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Posted: March 12, 2013 8:51 p.m.

Printing business to open area stores

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Instant Imprints, a company that offers screen printing, embroidery, signage and promotion productions under one roof, is planning to open six new franchise retail centers in the Rockdale, Newton and Walton county area.

The San Diego-based company is making an aggressive push to expand the number of stores throughout the country, and Jay Holguin, vice president of marketing, said the Atlanta market is a focus area.

Holguin said Instant Imprints wants to open 500 stores during the next five years. The company’s business model is based off what Holguin says is a unique, one-shop stop approach. While other businesses compete in specific areas, Holguin said no company offers the array of printing services Instant Imprints does.

Company officials didn’t immediately have details of how many retail centers would open in Newton County, but said a population of 50,000 people can usually support a single store, though that number is less important than the number of businesses and schools in an area, as those tend to be the main customers. Stores are currently located in Oakwood, Roswell and Lawrenceville.

“Instant Imprints is in talks with a number of entrepreneurs to determine the exact location for each new center and are doing their due diligence for things like loans and determining the best fit. Their plans are imminent,” said spokesperson Jason Gilbreth. “Towns such as Conyers (and) Covington…are attractive to them.”

The company is pushing the franchise model under the leadership of Ralph Askar, who worked with the expansion efforts at The UPS Store/Mail Boxes Etc.

The Instant Imprints franchise fee starts at $29,950, according to the company.

Instant Imprints has a standard store layout with a retail center in front of the store that displays merchandise and the machinery and production center in the back of the store. The company offers embroidery direct to garment, T-shirt printing, wide-format printing for signs and banners and digital printing for business cards and brochures. Some stores have screen printing services, though other locations outsource that work.

“Whether it’s a mom who is the PTA or booster club president or an electrician (who owns his own business), they can come into a convenient location with a professional environment and see the samples of garments and bags and materials; it gives them greater piece of mind to make a decision (as opposed to ordering online or from a warehouse operation),” Holguin said Monday.

Business and schools account for around 80 percent of the business as Instant Imprints most often does bulk order, though Holguin said they can handle individual orders for products as well.

Stores generally employ one to three people in addition to the owner and most locations are around 1,000 to 1,200 square feet in size, Holguin said.

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