shipments of retail digital signs are set to rise to 2.5 million units by 2013, a 26.8 percent CAGR from 2008—the word on the street is that the printed POP is alive and well in retail environments worldwide.
"Printed retail signage is absolutely not suffering," proclaims Ken Hanulec, vice president marketing Inkjet Solutions, EFI. "There is more print than ever. Perhaps in select locations, like Times Square in New York City, you clearly see a majority of LED-based signage, but print is alive and doing well and growing worldwide."
In its most recent Market Trends Survey Report, published in 2011, SGIA cites retail stores and corporate branding (which can also be a part of the retail environment) as two of the five top markets for graphics producers, on the rise since 2007 and still growing. Leading forecaster IT Strategies projects that the worldwide retail value of wide-format inkjet output, in the 2010-2015 period, will increase at a CAGR of eight percent, from $36 billion to $51 billion, with POP signage accounting for about 40 percent of all wide-format volume.
A Big Trend
One of the biggest trends to hit the retail signage market—and helping to drive its growth in the print market—is the proliferation of digital wide-format devices, particularly inkjet and LED-based technologies. "While there is still a lot of retail signage produced via offset or screen presses, we are in the midst of a massive analog to digital conversion," says Hanulec.
"Wide-format inkjet, in particular for retail signage, continues to show amazing growth," states Deborah Hutcheson, director of marketing for Agfa Graphics, North America. "As traditional printers migrate to digital inkjet, they realize they are capable of providing customers with practically every printing application. Our objective is to educate our customers and help them become more efficient and profitable. For retail signage printers specifically, the quality, speed and ROI benefits they are looking for can be found in digital inkjet technology."
Digital wide-format devices are nearly immune to fast turnaround times, make print more cost effective for shorter run lengths, and allow for more relevant, targeted displays coveted by retail chains and brands alike.
"In today's retail market, it's all about creating an engaging environment for shoppers," says Thomas Rizzi, chief sales officer at WorkflowOne, a Dayton, OH-based provider of print management, production, and distribution services for the retail market. "POP materials that are customized for a local area and in sync with other marketing efforts can help drive shoppers' buying habits. Consumer preferences change by geographic location, seasons of the year, and their lifestyles, for example, and customized signage allow retail chains and brands to cost-effectively take advantage of the variety of possibilities."
UniGraphic Inc., a Woburn, MA full-service marketing fulfillment shop, brought in an EFI Vutek GS3250LX and an Inca Onset S40 to meet clients' requests to produce higher quality images at faster speeds for the national launch of retail marketing campaigns. The GS3250LX, featuring EFI's LED "Cool Cure" curing technology, gives UniGraphic the fast production speed and 1,000 dpi capability necessary to meet retailers' requirements.
UniGraphic's newest wide-format devices join a Vutek 5330 and Vutek QS3200, more than quadrupling the shop's capacity when delivering simultaneous campaign materials to national retail chains.
In the spring of 2011, Vertis Communications expanded its creative and production services with the installation of a HP Scitex FB700 inkjet printer for large-format POP/POS displays and in-store signage. Vertis, which has two other HP Scitex printers, a LX800 and a FB7500, is leveraging the technology to help clients maximize the appeal of their marketing campaigns.