Western Graphics closes doors

Sydney based printer Western Graphics has closed its doors, and shut down its website, with owner Ken Buckland citing price cutting and a declining industry after 38 years of operation.

Buckland says, “There is no more money in it. The competition is too fierce, everyone is trying to get the last slice of cake, everyone is putting prices down, not up, and it is not viable.

“The print brokers are getting worse. They are getting seven, eight quotes on every job. It is a struggle to win work. How can you win out of that? In the last couple of months there have been a lot of closures in Sydney, all spread around.

“All the big logistics companies and armchair printers get the big accounts, and get lots of quotes, and we are the ones with all the machinery and costs and heartaches, sticking our necks out, and they just sit back and put a percentage on the work.

“Electricity is going up, paper is going up next month, and most printers will try to absorb it which is crazy.

“After the beginning of this year I could see it taking a dive. My accountant said to get out while the going is good. I bought factories many years ago, like houses they have all gone up in value, I can retire with what I get from the machinery and property.

“A lot of printers are renting though, and do not have much to retire on.

The last job went out on Thursday, while Buckland says 80 per cent of the machinery has already been sold off, and that he hopes to sell the factory and retire by next year. He owns the building and a couple of other units.

There final two staff were laid off last week. Buckland says, “Earlier this year we had six. During the 1980s-90s, we had 18. Then the global financial crisis happened and it went down from there, but even before then, there were signs of print declining.”

Buckland established the business in 1979, and had worked through the manifold the changes in the industry over the decades, digital print, platesetting, and more recently, automation. The company mostly produced upmarket four colour brochure work and presentation folders.


Comment below to have your say on this story.

If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at editorial@sprinter.com.au.  

Sign up to the Sprinter newsletter

One thought on “Western Graphics closes doors

  1. It is a sad day to see yet another printer closing their doors but the competition is just as tough in other industries. As an ex-printer myself I have seen many print businesses go under over the years.
    Now I run a successful Digital Marketing Agency and I have tried to partner with several local printers only to see their resistance to change. As I tell them “It’s keeping your customers closer” because if you don’t someone else will – maybe it’s time for others to take a closer look.
    All the best in your retirement Ken….

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.