COVID-19 Print Business Indicators Research Highlights the Pandemic’s Effect on First Half Sales for Graphic and Sign Producers
To help printing companies navigate through the current crisis to the recovery on the other side, NAPCO Research and the PRINTING United Alliance have launched COVID-19 Print Business Indicators Research. This is the third in a series of reports that examines the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on the printing industry, how printers are responding to the crisis, and how they can create a path forward. This survey tracks key indicators across a cross section of printing companies, including commercial printers, graphic and sign producers, apparel decorators, functional printers, and package printers/converters. Click here to download an Executive Summary of the report.
Printing United Alliance members can download the full report here: https://www.sgia.org/resources/research/covid19-print-business-indicators
And PIA members here: https://www.printing.org/covid-19-resources/covid-19-print-business-indicators
This article focuses on key findings from commercial printers participating in the third survey. Our fourth survey will soon be in the field and open for any graphic and sign producers to participate. Please stay vigilant for the link to take the 3-5 minute survey.
Comparison of 2019 and 2020 First Half Sales Highlight the Brutal Effects of COVID on Graphic and Sign Producers
Participants in the most recent COVID-19 Print Indicators Research were asked to provide their first half sales for both 2019 and 2020. This provided insight into how much printers have been hurt by virus-related issues. Nearly 85.7% of companies indicated that sales were lower in the first half of 2020 than in 2019. These firms reported an average sales decline of 26.4%. While the vast majority of firms struggled, only 9.5% of graphic and sign producers were able to increase their sales year-over-year. Those who were fortunate enough to see a rise in sales reported an average increase of 33.6%. These firms were likely able to pivot to COVID-Related products and signage or they likely served markets that were boosted by the pandemic. Moving forward, printers must move strategically to capture opportunities while remaining vigilant as COVID-related opportunities will eventually dry up and they must create new business opportunities:
Printers Are Much Less Pessimistic About the Future
For each of the previous survey periods for this research, printers were asked about their confidence moving forward. Firms are asked whether they anticipate business to increase, decrease or stay the same over the next month. With so much uncertainty, firms are also able to indicate that they are not sure. While the percentage of respondents indicating improvement over the next month has steadied after its large rise between survey periods one and two, the number of firms indicating a decrease is much more important. This number continues to fall as the percentage of pessimistic printers is now in the single digits at 7.3%. Around half (48.8%) of graphic and sign producers expect things to remain pretty consistent while only 2.4% are still unsure what the next month holds.
The General and Panel COVID-19 Print Business Indicators Report
The full version of the report digs deeper into all of the data mentioned above plus much more!
The report includes sections on:
- Previous 30 days sales numbers
- 2019 vs. 2020 first half sales for the industry and segments
- Index Data including trends for sales, production, employment, prices, profitability, quote activity, work-on-hand, payroll production hours and confidence
- Revenues lost from client closures
- COVID-Related sales figures
- Total employment change since the beginning of 2020
- Market shifts following COVID
- How companies are planning beyond COVID-19
- The outlook of the economy in 2020 and into 2021
- Must-dos for printers and how to execute (Panel Edition)
- Merger and Acquisition insight (Panel Edition)
Participate in the COVID-19 Print Business Indicators Research
In today’s unprecedent business environment, making decisions based on facts has never been more important. In the weeks and months ahead, reliable industry business indicators will be essential for monitoring what’s happening in all printing industry segments. The COVID-19 Print Business Indicators Research is an essential resource for monitoring industry conditions and the NAPCO and PRINTING United Alliance research teams invite you to join our business panel and contribute to the research on an ongoing basis. Companies that join the panel will receive an exclusive version of the report that includes additional data and analysis. To join the Covid-19 research panel, please click here.
David Wilaj reports on economic and industry trends which aim to help printers navigate an ever-changing business environment
He joins the Printing United Alliance research team after beginning his career at Printing Industries of America where he analyzed, reported and spoke on key trends in commercial print and aided in the revitalization of the historic Performance Ratios program.