Roland study points to cautious optimism in digital print sector

A major Roland DG study of more than 340 digital print companies in the UK conducted in November 2020 has revealed that despite the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, the industry is currently cautiously optimistic about its future.

The study polled digital printers across a range of sectors including sign and graphics, textile and apparel, vehicle and fleet graphics, promotional items and gifts, print and copy services and interior décor. It discovered that their most common three year business goal is increasing their production capacity, with over a third (36%) describing it as their ‘key objective’.

A further quarter (24%) of respondents described ‘expansion’ as their key business objective over the next three years. This includes expanding into new applications or markets with existing devices (9%) or into new technologies/devices such as fabric or UV (9%).

In light of the turbulence over the last six months, another third (34%) of those sampled were focused on digging in and maintaining what the business is currently doing. Encouragingly though, just 3% said they were looking to reduce and rationalise their offerings, and only 4% of those polled expected to close or exit the business in the next 36 months.

Paul Willems, director of business development and product management, EMEA, said: We’re living through one of the harshest business environments in history, and yet this data shows that digital print shop owners are determined to look forward, stay positive and seize new opportunities. If ever you needed evidence of the resilience and entrepreneurship that defines our sector, this data is it.”

In a further sign of confidence, the majority of the respondents (51%) indicated that they would replace or purchase at least one new printer, cutter or engraving machine in the next 12 months, with one in eight (13%) planning to replace or purchase two or more machines.

The study was conducted between November 5 and 22 with 343 respondents in the UK.

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