GDL has launched PrintCaf, a print franchise aimed at students and young professionals, which it claims offers "a modern high-performance friendly and helpful print environment".
The concept has already been rolled out by GDL members at five locations with another six expected to be opened by the end of March. John E Wright has rolled the concept out at its shops in Derby, Leicester and Nottingham, while KM Reprographics in Gloucester and A Boville Wright in Uxbridge have also rebranded their retail locations.
"Students, young professionals and small businesses still need print – not all communications can be electronic," said John E Wright managing director Tony Barnett. "They need printed output; it helps a small business or individual to create an impression that punches above their weight. But they need that output now and in high-quality."
Printed products include stationery, photobooks, marketing materials, tender bids and large format output including poster and plans, with the target audience including architects and designers.
A retail environment is an important part of the concept even though it includes web-to-print and file submission via ftp.
"A lot of work comes in first via walk ins," he said. "Customers want hand holding and help and advice in setting up files for print. One customer told me why they chose us ‘you know what you’re talking about, it is a nice environment and the IT and infrastructure is slick and efficient’."
The Derby branch even had students needing print jobs queuing out of the door first thing in the morning last week.
Barnett said that the PrintCafé concept was an evolution of the HP Print Station, of which John E Wright was the first UK site, and which it continued to operate until last October, even though HP stopped promoting it.
"Print Station was a tremendous success for us – it showed the concept works," said Barnett. "It enabled us to increase revenue by 25% and double profit. We expect the same return from PrintCafé."
GDL, which is a UK-wide network of print equipment and services suppliers, also plans to offer the PrintCafé, franchise to non-members, although it will restrict the locations so that there will only be on PrintCafé, per town or city, except in London, which it believes is big enough to support several sites. The firm’s London-based member Colyer Graphics will open a branch at its city location later this year.Tweet