AlphaGraphics(R) Bucks Industry Trends with Continued Growth

March 26, 2008 // Franchising.com // (Salt Lake City, UT)---Despite a struggling economy and continued pressure on the printing industry, international print and visual communications franchisor AlphaGraphics is continuing to grow, posting records for system-wide sales as well as adding new centers to its network. While many businesses focused on printing and visual communications are finding it difficult to attract new clients and generate revenue, AlphaGraphics' 262 business centers are doing just the opposite. In fact, AlphaGraphics' average sales per location for January and February 2008 were the highest in the company's 38-year history.

In addition, the AlphaGraphics network continues to expand. Over the past year, AlphaGraphics has opened 14 new business centers in the U.S. as well as in Brazil, Ireland, Mexico, Russia and Saudi Arabia.

"While the industry and the general economy are struggling, the average AlphaGraphics location continues to grow its sales," said Art Coley, AlphaGraphics' senior director of franchise development. "The reason for this is that AlphaGraphics continues to add new offerings and expertise that distinguish us from the competition and allow us to offer complete visual and marketing communications solutions. With the industry average unit economics at about $600,000, AlphaGraphics clocks in over $1.1 million with median gross margins above 70 percent, and we will continue to be an industry leader in this respect and others well into the future."

"AlphaGraphics provides its franchisees with leading-edge programs and technologies that add significant value to their relationships with their customers," Coley continued. "These programs include our enhanced direct marketing capabilities through agDirect Marketing™ and the development of the AlphaGraphics Sales Academy. The Sales Academy, which will be launched later this year, is a comprehensive curriculum for salespeople at all levels offered online, onsite and in the classroom focusing on sales and marketing communications training as well as coaching and mentoring for owners and their sales teams. By rolling out new programs while we continue to provide superior training and tailored support for each owner, we give our owners the tools they need and position AlphaGraphics as a viable option for independent companies who are struggling to grow."

"The rest of the industry is seeing between 700 and 1,000 closures each year but our average and median sales are at record levels," said Coley. "Our services, support, technologies and training are in a class of their own, and independent owners can look to AlphaGraphics as a way to access a wealth of new business-enhancing programs they would never have access to otherwise."

"The ultimate test of any franchisor/franchisee relationship is when it comes to the expiration of the franchise agreement and both parties are free to go their separate ways", says AlphaGraphics CEO, Kevin Cushing. "We are extremely pleased and proud that during the past few years 100 percent of our owners whose franchises were due to expire have accepted the opportunity to extend their agreements and stay in the AlphaGraphics network. Fourteen owners have been offered the opportunity to extend their agreements with us in the past two and a half years, and all fourteen have accepted. That renewal rate is unheard of in our industry and is a real testimony to our network of franchisees and our team at the AlphaGraphics Service Center. They know they are a part of a leading and winning brand."

AlphaGraphics is a print and visual communications franchisor providing a wide range of solutions for design; digital, offset and large-format printing; marketing communications; promotional products; digital archiving and mailing services for small- to medium-sized businesses as well as corporate entities. The company is focused on leveraging the full spectrum of today's communications technologies to provide complete solutions. Today, there are more than 260 AlphaGraphics franchises located in the United States, Brazil, China, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit www.alphagraphics.com.

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