Printing press owners lament decreased sales and attribute it on the introduction of QR codes
The development of Quick Response codes (QR codes) and the high cost of production, including utility tariffs, have caused a fall in sales, which players in the printing sector have blamed.
Nearly all printing needs, including those for books, posters, invitation cards, t-shirts, branded souvenirs, banners, calendars, and other items, are served by Accra Newtown.
The printing press is most certainly not something new in Accra New Town.
However, the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the printing industry.
Due to restrictions on social gatherings, such as funeral and church activities that often require printing services, the demand for printing decreased considerably.
As a result, the business of printing experienced a slowdown.
A recent visit by Citi Business News to the printing hub revealed that most of the printing press outlets have resumed their operations, although not without certain challenges.
For Dela who is a Senior Executive at one of the popular printing outlets at Accra Newtown the unstable forex rates and high cost of utility could be factors for the decline in sales.
“Our consumables are very expensive. The papers and ink are now very expensive due to the unstable forex. Then also the high cost of electricity is another factor”.
“Covid has made people change. People have resorted to QR codes: they print about 50 books and then paste QR codes at vantage points for the events. This has reduced the volumes of printing demands which in the long run affects my profit margin,” he added.
The situation was not so different at another outlet where Maxwell works.
“Business has been slow due to the high taste for technology and secondly due to the forex rates which have been unstable for some time now,” he also explained.
Elias Tanoh, an experienced printer with decades of work urgently appealed to the government for support to revitalize the struggling industry.
“For the past few years, the printing business has gone down. The cost of production has really gone high. If the government can help by taking a look at the duties on the importation of the production materials including paper,” he said.
“The truth is that some people have started printing in bulk from China as their prices appear to be relatively stable,” he added.