October 14, 2019

Printing Industry Profit

In case you missed this chart from the newsletter that Paul Stuit sends ... take a peek:

The red line is inflation-adjusted shipments ... and if you think there is a catalog revival, the overall data suggests otherwise. Print is in dire shape at a macro level, down 50% over nearly two decades.

The blue line is profit. If profit is flat and inflation-adjusted shipments are down, that means your friendly printer "might" be squeezing you. Only you can know for sure ... ask 'em, right?

You can see that the industry began to die in 2001, collapsed in 2008, and has been trending into oblivion ever since, save for a modest bump in recent months.

I'm sure printers will tell you that I'm interpreting the data wrong, and I'm confident that the industry will chime in with a "catalogs are making a revival" theme, pointing to one e-commerce brand that send a couple of catalogs without any discipline as proof that all is well.

Take care of your e-commerce business.

Take care of your merchandising strategy.

Take care of your pricing strategy.

Complement all of it with print if it is profitable to do so and if your customer is age 62+.

But do not listen to the pundits ... listen to your customers, ok?

P.S.:  There's plenty of commentary on this print-centric website about the death of the PRINT conference (click here) ... the world changed 18 years ago and the changes are catching up with the industry.

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