Sign Manufacturers

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 5,700 sign manufacturers in the US produce signs and displays (excluding paper and paperboard-based sign products) for commercial, institutional, and government use. Major revenue categories include non-electric signs and displays, electric signs and displays, and trade show exhibits. Other products and services include digital printing, commercial screen printing, and commercial lithographic printing. Firms may also generate revenue from installation, maintenance, and repair services.

Competition From Alternative Forms Of Advertising

Signs compete with alternative forms of advertising, such as television, print, direct mail, and digital media.

More Digital Displays

Improved image quality, the ability to offer dynamic content, and better durability is motivating customers to migrate to digital signage.

Industry size & Structure

The average sign manufacturer operates out of a single location, employs 12-13 workers, and generates $2.3 million in annual revenue.

    • The sign manufacturing industry consists of about 5,700 firms that employ 72,900 workers and generate about $13 billion annually.
    • The industry is fragmented; the top 50 companies account for 33% of industry revenue.
    • The industry includes national firms, regional firms, franchises, and independent operators.
    • Large companies include Daktronics, Young Electric Sign Company (YESCO), and Fastsigns.
    • Large firms may have operations in foreign markets. Subcontracting to sign manufacturers outside of local markets allows small firms to serve remote customers.
                                  Industry Forecast
                                  Sign Manufacturers Industry Growth
                                  Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                  Recent Developments

                                  Nov 4, 2022 - Business Formations Rise
                                  • The rate of US business formations, a key demand indicator for sign manufacturers, increased by 1% in September 2022 compared to the prior month, according to the US Census Bureau. The Northeast posted the strongest growth in September business formations with a rise of 2.9%, followed by the West with an increase of 2.6%. The Midwest saw a 0.7% uptick in formations, but the South was down 0.3%. Of the 20 major industry sectors tracked by the Census Bureau, all but four posted growth in business formations in September, led by wholesale trade (up 8.9%), unclassified (+8.6%), utilities (+4.5), real estate (+4.3%), and retail (+2.8%). Categories that posted declines in business formations in September were mining (down 8.7%), arts and entertainment (-2.7%), finance and insurance (-0.3%), and other services (-3%).
                                  • More businesses reported their sales and profits fell in the third quarter, according to the latest Business Conditions Survey released in October by the National Association for Business Economics (NABE). The Net Rising Index (NRI) for sales – the percentage of respondents reporting rising sales minus the percentage reporting sales declines – dropped to eight in the third quarter, marking the lowest NRI sales reading since mid-2000. The NRI reading for profit margins dropped to -10. About 31% of respondents cited higher interest rates as their biggest downside risk, followed by increased cost pressures with 16%. More than half of those surveyed felt there was a more-than-even probability of entering a recession in the next 12 months; 11% believed the US economy is currently in recession.
                                  • After solid growth in 2021 and 2022, a slowdown of the US economy is expected to temper media owners’ advertising revenues in 2023, according to a September forecast update by advertising firm MAGNA. Total US media ad revenue is expected to increase by 9.8% in 2022 after posting 10.6% growth in 2021. Revenue is projected to drop to 4.8% growth in 2023. In the out-of-home (OOH) market, 2022 media owner revenue will rise 21.8%, significantly outpacing the ad market overall. OOH ad revenue will then slow to growth of 7.7% in 2023. Verticals that are forecast to see robust ad growth in 2023 include movies and streaming, travel, gambling, and perhaps automotive if supply-side issues improve. Restaurants, retail, and housing may continue to face headwinds.
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