IT'S THE ECONOMY ....
This year has been a roller coaster...and it's only two months old. We have, thankfully, been very busy with second semester back to school orders. Unfortunately, we have had numerous suppliers either raising prices or eliminating products - or both.
Possibly the most notable of these is the entire Litho-Sketch product line manufactured by AMACO. Most of the products in this line are available from other sources, but the two key products - Litho Sketch Paper Masters and the Litho-Sketch Plate Solution - are not.
Other products are the victims of the world economy, specifically the weakness of the dollar compared to other currencies. Products which we began carrying for the primary advantage of price are now approaching being prohibitively expensive. European equipment is noticeably higher today, with no prospects of coming down unless the Euro comes down in relationship to the dollar.
The good news side of the equation is that U.S. products are more attractive to European and Asian buyers because of the currency situation.
All that being said, we are still expanding the product line in ways that we believe you'll find helpful. For example, we are anticipating a void in the Oriental Paper market due to the loss of a key supplier. We have already added more than a dozen new sheets in that area, with more to come.
Other products which will be affected by price changes will include most inks, zinc and copper plates and tools. We always try to hold prices as long as possible, but some of the increases are on us before we can react to them. Recently we entered into a blanket order for Economy Copper plates. In the 3 weeks since we did that, the price on that grade of copper is up almost 25%!
We will survive the storm, but as always, we'll need your help to insure that printmakers' needs will continue to be met efficiently and professionally.