Where’s print going? Online v Local

I was saddened to find out that a well established Kent  based printer had downsized, sold its presses and laid off its entire staff.  That’s a sad day for any business especially one that’s been around for  decades. Even sadder are the reasons why – your local printer is struggling to  compete against the on-line budget print services.

I’ve been in the print game for over 30 years and seen this  decline in the past but unlike the present problem past declines were caused by  economic recession. This decline is in part due to the economy but compounded  by the rise in popularity of the internet. Letters have been replaced by emails, catalogues replaced by  on-line shops and flyers replaced my mass email marketing. Local printers have also  been hit by on-line print sales websites offering printing so affordable the  local guy can’t even buy the paper that cheap!

I’ve also noticed that the savvier client only requires the  print design (a service we offer, see printing services in Kent)  so they can find the best deal themselves which is OK by me as the margin on  print is so low.

So where is print  going? Unless you require a specialist product or a high print run buy  on-line. You’d think so wouldn’t you. But no, think again. The local printers  that are still trading can match and can beat the on-line guys.

They’ve renamed themselves within the trade and are known as  print farmers. A print farmer buys his print from trade suppliers getting big  discounts. They know the value of their print job and stay competitive. They  also offer ‘The knowledge’ that you can’t get on-line. Print can throw up some  issues and it takes an experienced printer (farmer or actual) to sort them out  or warn you in advance.

Avoid disappointment, stay local, support you local printer  and get a quality product in return.

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