“We believe that speed is one of the next frontiers in the trade print business. Tradeprint offers same day production and next day delivery throughout the UK,” says Cimpress CEO Robert Keane. “That is an incredibly valuable service to resellers who are operating under very tight deadlines.”
The deal ensures continuity for Tradeprint, which considered a number of other offers for the business before accepting that from Cimpress. No value has been placed on the deal, though the local Dundee press quotes a £20 million figure. Tradeprint has been growing rapidly, rising from sales of £2m in 2009 to £9 million last year. It operates a ten-unit XL106 and eight-unit KBA Rapida 106, both as perfecting presses.
Tradeprint was started as an online trade print business in 2007 as an operating arm of Fairprint and has since become the focus of the business. Owner and founder Paul Anderson is now stepping back while Rod Scrimgeour continues as managing director.
Head of marketing James Barrett-Bunnage says: “This is a good strategic fit. We both have an automated approach to customisation. It’s a logical next step to move the business to the next higher level. It allows Tradeprint to retain its autonomy.”
From the Cimpress point of view, the appeal of Tradeprint lay in its leadership position in the market and “is a well known, trusted brand,” says Keane. “We’ve also been impressed with how passionate and knowledgeable Tradeprint is about their customers.”
Cimpress has confirmed it will continue to invest in Tradeprint's brand. Its growth strategy has included outline plans for a third perfecting press. The company’s focus has been on simple products with limited finishing requirements which are offered at competitive prices thanks to the automated workflow and MIS technology that it has developed. Once a job is uploaded there are minimal touch points, though account managers provide human support.
The immediate gains will come through the channelling of next day delivery jobs ordered through other Cimpress brands through Tradeprint and for Tradeprint to be able to offer an expanded portfolio of products using the resources that Cimpress has in its other locations. This is the heart of the mass customisation project that is the focus of the company’s technological development.
Keane explains: “Gaining access to Cimpress’ product catalogue will allow Tradeprint to expand its current offering of small-format products with a larger selection of substrates, sizes, finishing options and quantities, as well as access new product categories such as signage and promotional products. Cimpress will also provide Tradeprint with a greater international presence and financial strength. As integration with the mass customisation platform occurs over time, Tradeprint should also realise additional scale advantages in technology and operations.”
The Tradeprint brand, its website and upload and print concept will be retained.
Rod Scrimgeour, Tradeprint managing director, ordered the eight unit KBA Rapida from KBA UK's Chris Scully to boost ability to produce fast turnaround print for online customers. It was this that attracted the attention of Cimpress, culminating in its acquisition last week.