Heavyweights battle for print’s biggest contract

PMP and IPMG will go head to head in a titanic battle for what is likely Australia’s biggest print contract, with other heatset printers expected to join the fray.

The Woolworths catalogue printing contract, said to be worth $60m-80m a year, is soon to be up for tender after three years, with IPMG mounting a fierce challenge to the incumbent PMP.

IPMG already prints the mega-run Coles and Aldi catalogues, plus the Woolworths Fresh magazine, and could use this experience to argue it is the best candidate.

[Related: Woolies industry control]

PMP has held the print contract for more than 13 years, while Salmat distributes the catalogue to 8-9 million homes around Australia every week.

The print giant is said to have retained the contract in 2012 because it was the only firm able to print catalogues in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and both islands of New Zealand.

Other printers expected to bid for the job include Franklin Web and AIW, and industry sources have speculated a big print manager like Wellcom could have a crack, adding design and other services to sweeten the deal.

Smaller heatset printers could also try to undercut the big players in one or two states and convince Woolworths to split it up among multiple suppliers.

Woolworths publishes a 40-page catalogue weekly with sporadic extra ones advertising major sales or specific product areas. The tender may also cover its other brands like Big W and various liquor outlets, but this is not certain.

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