Commercial Printers

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 23,400 commercial printers in the US produce brochures, ads, books, packaging, business cards, and other output for clients. They are in the midst of a transition to digital technologies and electronic media.

Rapid Technological Change

The transition to digital technology has accelerated the rate of equipment change in the printing industry.

Weak Printing Demand

The commercial printing industry has seen falling demand for printed advertising materials caused by the shift to electronic media.

Industry size & Structure

The average commercial printer has about 16 employees and generates $3.3 million in annual revenue.

    • The industry consists of 23,400 firms with 377,800 employees and revenue of $78 billion.
    • Digital communications are replacing print for advertising, direct mail, magazines, books, and other business publications.
    • Digital printing has reduced the barriers to entry for commercial printing. The new competition consists of quick printing companies and companies doing their own printing in-house.
    • Industry-wide employment fell 20% from 2011 to 2020.
    • Most firms are privately-held and 85% of firms have less than 20 employees.
    • Large firms include RR Donnelley, Quad/Graphics, Transcontinental Printing, and Cenveo.
                                    Industry Forecast
                                    Commercial Printers Industry Growth
                                    Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                    Recent Developments

                                    Mar 15, 2023 - Printing, Packaging Firms’ Profitability Drops
                                    • Printing and packaging firms’ profitability was down in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared to Q3, according to a recent survey by Semper Workforce Solutions. Firms said their profitability in Q4 was 4-6% compared to 8% or higher in Q3. However, nearly all respondents reported higher revenues in 2022 than in 2021. Looking to Q1 2023, printing and packaging firms said they expect sales to drop, mainly due to rising interest rates. Labor remained the top concern for printing and packaging companies in Q4, although most indicated that labor supply was loosening and upward wage pressure was easing.
                                    • During the pandemic, commercial printers often had difficulty sourcing enough paper amid mill shutdowns, shifts to different types of products, labor shortages, and capacity cutbacks. While supply chain issues in the printing industry have improved, some challenges remain, according to Print Impressions. Some industry watchers note that while North American paper mills are running at or near capacity, paper demand has softened somewhat, which is helping to improve supplies. Increased imports are also contributing to better paper availability. However, some paper grades can be in short supply, including uncoated wood-free paper, 60-pound coated sheet, and 9-pt coated cover papers. Printers also believe that while paper price growth is slowing, it’s unlikely that prices will drop significantly in 2023.
                                    • Recent headwinds for social media, including trolling, bots, and management turbulence at Twitter, have given some marketers pause, which may create opportunities for print media advertising, including direct mail, according to a recent report by commercial printing firm RR Donnelley (RRD). In a recent RRD survey, 54% of respondents said they expect their firm’s marketing budget to increase in 2023. The survey also showed that 58% said that “optichannel” strategies that mix digital and print elements based on which types of consumers are targeted will yield the best results.
                                    • According to a recent report by direct mail automation platform Lob and marketing intelligence firm Comperemedia, 58% of marketing executives surveyed said their firms have more of their budgets allocated for direct mail in 2023 than they did in 2022. Nearly 70% of survey respondents said up to 25% of their 2023 marketing budgets are for direct mail campaigns. One-fifth of marketers reported direct mail efforts will account for 26%-50% of their budgets, and 11% said more than half of their 2023 budgets would be allocated to direct mail.
                                    Get A Demo

                                    Vertical IQ’s Industry Intelligence Platform

                                    See for yourself why over 60,000 users trust Vertical IQ for their industry research and call preparation needs. Our easy-to-digest industry insights save call preparation time and help differentiate you from the competition.

                                    Build valuable, lasting relationships by having smarter conversations -
                                    check out Vertical IQ today.

                                    Request A Demo