Catalog Printing–Presses Are Working Overtime


Even as they seem to be up to their M-3000s with jobs, catalog printers can’t seem to get enough work. They’re as busy as ever, yet a hunger for new applications can’t be satiated.

Take R.R. Donnelley & Sons, of Chicago, North America’s largest commercial printer. Donnelley amassed more than $1.3 billion in catalog printing sales, yet it is developing new market niches with Select Source, which integrates catalog merchandise into specialized Internet sites. Catalogers are matched with subject-specific editorial on high-traffic Web sites.

Top 10 Catalog Printers
  Company Segment
Total Sales
1 R.R. Donnelley & Sons
$1,309.50 $4,850.00
2 Quad/Graphics
Pewaukee, WI
$561.20 $1,220.00
3 Quebecor Printing
$487.20 $3,480.00
4 World Color Press
Greenwich, CT
$460.00 $2,000.00
5 Banta Corp.
Menasha, WI
$216.00 $1,200.00
6 Arandell Corp.
Menomonee Falls, WI
$150.42 $163.50
7 Perry Judd’s Inc.
Waterloo, WI
$80.00 $285.70
8 GTC Transcontinental Group
$72.07 $720.72
9 Spencer Press
Wells, ME
$68.31 $85.39
10 Avanti/Case-Hoyt
$60.00 $120.00

Donnelley also boasts HouseNet, its own community of interest site. This site focuses on home and garden afficionados, which helps to sell gardening and home improvement products and services.

“We continue to play a role in the Internet; we have a couple of businesses where we help catalogers get into the Internet and we see some segments of our business where it has somewhat more impact than on other segments,” stresses Joe Lawler, president of the merchandise media group at R.R. Donnelley & Sons, a group that produces business and consumer catalogs. “More and more customers are establishing a position on the Internet. They are using it as a distribution vehicle, for selling products.”

Lawler points to a solid economy and a reasonable level of consumer confidence for a successful 1998 enjoyed by Donnelley. Even with an uncertain global economy that led its customers into a somewhat tough stretch late in the year, Donnelley is seeing an increase in specialty catalogs, something that has buoyed the industry giant.

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