Round ‘Em Up
Following a year fraught with layoffs, plummeting stocks and other financial woes, it seems plausible to write off the industry as another casualty of the economy. However, similar to the surprising developments of a topsy-turvy Wall Street, the printed products industry continues to create a legacy, with no intentions of backing down anytime soon. In fact, total annual sales figures for the top 100 manufacturers surpassed last year’s reported $2.97 billion, reaching a high of $3.05 billion for the last fiscal year completed.
Several individual product sectors were also on the rise. For instance, labels and tags sales were up at $567.6 million (2007: $507 million); commercial print sales reached $387.7 million (2007: $190 million); promotional products sales for this year were $126.1 million (2007: $94 million); plastic products sales resulted in $116.9 million (2007: $93 million); and digital print sales came in at $43.6 million (2007: $26 million). In addition, the “Other” category was up at $724.8 million (2007: $701 million). Envelopes remained the most common response for this category for a second year in a row. Other contenders in this category were roll products, decals, fulfillment and document and finishing supplies.
Surprisingly, forms still dominated suppliers’ sales figures, but did not reach last year’s numbers of $931 million. Instead, forms products comprised $813.4 million of product sales. In addition, direct mail figures decreased this year, averaging at $89.9 million (2007: $104 million), as did barcode sales with $6.8 million (2007: $8 million).
As the 2008 presidential election rapidly approaches, with both party candidates touting platforms of change, take heed: Change is what creates great historical accomplishments. So, before entering the 2009 business year, determine how a changing climate can work in your favor.
(*Factors to consider when interpreting sales figures are ongoing industry consolidations and responses reporting idiosyncrasies.)
Related story: Standing Their Ground