The Next Big Thing
As reported in the October issue of Print Professional, total annual sales figures for the Top 100 Suppliers took a small hit. Would the industry's leading distributors follow in their footsteps? This year's numbers proved to be a mixed bag.
Total revenue for the Top 100 Distributors wasn't as high as last year's $2.6 billion, coming in at $2.3 billion. It is important to note the absence of one major player in the 2011 list. Dayton, Ohio-based WorkflowOne LLC put forth an admirable showing with annual sales totaling $580.7 million. However, because the company could not disclose how much of that figure consisted of distributor sales versus manufacturing sales, Print Professional was not able to accept WorkflowOne's submission.
A low participation rate offers another explanation for a decrease in sales volumes. Similar to the suppliers, some companies opted not to participate this time around—perhaps they were privately owned or simply hesitant to release any financial shortcomings.
Something interesting did happen with the individual product sectors. In last year's analysis, Print Professional anticipated a possible upset for business forms as promotional products and commercial printing inched closer to the defending champion. Our predictions came true. Business forms fell to third place with sales of $183.2 million—a major fall from $446.5 million in 2010. Commercial printing nabbed second place, with sales averaging at $236.8 million (2010: $295.2 million). Promotional products took top billing with sales totaling $261.9 million (2010: $285 million).
Overall, many distributors failed to break down their total revenue according to individual product sectors. As a result, there wasn't a single hint of improvement (as partly seen above). And, some losses were more significant than others.
Labels & tags accounted for $84 million (2010: $131.6 million) and envelopes/folders/stationery comprised $60.2 million of sales (2010: $106.8 million).