Shrinking Sales Vex US Printing Firms

According to IBISWorld, a leading market research organization, the U.S. Printing Industry experienced a variety of challenges during the past five years. The firm claims that the Printing Industry—which includes large commercial printers and local print shops—has suffered from shrinking sales volume and downward pressure on unit selling prices over this period. Consumers are increasingly favoring digital alternatives, such as online media, over printed, hard copy.

IBISWorld reports that with fewer customer orders, the industry is in a time of overcapacity and needs a large capital investment in new technology to remain competitive. Also, overcapacity has contributed to the long-term trend of industry consolidation. Throughout the past three decades, there has been an increase in market share concentration due to mergers and acquisitions.

It was also noted that the Printing Industry is highly fragmented, with the four largest printers representing less than 20% of total industry revenue. Most commercial printers in America are privately-owned and generate less than $35 million in revenue on average.

In addition, about 72.2% of firms in the industry have fewer than 10 employees and are struggling to capture new customers. Statistics show that firms with 1 to 19 employees only account for 12% of industry revenues, while firms with more than 100 employees account for 62%.

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