We all know that the last 18-20 months have been unprecedented. The global economy has been altered on many different levels and the wide format print market segment saw no exception. However, signage and graphics communication are an essential part of society. Wide format print service providers (PSPs), while affected by COVID-19, were able to shift their application mix to weather the storm.
Let’s take a look at the top five reasons wide format is so resilient!
1. We’d Be Lost Without It: Signage Is Engrained in Society
In its simplest form, signage tells us where to go, when we arrived, and what we are looking for. During the early months of COVID-19 restrictions, wide format print even directed us where to stand, how to wash our hands, and what safety precautions to take.
As we move through economic recovery and continue to open up public events, demand for wide format event graphics is forecasted to grow significantly.
2. Less Is More: Profitability in Small Runs
While there are a lot of different products that wide format can produce, the topline product offerings haven’t changed too much regardless of economic conditions. Most important to note: the most-produced, short run applications prove to be the most profitable with each averaging a gross profit in excess of 50%.
3. Unmatched Versatility: Print on Just About Anything
While topline applications are the most profitable, there were only so many banners, decals, and signs to be made. While the future is showing promise, PSPs needed to take some creative steps over the last 18 months to fill the volume gap left from declining topline application volume. With an ability to print on just about any surface, UV and dye sublimation technology has allowed PSPs to offer unique products that can help the promote their business in different ways.
4. Small Is the New Big: Small Format Options for Home-Based Business Models
Throughout the pandemic and well into recovery, small, homebased business opportunities have grown more than ever before. With the demand for customization and just in time printing at an all-time high, small-sized, desktop solvent, UV, and sublimation products have allowed hobbyists to level up their offering with minimal investment.
5. The Need for Speed: Fast Turnaround for a Fast-Paced Market
We have all become accustomed to fast turnaround. We order something (often from our smartphone) and it arrives on our porch within 24 hours. As opposed to commercial print runs, volume doesn’t necessarily equate profitability with wide format applications. Many times, a customer only need 1 to 5 items (allowing for fast turnaround).
Keypoint Intelligence Opinion
While the COVID-19 pandemic may be subsiding, the challenge now lies in navigating through recovery.
As demand increases, supply chain disruption and labor shortages are slowing recovery. These are difficulties that are affecting all regions and business segments. That said, year after year, through some of the toughest challenges ever seen, wide format continues to fight back. We expect this trend to maintain as wide format continues prove its strength and resilience.
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