UK's revitalised high-street print ops should be lauded

Darryl Danielli
Thursday, February 7, 2013

What with this issue of PrintWeek being dedicated to the thousands of micro-businesses in the UK print industry, it's timely that this week we break the news of the rebirth of one of our most iconic high-street printing brands, Kall Kwik.

While both Kall Kwik and its former sister operation Prontaprint have emerged battered and bruised from their turbulent relationship with former owner ODC, they have not suffered alone. All too often, the UK’s high-street printers have had to battle extortionate rents, locations blighted by pound shops and empty premises and, of course, the inexorable rise of low-cost print online.

However, the franchises should be lauded as the most visible exponents of the power of print to the average consumer or small business owner.

And let’s not forget that back in the day it was high-street printers that first embraced the opportunity offered by digital print and arguably got the business model right, at a time when commercial printers were still trying to figure out how to ‘sell digital’.

Of course, a lot has changed since then, but what has remained constant is the entrepreneurial spirit that drives many high-street operations and their flexibility and sharp focus on customer service – traits they share with their micro-business brethren on industrial estates up and down the UK.

So let’s hope the re-emergence of Kall Kwik and the launch of PrintCafé signals a renaissance of high-street print, because they serve as a reminder that print still has an important role to play in the public’s everyday lives, not just as consumers, but as active purchasers

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