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EDSF Finds Major Challenges For Print Providers Offering Solutions To The Retail Industry

Press release from the issuing company

ROLLING HILLS ESTATES, Calif. U.S.A (Oct. 16, 2006)-- In a new study---“Criticality of Printed Information in the Retail Industry”---EDSF (The Electronic Document Systems Foundation) identifies major challenges for print providers offering solutions to the retail industry. EDSF, the non-profit organization dedicated to the document management and communications marketplace, in collaboration with Gartner and George Mason University, examines how store managers view and utilize print as part of their customer communication and business processes. The EDSF study is available at GraphExpo and as a free download at www.edsf.org. Gartner Research Director Pete Basiliere said, "Print providers who focus on selling only to retail corporate buyers do so at their peril. Our study clearly illustrates the fact they must also understand the store managers' needs." The new EDSF study points to the following major challenges for providers offering solutions to retailers: ---Retail store managers do not perceive print to be a critical element of their operations, yet are well aware of the price they pay for it. Thus, only 25 percent of store managers indicate that print is highly critical to their operations . ---The growing acceptance of electronic signage indicates an imminent challenge to suppliers. Thirty-seven percent of managers use in-store electronic signs today, while another 12 percent are actively considering their use. Nearly two-thirds of current users anticipate usage will increase over the next two years. ---While store managers have a high level of awareness of printed sales materials cost, there is little interest in print content tailored to the store’s specific retail environment and competitive market pressures. ---Most signage printed in-store is for general pricing rather than display purposes, lending itself to the centralized, in-house production practices noted by survey respondents. ---There is a fracture in the management of electronic and paper advertising materials. A significant majority of store managers indicate less than half of their company’s print catalog was derived from its web catalog. Most retailers do not integrate inventory information between store and web, and most manage print and Internet consumer communications as independent channels. According to the study, retail store managers are a critical part of the feedback process because they interact with customers daily. Yet, store managers’ opinions are often overlooked by suppliers, who ignore them at their peril. The report explains that suppliers must understand what the managers need to be successful and provide offerings that fulfill their objectives. “Although decisions on what is printed and by whom is typically made on a corporate level,” says Gartner’s Basiliere, “only by knowing how the store managers view and utilize print and electronic media will suppliers be able to sell equipment and build a profitable long-term relationship.”

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