“We need to continue to focus on selling the right things to the right customers,” says Janine Trutna, marketing director, BIG INK Display Graphics. “BIG INK Display Graphics does best executing all the little details of large, complicated projects. The challenge is wading through the market opportunities to find those that best fit our business focus, culture, and core values.”
“Being successful in the large-format arena requires being current in our technology, training, and products,” says Bloomingdale Signs by Tomorrow’s Schellerer. “Procedures and standards that we’re successful with today, won’t necessarily be effective in tomorrow’s marketplace. Our goal is to be the innovator rather than to follow trends. In our past experience, we’ve learned that if you’re just now jumping on the bandwagon, you’ve probably missed the parade.”
This year we had some substantial growth in the market—thanks to record numbers in 2012 and the entrance of several new firms in 2012. As a group, the Top 40 shops were up 94.04 percent in 2012 compared to 2011. If we were to look at just the shops reporting numbers year over year, there is a 20 percent increase in 2012 over 2011, up from just over 14 percent in 2011 and 7.8 percent in 2010.
The age of our companies averaged out a little over 30 years (31.3 years), with our oldest founded in 1910, 103-year-old Filmet from Cheswick, PA. This year, we have nine shops with more than 50 years in business: PacBlue Printing (65), Sharpe Images (62), superGraphics, a division of GM Nameplate (59), Alabama Graphics (57), Thomas Reprographics, Inc. (56), Coloredge New York * Los Angeles (54), Peeq Media (53), and Duggal Visual Solutions (50). Our youngest shop was established in 2007: reproHAUS based in San Diego, CA.
The total number of locations is up this year; 122 versus 106 in 2011. While most shops had only a handful of locations—ranging from one to four—six of our Top 40 list have five or more locations, with Richardson, TX-based Thomas Reprographics, Inc. topping out with 27, down one from last year’s 28. New York-based Duggal Visual Solutions has 11 locations, while superGraphics, a division of GM Nameplate has nine. reproHAUS Corp. is up one location this year to seven. Peeq Media and Sharpe Images boast five locations a piece. Additionally, the Top 40 Shops have plans to open up 16 new locations in 2013, down four from last year’s projected number.