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Report looks at Mega Printers' Impact on the NA Print Market

Friday, April 03, 2009

Press release from the issuing company

LEXINGTON, KY -- WhatTheyThink, the leading media organization serving the printing and publishing industry, announces the immediate availability of Mega Printers’ Impact on the North American Print Market. To learn more about these Mega Printers, PRIMIR commissioned Sherburne & Associates with J Zarwan Partners to explore their business practices.  Additionally, PRIMIR wanted to learn the long-term impact of this continued consolidation on the overall industry – what’s driving these large-scale acquisitions, impacts on vendor companies servicing these “mega printers,” and the overall expectations for the industry at large.

Purchase Mega Printers’ Impact on the North American Print Market

According to the report, “This group of companies (with over $750 million in annual sales) represented $32.584 billion in revenue in 2007, and comprised more than 30% the commercial print market. While overall revenues for the “mega printers” declined during the study period of 1999 to 2007 by about 6%, they represent a growing share of a declining commercial print market.  Thus, not only are “mega printers”  themselves increasing top-line revenue, but they stand to play an ever-larger role in the rapidly changing North American commercial printing industry.

When you ‘look under the hood,’ the study revealed some striking findings.  While more efficient buying practices are a hallmark benefit of these large companies, in reality it appears they are neither more efficient manufacturers nor more efficient purchasers.

Additionally, many consolidation economies-of-scale are being offset by increased organizational complexity, loss of flexibility, murderous competition for shrinking sales volume and correspondingly relentless pricing pressures.  The public companies have the added complexity of the pressures of Wall Street to deliver increased operating and net margins results. 

The research found that each “mega printer” operates very differently, however, in most instances purchasing decisions for capital expenditures (presses and equipment) are on a schedule and planned well in advance but decisions come from corporate.  Other equipment, software and supplies and consumables like paper or ink may be decided at the plant level sometimes with geographic or shipping considerations in mind (but with a limited number of suppliers on the preferred list).

With the current economy, there is no doubt that the merger and consolidation activity will continue, and the few successful/profitable “mega printers” will serve as role models for the others.  Although the number of firms in the industry is declining, the research team reported that the remaining firms should demonstrate a healthier printing industry.

About WhatTheyThink

WhatTheyThink comprises the largest graphic arts community in the print industry. Started in March 2000, WhatTheyThink.com provides daily news, interviews, research, and many more resources to our members. Our goal is to provide unbiased, real-time market intelligence to print and publishing executives.

The name WhatTheyThink (provided by an industry consultant) reflects our goal of developing a community built on what industry professionals had to say. We wanted unbiased takes from print buyers, designers, printers, and suppliers. Not just the big printers or the suppliers who were “buying advertising,” but ideas and knowledge from every corner of the industry.


The Print Industries Market Information and Research Organization (PRIMIR), provides in-depth research and analysis for the graphic communications industry.  PRIMIR research is funded by member dues as well as through support from NPES.  PRIMIR annually provides over $600,000 in current research studies including relevant market data and detailed information on graphic arts and related fields.  Members also benefit from meetings, market research skills building, and robust networking opportunities.




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