Photo retailers attending PMA@CES are no doubt on the lookout for profitable, high-quality accessories to add to their assortment. That’s been one of the greatest benefits of attending PMA since its inception. The event provides the opportunity to see the newest and latest products, and the chance to talk to company representatives. Even more important, it’s a great place to exchange objective opinions and experiences with colleagues and other industry members.
One of the hottest categories this year is photo books, and standing at the forefront as the leading supplier of photo book binding equipment is Unibind, Inc.
Unibind, a third-generation family-owned business, is the worldwide market leader of personalized and customized covers for the binding of printed documents. With an estimated 80% share of the retail market in the U.S., they are the leading provider of binding equipment for the photo retail trade. Unibind binding products are the result of more than 30 years of research, development and client feedback.
Headquartered in Puurs, Belgium, with North American headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia (an Atlanta suburb), Unibind is serviced by 118 distributors worldwide for most products.
“For PMA@CES, we are focusing on the CaseMaker 350 Combo,” said company CEO Brigitte Peleman-Vantieghem. “It’s the most innovative retail product ever produced by Unibind.”
The CaseMaker 350 Combo enables retail shops to make personalized four-color photo books on-site in less than four minutes. The photo book can have separate prints on the front and back, or one print that wraps around the spine and crimps of the book. Books typically range in thickness from 12–24 pages; however, it’s possible to bind more pages.
Using a CaseMaker 350 Combo, photo retailers can personalize and assemble photo books with Unibind’s resin or staple binding methods. Other Unibind binding solutions use wire, peel & stick or slide fasteners. There is no functional difference to the consumer.
The main target consumer for these bound photo books is both professional photographers and amateur hobbyists. Because the books are personalized, wedding photographers can offer proofs and finished prints in neat volumes. Photo books also appeal to moms hoarding baby pictures, couples celebrating anniversaries and photographers who want to flaunt their portfolios. Different cover templates are available for different occasions. Unibind also offers a soft cover solution for 4×6 brag books.
Is it profitable? Keep in mind that Unibind is providing the binding solution. You, the photo retailer, have the enormous opportunity to supply the digital printing of the photos that are bound. The start-up entry fee is very low, and one can recoup an initial investment by selling as few as 50 books.
“All start-up packages are customized to meet the retailer’s needs,” said Jeff Atkinson, national sales manager of Unibind’s photo division. “Typical dollar investment is around $1,000–$1,200 or so. At this level, a retailer can easily have ROI returned by selling 50 books at $30 each.”
“Unibind is constantly innovating,” noted Brigitte Peleman-Vantieghem. “We are the fastest growing binding company in the world.”
Unibind is also one of the few companies that can give you a positive feeling about what you’re doing for the environment when you sell their products. All Unibind manufacturing is done with 100% green energy, powered by windmill and solar.
“We are committed to environmental responsibility,” Peleman-Vantieghem added. “Besides the exclusive use of renewable, sustainable energies like wind power and solar power, we use recycled material as much as possible in the fabrication process. Our recycled minimum is 75% and we reach up to 100% recycled material in some products.”
Photo books can help boost the profit in your retail store, and Unibind is the company that helps you put the books together. Inventory investment is low, initial investment recovery is fast, and the process opens doors to additional photo processing and printing sales. Visit the Unibind booth at PMA@CES, LVH Booth 42037.