Printers Flat on Sales in 2015, Trend Offset Still Tops

30 Biggest Combine to Stay About Even at $618M

The local printing industry isn’t dead, but it’s not growing either. That’s the takeaway from a review of Orange County’s 30 largest commercial printers, which combined for $617.7 million in sales last year, about the same as in 2014.

This week’s Business Journal list ranks the companies based on sales stemming from production by OC-based printing presses. It also shows their joint local workforce at 2,593, up 1.7%, including 175 sales staffers, three fewer than in 2014, though employee numbers don’t factor into the ranking.

The printers run 108 presses in OC out of 2,231 nationwide.

Fourteen of the companies reported revenue increases, six posted drops, and sales for 9 firms are Business Journal estimates.

• One company—Advanced Image Direct in Fullerton—reported no change from the previous year and held on to the No. 5 spot with $24 million in sales and 150 employees. And things are looking up for this year, according to Perry Wilson, its vice president of sales.

“We have acquired new accounts, adding up to some significant volume increases for 2016, well over 100 million pieces of additional print and mail,” he said.

• Brixen & Sons Inc. in Santa Ana, No. 22, posted the biggest increase—34.8% for $5.6 million in sales.

Corey Brixen co-founded the company in 1992 with Son Nguyen. Brixen attributed the double-digit growth to an increase in orders by existing customers, which include the Orange County Museum of Art, Nordstrom Inc., Safeway Inc., The Kroger Co.’s Ralphs and Food4Less, Rubios Coastal Grill and Disneyland Resort.

“Our top customer was up 25%, and our second largest customer was up a whopping 269%, while customers three and four were actually down about 25%,” Brixen said. “Most of our work is for major retail or grocery chains, and we’ve come to expect a lot of ups and downs with sales volume, whether or not the clients’ overall sales are up or down.

“The customer that was up 269% added a significant number of new locations in 2015, and because they apparently like working with us, they gave us the opportunity to get involved with more of their [point-of-purchase] printing than we were doing previously.”

The company employs 25, one fewer than last year. It acquired two “state-of-the-art” large-format printing presses last year for about $1.4 million, Brixen said. “Those presses have opened new doors to us by printing not only faster, but also using less ink, which has made us more competitive in several areas.”

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