CATALOG & MAGAZINE PRINTING OUTLOOK -- Making Every Page Count
By and large, this market segment as a whole should be relatively stable, suggests George Zengo, president of RR Donnelley's Catalogs and Retail Inserts business.
Zengo's expectation is that the catalog/retail segment will have no significant growth in 2006 due to continued experimentation with the channel mix by customers as they seek to find the right balance between the catalog, retail and Internet channels. "Consolidation among customers will also be a factor that rationalizes growth, especially with the 2005 mergers of Kmart and Sears, as well as May and Federated department stores," he explains.
Zengo echoes the other top execs in citing solutions for cost-effective personalization and growth in specialty/niche catalogs as opportunities in the coming year. Catalogers also are looking for solutions that reduce overall postal costs, including co-mailing and co-binding. RR Donnelley will continue to explore opportunities to increase its platform flexibility through targeted acquisitions, as well, he notes.
Peering at Publications
|6||Publishers Printing/Publishers Press
|8||The Sheridan Group
Hunt Valley, MD
|9||Trend Offset Printing
Los Alamitos, CA
|10||St. Joseph Printing
|Sales figures are based on above printers' self-reported total and market segment breakdowns.
*RR Donnelley is not reflected on this list. The company no longer releases a breakdown of its segment sales.
"Cautious" may be the best word to describe the outlook for publications. The most recent "Business Information Network" (BIN) report from American Business Media says total business-to-business publication ad pages were up 1.7 percent through the third quarter of 2005, compared to 2004. Titles in the "automotive" and "banking, financial and insurance" categories have been leading the way (both up more than 20 percent), with "electronic engineering" (-6.3 percent), "science, research & development" (-6 percent) and, surprisingly, "healthcare" (-5.2 percent) providing the greatest drag.