Survey Shows Decline in Offset Printing Sales, Growth for Signs, Banners and Large-Format
Offset sales in 2014 are in decline in all but the fastest growing shops; however, even there growth is reported at less than 1 percent. Meanwhile, sales from signs, banners and large format are seeing growth across the board. This data from the new National Print Owners Association (NPOA) Business Climate Survey "clearly supports the conventional wisdom that sales from traditional offset printing are fading," according to survey author and NPOA Executive Director John Stewart. "This data also confirms that these declines are being offset in the more successful shops by new profit opportunities," he added.
As a whole, the 2014 sales projection data from the survey's 250 respondents shows an average decline in offset sales of 4.7 percent. Meanwhile, sales of signs, banners, and large format are seeing a 10 percent growth, followed by digital copying and printing (6.8 percent), mailing services (4.2 percent), graphics and Web design (3.0 percent), and advertising specialties (2.5 percent). Survey responses were then divided into three categories: companies projecting negative sales growth; companies projecting growth from 0 percent to 7.9 percent; and shops projecting growth of 8 percent or more.
Offset sales were down the most (10.7 percent) at companies projecting negative sales growth. In fact, sales for these companies were down across the board except in the signs/banners/large format category where they were up slightly at 1.5 percent.
At the companies projecting growth between 0 percent and 7.9 percent, offset sales were down 2.3 percent. Sales for signs/banners/large format were up 8.9 percent followed by digital copying and printing (5.4 percent), ad specialties (4.0 percent), mailing services (2.8 percent), and graphics and Web design (2.8 percent).
Companies with 8 percent sales growth or more had offset sales growth of 0.9 percent but showed exceptional growth in all other departments. Signs/banners/large format sales were up 22.1 percent with digital copying and printing up 17.5 percent, mailing services up 17.3 percent, graphics and Web design up 8.9 percent, and ad specialties up 5.7 percent.
"Attempting to pursue and improve offset printing sales when those sales are declining significantly across the country may be the wrong path to follow," says Stewart. "Changing focus regarding income opportunities, even at the risk of going against what you have done for the past 20 years, may be called for-especially if your sales are down."
NPOA is dedicated to delivering products and services that enhance the growth and profitability of its small commercial print members including advocacy, educational programs, publications, research, and the sharing of technical information. Since its founding in mid-December 2012, it has reached the 400-member mark with a goal of 450 by the end of 2014. The Second Annual NPOA Spring Owners Conference was held February 27 to March 2, 2014 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and attracted 150 members, vendors and guests-an increase of 15 percent over 2013. The 2015 National Owners Conference will be held in Orlando, Fla., from Thursday April 16 through Saturday April 18 at the Buena Vista Palace Hotel overlooking Downtown Disney. For more information, visit www.printowners.org.