CATALOG & MAGAZINE PRINTING OUTLOOK — TURNING THE PAGE
Jeff Sweetman, CEO at Trend Offset Printing, remains positive when it comes to catalogs, characterizing the segment as “healthy.”
“We have seen tremendous growth in the retail catalog category—from our point of view it is driven by the increased use of the Internet driving more catalog sales and vice versa,” Sweetman assesses. “In addition, the retail sector is picking up some steam and the retailers are becoming more aggressive to gain new buyers. There are more ‘event’ driven catalogs in this category.”
Trend Offset offers format diversity at all of its plants with combination folders capable of giving catalogers digest, delta, slim-jim, quarter fold or tabloid options. It is able to provide fast-to-market service with a national footprint, as it offers catalogers postal drops in California, Texas and Florida.
“We are seeing more demographic- driven catalogs where less pages, less products, and lower paper and printing costs can drive more revenue for the cataloger,” Sweetman says. “With Trend’s Auto-Plate technology and demographic stitchers, we are ideally suited for catalogers that desire multi-zoned catalogs with product changes that are more specific to the buyer.”
The company recently added a new eight-unit Goss Sunday 2000 web press at its Carrolton, TX, facility and two new high-speed demographic stitchers. The latter could prove to pay dividends with a USPS rate hike looming.
The proposed postal rate case is designed to reward customers who help the USPS improve productivity and penalize those who do not, according to RR Donnelley’s Zengo.
“The USPS is emphasizing shape over weight, as they look to further drive their automation objectives,” he points out. “The rate increase is steepest for low-page-count catalogs with small circulations, whereas the increase is minimized for page-heavy, larger circulation catalogs. The larger cataloger is better equipped to take advantage of rate-impacting items such as barcoding, destination entry discounts and carrier-route discounts.”