Commercial Print Remains Robust
Plenty of work and wealth keeps the commercial print market strong.
When it comes to paper-based products, commercial printing may be one of the most stable products in the forms industry. Ranking second only to forms in a recent survey conducted by BFL&S, commercial printing accounts for 22.3 percent of our Top 100 Distributors' sales. This is because the market for colorful, full-process print work continues to be infinite. At least, that is what several distributors, whose commercial printing sales account for a large percentage of their revenue, are saying. But will the market for commercial print remain strong?
Andrew Duke, co-owner of Metrographics Printing & Computer Services, Fairfield, N.J., thinks so.
"Commercial print opportunities will continue to increase because so much of the market is still untapped," Duke said. "In fact, commercial printing actually fell into our laps about 15 years ago because our existing customers started requesting it. Now it accounts for 70 percent of our business."
And the abundance doesn't appear to be diminishing. According to Janis McNeal, president of McNeal Graphics, Memphis, Tenn., "There are 500 commercial print companies in Memphis alone. Simply stated, there are a lot of end-users for this market, considering that most companies need training manuals, brochures and folders."
In many cases, those end-users are already clients for whom distributors are providing other products. This is the situation for Monroe, Washington-based Merrill Corporation. According to Vice President Jeff Scott, commercial print became a natural extension of its distribution and fulfillment programs.
"With a need for commercial print already existing among our clients, offering it has become a way to maintain our stance as a single-source provider—a characteristic that is highly desirable within the industry," he said.
In that way, he added, commercial print has proven to be lucrative for Merrill. "It leverages our distribution and fulfillment programs as well as our technical expertise," said Scott.