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

                                  Mar 30, 2023 - OOH Ad Spending to Rise
                                  • Net media owner advertising revenues are expected to grow 3.4% to $326 billion in 2023 compared to 2022, according to a March forecast by advertising firm MAGNA. However, MAGNA’s latest outlook represents a slight downgrade from the one in December when the firm projected that 2023 media owner advertising revenues would grow 3.7% over 2022. Aside from political ad spending, most types of ad spending growth slowed substantially in the second half of 2022 amid mounting global economic uncertainty. In terms of verticals, consumer packaged goods and financial services marketers will likely see flat ad spending growth in 2023, while automotive, entertainment, and travel will continue to rebound from the pandemic. Out-of-home (OOH) advertising spending, which includes signage and billboards, is projected to rise 6.7% in 2023, which is a drop from the 18.2% growth seen in 2022.
                                  • US advance retail sales, an indicator of demand for signs, saw a moderate drop of 0.4% on a seasonally adjusted basis in February 2023 compared to January. Unadjusted retail sales rose 5.5% compared to a year earlier. The slight month-over month decline in retail sales suggested underlying durability of consumer demand, despite inflation and higher interest rates, according to Reuters.
                                  • In February, the National Federation of Independent Businesses’ (NFIB) Small Business Optimism Index rose 0.6 points to 90.9 but remained below the 49-year average of 98. At 28%, the percentage of respondents who cited inflation as their biggest challenge rose two points from January’s reading. Nearly half of those surveyed said they had job openings they couldn’t fill. The percentage of businesses that expected better business conditions in six months dropped two points to a net-negative 47%. NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg said, “Small business owners remain doubtful that business conditions will get better in the coming months. They continue to struggle with historic inflation and labor shortages that are holding back growth.” Pessimism among small businesses could prompt them to postpone capital spending plans.
                                  • Commercial bankruptcy filings increased by 18% in February 2023 compared to February 2022, according to Epiq Bankruptcy Solutions. Commercial bankruptcy filings in February were down 1% from January. New Chapter 11 filings increased 83% year over year in February but were flat compared to January. Rising business bankruptcies have the potential to slow demand for commercial signage.
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