Now that we have stepped fully into 2021, this is a good time to take stock of COVID-19’s impact on the large format printing industry.
From the damage to some important sources of revenue for the printing industry (such as live events and the foodservice sector) to the growth expected this year, these numbers tell the story of many large format printing companies over the last several months.
COVID-19’s Impact on the Large Format Printing Industry
110,000 Restaurants Closed in the U.S.
This is the number of restaurants that had closed definitely in the United States by December 2020. To get a sense of the magnitude of this fact, consider this: It means that at least one in six U.S. eateries has had to close during the pandemic. This devastating blow had repercussions on the commercial printing industry during 2020 that will continue to be felt this year. In fact, analysts believe that the foodservice industry will see a 15% decline in printing demand over the next 12 months.
76 Years Without the Olympics Being Canceled or Postponed
Almost 80 years had to pass for the summer Olympics to be canceled or postponed. Before 2020, it had happened three times, always due to a world war. First in 1914, and then in 1940 and 1944. 2020 marked the first time that the competition didn’t take place as scheduled during peacetime. This extraordinary interruption reflects the impact of the pandemic on in-person events, one of the main sources of business for large format printing companies. Sports events, conventions, trade shows, concerts, and festivals were canceled everywhere. Without live events, printers were forced to pivot to other areas in order to stay afloat and manage through a once-in-a-generation challenge.
71% of Print Businesses Say that their Revenue Decreased in 2019
In an industry survey, 71% of 279 print businesses said that their revenues decreased in 2020 compared with the previous year. Only 11% claim that business stayed the same, while 18% say that their revenues actually increased. These figures come as no surprise to those aware of the industry challenges of 2020. Most large format printing companies faced not only one, but many crises. For example, the controversial measures that affected the United States Postal Service caused delays in the delivery of products. In turn, this resulted in extra expenses that slashed the profits of large format printing companies.
82.4% of Commercial Printers Are Still Concerned About COVID-19
According to the most recent results of the COVID-19 Print Business Indicators Research, the pandemic is still the main concern of the printing industry. The vast majority of participants say they are worried about where the COVID-19 pandemic is headed. Other figures from the same survey offer a clear picture of the state of mind of the industry at large. 72.7% of the participants are concerned about maintaining sales. And 65.3% fear they may struggle to maintain profitability.
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Additionally, 33% of participants said they expect to invest in capital equipment at some point in 2021. This relatively low number highlights the uncertainty that pervades the industry at the moment. Despite some encouraging signs, companies still don’t know what recovery will look like. As a consequence, they prefer to be cautious with their money instead of expanding or improving their capabilities.
3.7%, the Growth of the U.S. GDP in 2021
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) expects the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) to grow 3.7% in the fourth quarter of 2021. This burst of activity will have a positive impact on several sectors, fueling the growth of the large format printing industry. However, the experts at the CBO also believe that this first phase of recovery will be followed in 2022 by a period of slower growth that will extend until 2025.
25 Sectors Will Lead the Growth of the Printing Industry
Experts believe that 25 key sectors will drive the growth of the printing industry in 2021. Leading the charge will be packaged foods, with a $26.8 billion of print sales potential. The second and third most relevant fields will be pharmaceuticals ($19.6 billion), and health providers ($18.1 billion). The importance of these three sectors is emblematic of the changes we experienced in 2020. These trends show how the habits of consumers have been upended during the pandemic. But they also represent areas where large format printing companies can find new business opportunities.
About CR&A Custom
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