A DUTCH ONLINE PRINT BUSINESS is targeting the UK, launching Helloprint claiming to offer the lowest print prices in the country.
Whether this is the case will depend on direct comparisons between Helloprint and numerous other competitors, the largest of which include Vistaprint, Saxoprint and FlyerAlarm. It also includes Flyerzone, part of the Grafenia group where Helloprint CEO Hans Scheffer was a board director until resigning two years ago.
THE PRODUCTION FACILITIES, INCLUDING Agfa prepress and B1 presses, are in Holland where the company trades as Druckzo, where the same strategy of being faster and cheaper than competitors has established the reputation of the business.
Like most online printers, the aim is to gang orders and print in the most efficient way, automated way with multiple jobs to a sheet. The products offered are simple, either single sheet players or posters, or with just a simple fold. It also offers a range of wide format inkjet products and promotional goods, but not stitched or bound print.
UK MANAGER IS SEBASTIAAN RAM whose background is in online businesses rather than print. Nevertheless he is confident that Helloprint can find a niche in the UK market. He says: “At Helloprint, we appreciate the competitive English printing industry, but are confident our products, services and prices will help us recreate the success we experienced in Europe's mainland.”
The company has been in operation in Holland for 14 years and also works across the border in Belgium. As well as direct sales it offers an affiliate programme, available in the UK as well as in its home territories.
SCHEFFER BECAME CEO OF THE Dutch company a year ago shortly after joining software development company Print Ocean in the same role. Print Ocean develops software to enable the purchase of standardised items online with Drukzo as the key customer. He joined printing.com before its renaming as Grafenia through the acquisition of its Dutch subsidiary Media Facility Group where he had been CEO. But he left the business in August 2012.
Now the company he has taken over is tilting at the UK market, seemingly in competition with the company he left. However, Grafenia CEO Tony Rafferty says: “He may find that the UK market is looking for a higher degree of quality and service than customers in other markets are used to.”