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The Retail Graphics Roundtable: Changing Market Conditions

(April 2014) posted on Mon Apr 21, 2014

Myriad factors are creating a volatile environment transforming the types of signage and graphics found in retail stores.


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Graphics screen printing most likely originated with retail displays more than a century ago, but that doesn’t mean this sector is staid or safe. New retail construction tailed off even before the Great Recession and may never recover. Amazon and other online-only merchants have taken an astounding share of the consumer’s budget in a very short time. Marketing strategies have been turned upside down as retailers seek new ways to leverage the vast information they have accumulated about their customers and develop highly targeted promotional campaigns. These factors are combining to create an extremely volatile environment that is not just changing the types of signage and graphics found in stores, but the very existence of the brick-and-mortar retail environment itself.

Recently, Screen Printing sat down with three leading retail-graphics printers to discuss the changing market conditions and the threats and opportunities they present:

* Jim Blee is chief operating officer of Graphic Tech, a full-service graphics provider based in Fullerton, CA serving the retail, entertainment, automotive, food service, and banking industries. In addition to screen printing, digital printing, and photographic imaging, Graphic Tech provides complete project management services from design through installation.

* Dave Bales is vice-president and chief operating officer of Image Options, based in Foothill Ranch, CA. Founded as a provider of photographic imaging and digital printing, Image Options subsequently added a five-color inline screen-printing press. Through Refraction, a wholly owned design company, Image Options offers design services including strategy, branding, research, and execution.

* Dan Pratt is director of business development for Vomela. Headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, Vomela offers retail and environmental graphics as well as fleet, vehicle, and OEM graphics through a family of ten companies located across the US. Previously, Pratt was president of Pratt Visual solutions in Indianapolis, IN, acquired by Vomela in 2012.

Here are highlights from our conversation.


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