Steady As She Goes
Despite a softening economy, the retail market keeps moving along.
What goes up must come down. It's a law of gravity—and economics. But even in a sluggish economy some markets manage to stay afloat and help buoy sinking consumer confidence, and one of the best is the retail market.
Scott Mollahan, sales executive, Applied Graphics, San Rafael, Calif., has been designing retail print work for the wine industry for seven years. Although he admitted that business slipped a little bit last year, over the long haul, he said, it's remained pretty solid.
"One of the great things about the retail market is that it really doesn't have a slow period," said Mollahan. "The business world may slow down from time to time, but consumers still buy things."
Chip Grayson, president, SBF, Savannah, Ga., has been in the printing business since 1970, and though he admitted the ultra-competitive retail business can be a real bear at times, he also said it can be extremely rewarding.
"If you read the stock reports, the retail business is one of the few that's still clicking along right now," said Grayson. "It's tough work and it can be mentally draining, but financially, it's really rewarding."
And there's a perfectly good reason for that.
In addition to the retail market's extreme buoyancy, retail accounts have the added bonus of offering the opportunity to expand one account into hundreds. Because many retail stores have numerous locations, printing a mail piece for one store could turn into printing everything from forms to annual reports for the entire chain.
Of course, Mollahan cautioned, in order to land those accounts, you'll need to be able to provide start-to-finish service on a wide-variety of projects.
"Often, because the customer doesn't have a lot of time to find someone to take on the entire project, they'll go with the first person who can," warned Mollahan. "You have to be able to handle a project from design through delivery, otherwise you're not going to win the job."