The custom t-shirt screen printing industry is estimated to be worth $8 billion in just the US. That excludes other types of prints and apparels such as caps, hoodies, tank tops etc. Parallel with the growing disposable income, demands are soaring.
However, as the gold rush continues, competitors are growing in an unprecedented rate. The market saturation has began and printers have to keep prices very low to remain competitive. Furthermore, as most businesses are small and regional, there is no company with a dominant market share.
A client / friend of our’s at Print365 (based in California) explained to us how this situation is stopping businesses from investing into growth and long term strategies. Because of competition from internet and DIY screen printing, it’s possible that revenue growth might be limited over the next five years. CafePress, which is one of the largest online customized t-shirt companies, has itself seen a fall in its stock price and total revenue.
Here’s the good news:
Even though revenue growth is slow, demands are there to be met. And the one’s who can consistently offer competitive rates for quality products are the ones who will persist, as failing printers go out of business. That’s how markets stabilize and mature.
Reduce Production Costs
Profit margins can also be increased by reducing costs. While printing machinery direct costs are consistent throughout most businesses as machines are very standardized. The blank t-shirts and other blank apparel production costs on the other hand can vary and is an exploitable opportunity.
Most printing businesses source blank t-shirts and apparels from regional distributors who also charge a commision for sourcing from factories. And these factories are usually from China or Bangladesh. As China’s wage increases and costs go up, increasing number of distributors and fashion brands are moving production to Bangladesh.
Custom t-shirt printers can take advantage of this but directly producing blanks for Bangladesh and reduce overall production costs. 100% Cotton t-shirts weighing at 180 GSM can be produced in Bangladesh at about $1. Bulk quantity can reduce the costs even further.
While it’s challenging to get in touch and assure quality & ethical standards, with factories half a world away. A specialist agency like NewThread can help you represent your business here in Bangladesh.
Other ways of cutting costs could be in marketing and design development. These can be outsourced cheaply to freelance websites like fiverr.com.