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Annual Print Franchise Review

In WhatTheyThink/Printing News’ Annual Franchise Review, Cary Sherburne takes a look at how the five major print franchises fared in the past year—and looks back at the last decade to see how franchises were tracking compared to commercial print and draws some conclusions about the value of franchise networks vs. an independent small commercial printing firm operating on its own.

By Cary Sherburne
Published: April 9, 2019


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Cary Sherburne is a well-known author, journalist and marketing consultant whose practice is focused on marketing communications strategies for the printing and publishing industries.

Cary Sherburne is available for speaking engagements and consulting projects. To get more information contact us.

Please offer your feedback to Cary. She can be reached at cary@whattheythink.com.



By robert godwin on Apr 09, 2019

Nice, and important article. Curious why The UPS Stores (TUPSS) were not considered. Roughly 10% of the 4500 TUPSS franchises sell a significant amount of print services and products. With 90% of the franchises fully enabled to sell print, they COULD become the 800-pound gorilla in the space. They certainly have intentions to grow their business in print related products.
The co-branding is perhaps the most exciting aspect. It is time printers realize they are in the business services space and need to offer a comprehensive range of products and services. Many successful independent shops are the full-service path already. My company, Nettl.com, offers a low-cost option to add a variety of services and technology to the smallest of shops, and is a recognized value to larger shops that gross in the millions.

FastSigns certainly is moving to expand their product portfolio and brand name using the co-brand model. Expect to see more and more of these offerings in the traditional print market sector.


By Cary Sherburne on Apr 09, 2019

Robert, good point. We'll be sure to include them next year. In terms of co-branding, Alliance's drive to co-brand its print and sign shops under the Allegra/Image360 brands is also quite interesting


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