CPrint International, a non-traditional franchisor that essentially provides business management services to existing printing companies that want to boost their profitability, is another group that is found only in North America. It’s total sales slipped by 1.61 percent to $85,349,109 on the year.
SPS Shows Progress
The one bright spot in this year’s Franchise Review is average sales per shop (SPS), particularly in North America. Even here, there are a few instances of averages falling. Average system-wide sales per shop, across the board, were down by one percent at $624,864. The average North American SPS, however, was $667,730; a gain of 2.7 percent.
CPrint International boasted the highest average SPS of any system at $1,090,184. Even though that was down 3.22 percent on the year, it is still the only system topping $1 million in average SPS in this year’s survey.
Allegra Network reported average SPS of $970,707; reflecting a slight dip of 0.26 percent on the year. It should be noted that the company indicates this average SPS is only for the Allegra Marketing • Print • Mail brand. Working from gross sales figures, the full system-wide average SPS is probably closer to $765,306. If we extrapolate to adjust the system’s 2011 sales figures, the average SPS for 2011 would have been $746,221; a gain of a little more than 0.2 percent.
AlphaGraphics’ average SPS fell by 4.72 percent to $955,989. This is the first time in several years, including the recessionary years, that the system’s SPS has fallen below $1 million. Its North American average SPS, however was up by 1.72 percent to $964,375.
The FSI brands saw 2012 average system-wide SPS grow by 1.92 percent to $765,700. FSI’s North American average SPS experienced strong growth of 7.26 percent to $804,474; an encouraging high point in an otherwise dreary report.
Minuteman’s average SPS was reported at an even $500,000; showing a 3.4 percent increase. At $455,729, its North American average SPS was up by 0.52 percent on the year.
The high note for the ICED brands in 2012 was a 0.17 percent increase in system-wide average SPS, which totaled $464,612. Unfortunately, that good news did not carry over to the system’s North American franchisees, who saw average SPS fall by 7.62 percent to $472,229.
Shop Numbers Lose More Ground
The number of franchised quick/small commercial print shops in our franchise systems fell by 2.3 percent in 2012. The total of 2,512 locations reflects a loss of 60 shops. Some of those shops left their franchisors to go independent. Some others fell to consolidation, and a few simply went out of business. Shops located in North America numbered 1,966, or 78 percent of the total.
The vast majority of these printing facilities are franchisee owned, but five belong to the franchisors themselves. Allegra, AlphaGraphics, and ICED each operate one company-owned location and FSI has two.
AlphaGraphics was the only system that did not decline in shop numbers during 2012. It added one new location for a total of 285. It has 248 shops in North America; four fewer than in 2011.
Minuteman has the most locations, with a total of 912, and 768 of those are in North America. It lost five shops (0.55 percent) in 2012.
FSI reported a total of 554 locations, 418 of which conduct business in North America. It lost a total of 20 locations (3.61 percent) last year.
ICED saw 17 shops (4.34 percent) leave its system in 2012. It still has 392 shops, with 163 on this continent.
CPrint saw its shop count drop by 10 (13.33 percent) for a total of 75, all in North America. As previously noted, CPrint is a non-traditional franchise and its business model is such that franchisees sign only a two-year agreement, so its membership is constantly in a state of flux.
Breaking a Sweat
Even in a slow year, it takes a lot of effort to produce sales of nearly $1.57 billion. For the first time, we asked the franchises to break out Web-based services as a separate category. The move toward adding marketing services, including cross-media campaigns, gets a lot of ink and a lot of talk, so it makes sense to begin measuring this crucial element of that mix. In its debut appearance, the category accounted for 1.1 percent of sales, which is equivalent to $17,266,232. That number will certainly grow as the category becomes better defined.