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Top Print Boss Says Traditional Print Franchise is Dead

The traditional print franchise model is dead, according to Printing.com chief executive Tony Rafferty. Rafferty cites a U.K. study that reveals quick print franchise shops as being less competitive than independent printers.

"The days of just taking a percentage of turnover in exchange for the brand are numbered," he said. "Franchisees need to be offered something fundamental, something without which their business would not operate."

He said that the printing process had been "demystified" over the past decade and, where previously franchisees would need education of the printing process, the print franchisees of today are familiar with the technology and need more than the "formula and tricks of the trade".

He added: "Franchisees need access to a supply chain with prices that reflect the size of the franchise, to 24/7 support, and crucially, need to pay for what they use rather than what they earn."

The Storecheckers survey found that quick print pricing was on the rise for the first time in eight years, but significantly higher prices were offered from franchises with the "traditional" franchise model with over a third falling into the high price classification versus under a third of non-franchised outlets.  

From the UK's PrintWeek.com

It comes as no surprise to me that, according to this article, the printing process has become ‘demystified’ over the past decade.

In all fairness, I touted that message 25 years ago, and as a total mechanical incompetent, proved my point by starting a print business with no knowledge of inks and plates, but instead with an appreciation of technology. It has been known for quite some time that location (convenience) and price sells printing, and that the added burden of ‘royalties’ paid by a franchisee simply places that entity at a strategic disadvantage. Furthermore, even in the old days of required mechanical/trade sophistication, it was acknowledged that once a franchisee ‘understood’ the printing business, association with a franchised name was more of a drag than a boost.

Quick Print is clearly one industry where franchisees have to ask “What have you done for me lately?"

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