Here we are at the start of 2017, years removed from the time when many analysts would not hesitate to tell anyone that would listen that the days of consumers printing are coming to an end. Yet when we look at the past year Canadian consumers spent $1.1B at retail to support their printing needs, a four year high. In fact this past year Canadians spent $13M more than the previous year based on NPD’s Retail Tracking Service.
Personally I find that I am not printing at the same level at home as I would have in the past but as the designated IT buyer within our household I find that my print shopping excursions remain steady. Despite our household relying more and more on non-traditional PC devices within the home, there still exists that printing need. Based on NPD’s most recent sales results my home apparently is no different than many other homes across Canada.
What is most interesting about the latest results is that every printing category tracked this past year has shown an increase in revenue. Printer Hardware sales in the past 12 months experienced an increase in revenue of $6.5M; Inkjet Cartridges sales are up $4.4M; Toner up $1.1M and Technology Paper up just under $1M. One factor that needs to be considered with these higher revenue results is the higher prices due to a weaker Canadian dollar. Across the board we do see each segment showing an increase in pricing however printer hardware unit sales this past year are only 1% less than they were four years ago. This slight decline along with positive revenue results for Hardware, speaks to the continued need from consumers to replace or add a printer for their home or small business.
Everything indicates a healthy market this past year and although we are probably not set to see double digit printing growth moving forward we are not seeing the significant decline once thought as being inevitable. The printing market will remain a top revenue generating segment for retailers and manufacturers alike as we move through 2017 and beyond.