If John Lennon was a capitalist (which he wasn’t, was he?), we can almost hear him singing, “Imagine all the profits … .” In the printing business these days, you never know from whence your next dollar may come. As print shops add services and value to buoy profits, sales can be generated...
To access the remainder of this piece of premium content, you must be registered with MyPrintResource. Already have an account? Login
Register in seconds by connecting with your preferred Social Network.
Complete the registration form.
If John Lennon was a capitalist (which he wasn’t, was he?), we can almost hear him singing, “Imagine all the profits … .” In the printing business these days, you never know from whence your next dollar may come. As print shops add services and value to buoy profits, sales can be generated from products unconsidered just a few short years ago. As an example, one Midwestern digital print firm is using Xeikon presses to output “shelf talker” labels for a US pharmacy chain. There also is big opportunity in wide-format print.
“Quick print providers … are taking aim at a market that has historically been dominated by sign franchises,” said InfoTrends’ Scott Harr. This trend is due primarily to the vast array of wide-format media now available for a range of applications, Harr noted.
Opportunities are ripe for printers to pick, according to Carol Spieckerman, CEO of retail strategy firm newmarketbuilders, particularly since retailers “are returning their attention to the physical platform of the store. There are unique benefits of having a brick-and-mortar presence,” she noted, adding that in-store and online need to coexist much like print and online. “When we talk about [retail] enhancements such as electronic signage, we can’t think in terms of obsolescence – that print is going away. It’s not. Instead, think of it as a complimentary strategy,” urged Spieckerman, an internationally recognized retail and brand thought leader, speaker, strategist, and author.
Thorough marketers in the second decade of the 21st century take an integrated, multichannel approach, and retail is no exception. Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets are not enemies of the print medium. It’s merely another way for retailers to reach consumers. “There’s a digital-physical interplay” between Internet websites, catalog orders, and actual stores, Spieckerman explained. Remember when once short-sighted JCPenney found out the hard way after temporarily shunning print and watching its sales nosedive?
Go for It!
“Stores may be smaller and more efficient, perhaps,” she said, “but they relate with customers” like nothing else; hence, the creative “showrooming” trend, Spieckerman explained. The pendulum of change has swung back, she insisted, and stores once again are being viewed as much more than merely a drain on financial and human resources. “Trust me, they’re not in an over-managed, cost-cutting mode anymore,” she emphasized. In fact, many retailers have a refreshed attitude, becoming more localized, even hyper-local. “They’re changing products by store, by region, even down to neighborhoods,” she added.
With localization comes an inherent sustainability advantage for printers as well. “The retailers are using local sourcing and lowering transportation costs,” so it’s a win-win scenario for them and for local printers, she noted.
Spieckerman encourages local print firm owners and sales reps not to shy away from large retail prospects, despite what may have happened in the past. “I understand that many people are used to being said ‘no’ to,” she explained, “but there has been a core-business shift over the past one to two years; a realization that they [retailers] can’t do everything themselves organically. There has been a rush to partner with agile firms that are proactive and innovative.” However, if print firm management doesn’t open its collective mind to new possibilities, she warned, they risk missing such shifts and swings in the marketplace.
Another twist is the new blood in retail, as more people are brought in from outside the industry in a push to think outside the proverbial box and “bring back the excitement in store,” as Spieckerman put it. This, too, poses an opportunity for printers whose pitches can be presented to new decision-makers rather than falling on the same, old deaf ears.