Research from Roland DG has revealed that the UK digital print industry is cautiously optimistic about its future, despite the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic.

The industry supplier polled over 300 digital print companies in the UK across a range of sectors including textile and apparel, interior décor, promotional items and gifts, and sign and graphics. Its survey found that the most common three-year business goal amongst the respondents was increasing their production capacity, with over a third (36%) describing it as their ‘key objective’.

A further quarter (24%) of respondents described expansion as their key business objective over the next three years, which included expanding into new applications or markets with existing devices (9%) or into new technologies/devices, such as fabric or UV (9%).

A third (34%) of those surveyed were focused on maintaining what the business is currently doing, while just 3% said they were looking to reduce and rationalise their offerings, and only 4% of those polled expected to close or exit the business in the next 36 months.

The majority of the respondents (51%) also indicated that they would replace or purchase at least one new printer, cutter or engraving machine in the next 12 months, with one in eight (13%) were planning to replace or purchase two or more machines.

Paul Willems, director of business development and product management for Roland DG EMEA, commented: “We’re living through one of the harshest business environments in history, and yet this data shows that digital print shop owners are determined to look forward, stay positive and seize new opportunities.

“If ever you needed evidence of the resilience and entrepreneurship that defines our sector, this data is it.”

The research was conducted between 5-22 November 2020 with 343 respondents in the UK.