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PIP Printing Celebrates 50 Year Milestone

Monday, August 10, 2015

Press release from the issuing company

Business services franchise started as a single printing location 50 years ago in Southern California

MISSION VIEJO, Calif. - Franchise Services, Inc., celebrates the 50th anniversary of the PIP Printing brand. The first Postal Instant Press (PIP) was opened in 1965 by Bill LeVine who founded Postal Press in 1943 and built it into one of the leading commercial printing plants in Southern California. Today, the PIP brand name has expanded to PIP Marketing, Signs, Print to reflect the changing needs of the marketplace as well as the printing and graphics arts industry.

Originally started as a “while-you-wait” printing operation from the front window of LeVine’s Postal Press commercial print business, by 1967 there were three pilot locations testing new printing equipment and technology, and in 1968 the first three Postal Instant Press franchises were opened.

PIP continues to operate across the U.S. and in the U.K., with its headquarters in Mission Viejo, California as one of five franchise brands owned by Franchise Services, Inc., (FSI). PIP owners from around the country convened in Washington, DC, July 29-August 2, at the company’s Annual Convention, where President and COO, Richard Lowe commemorated the brand’s 50 year history.

Lowe commented, “PIP grew rapidly as a franchise company in 1968 and essentially created the quick printing industry, which became one of the fastest growing industries in the 1970s. We acquired the brand in 1996 and have continued to position it as a technological leader in printing as well as signs and marketing services.”

Don Lowe, CEO of Franchise Services, recalls, “It was a sincere privilege to have known Bill LeVine. In the early days, when I operated Sir Speedy and Bill ran PIP, we were friendly competitors. It has been an honor to carry on the PIP brand.”

Several locations that opened in the 1970s are still operating today, only this time many are run by sons and daughters. Younger generations are reengaging in the businesses, now that the industry and marketplace needs have changed resulting in the PIP brand now offering signs, marketing services, promotional products, websites, and online storefronts as well as graphic design, digital printing, and mailing services.

Brian Ilten’s grandparents opened one of the first PIP franchises in 1968. But it was his grandmother and mother that ran the business. A second location was opened in 1973 that his parents owned, and which Brian took over in 1985 at just 18 years old. This year he celebrates 30 years as a PIP owner. “There’s been a lot of change in our industry and today we are still having fun reaping the rewards of this business. Fifteen to twenty years ago it was said we would become a paperless society, but this month we will print more than ever before making this our highest revenue producing month ever!”

Steve Collins of PIP in Englewood, Colorado shared this story: “I started working in bindery at PIP in Covina, California when I was 21 and after 4 years had the opportunity to meet Bill LeVine and express my interest in owning my own franchise. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for his belief in me. He helped me finance the purchase of a PIP in Englewood when I was just 24 years old and next year will mark the 40th anniversary of my PIP business.”


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