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ISA Stresses Importance of Signage for Struggling Retailers

ISA Stresses Importance of Signage for Struggling Retailers

Alexandria, VA – September 23, 2008

The International Sign Association (ISA) stresses the critical role of on-premise signage as a marketing tool for struggling retailers during this challenging economy. Opportunity abounds for entrepreneurial sign shops.

“An effective on-premise sign is the number one form of advertising for many retail establishments,” said ISA President and CEO Lori Anderson. “And during tough economic times, when marketing dollars are scarce, the sign plays an even more critical role in promoting a company’s product or services.”

Signs are so commonplace, businesses often take them for granted, Anderson explained. But an effective sign attracts new customers, brands your company in the eyes of the consumer and creates impulse purchases.

The value of on-premise signage has not been fully realized by the small business community. To many business owners, signs are an afterthought, a necessary expense but one that is rarely part of the budget. “Merchants who understand the value of signage view it as an investment that will pay a return many times over,” said Anderson. “They know that a well-designed, well-placed sign can generate huge profits. And when signage is part of an overall marketing strategy, the increase in revenue is even more profound.”

Data from the U.S. Small Business Administration shows that signage is the least expensive, yet most effective form of advertising available to retailers, and is responsible for half of retailers’ customers — that’s right 50 percent.

“Businesses can’t afford to just ‘hang up a shingle’ if they want to stay competitive in today’s marketplace,” Anderson added, urging small businesses to think of their sign as a sophisticated, powerful marketing tool.

“Unlike other forms of advertising, your sign works for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, creating the first impression of your business, telling people who you are, where you are and what you offer,” she said.

The retailers that close this year will eventually be replaced by other stores, all of which will need signs, she said.

“We encourage our members to look for the bright side in what seems to be a dim situation,” said Anderson. “In the meantime, ISA continues to beat the drum about the critical role signs play in supporting the U.S. retail industry.”