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National print franchise group Kwik Kopy has set out ambitious growth targets, with CEO Sonia Shwabsky outlining the plans to supplier partners at lunchtime events in Melbourne and Sydney this week.

Growth plans at Kwik Kopy: Sonia Shwabsky (right) and Eloise Penfold
Growth plans at Kwik Kopy: Sonia Shwabsky (right) and Eloise Penfold

Shwabsky said the 90-store group is looking to add a further 40 print centres over the next few years, and said it is targeting at least a seven per cent revenue increase this year from existing stores.

She told the assembled suppliers that in the last financial year Kwik Kopy had arrested a decade-long decline in sales, and that figures for the first two months of the new year showed it was on track to meet its target for this year.

Sales at the Kwik Kopy group had been on a gentle downward slope ever since the GFC in 2008, however, in the financial year just finished, total revenue grew by 2.8 per cent, compared with 2019, the last full pre-Covid year.

That growth was on a par with the golden years of 2000-2007, and came despite the eight CBD stores in Melbourne and Sydney all suffering significant hits to revenue, due to the continued absence of business activity in CBDs, as staff stayed at home.

This year’s seven per cent is the base target, the company also has a 10 per cent ‘stretch’ target. Much of that growth is likely to come from the store’s wide-format activity, which saw turbo-charged figures for last year, achieving 46 per cent growth, as the group developed its large format business, under the guidance of large format manager Sue Waite at head office.

Shwabsky said, “The Kwik Kopy model of local production works for large format, customers can order their core-flute or pull-up banner in the morning and have it delivered in the afternoon.”

With more than 300 people working for the franchise group, and $76m-$77m in sales revenue this year, Kwik Kopy is already one of the country’s biggest print operators. Last year it issued 171,000 invoices. It is now looking to get to 130 stores from its current 90. It has identified 11 regional centres and 32 suburban locations where it believes Kwik Kopy centres will thrive.

It is also offering independent print business owners the opportunities to convert to Kwik Kopy, with Shwabsky saying among the benefits are that their business will be easier to sell, when they come to retire, as a Kwik Kopy branded business.

Shwabsky said, “It is an exciting time to be part of Kwik Kopy. We have identified key areas for growth, we are following a strategic plan, and we are investing strongly.

“The print industry is changing, and Kwik Kopy is at the forefront of that change. When the company started here much of the work was administrative printing for businesses, now it is marketing collateral, sign and display, labels, tote bags and the like. We are providing real solutions to all kinds of businesses.”

Eloise Penfold, grandaughter of Stephen Penfold, who brought the franchise to Australia in 1981, and daughter of current chairman Matthew Penfold, is the finance manager at Kwik Kopy, joining around the same time as Shwabsky 18 months ago, and was at the events this week.

Shwabsky is confident in attracting new franchises to the business. She said, “Research shows there is a lot of demand, particularly among young men, for business opportunities. Kwik Kopy offers those opportunities for entrepreneurs to build a successful business, working in a local area, with a trusted brand, using new technology.”

Kwik Kopy is also about to launch an e-commerce platform, but Shwabsky is clear that it is in relationships that Kwik Kopy wins. She said, “We will not be an online-only business. Our franchisees achieve their best results when they are out meeting customers, working through their challenges, bringing solutions to them. Our new motif is ‘We Make Possible’ and that will be at our core for a long time.”

Kwik Kopy is currently planning its 2024 franchisee conference, which will take place 20-23 April at the Sofitel in Denaru, Fiji. The majority of franchisees have already said they are coming.

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