Small businesses which have depended on servicing the major players in the travel retail channel are particularly vulnerable, such a Miami’s Associated Photo & Imaging, a specialty photo imaging company that has been providing visual brand services since 1946.
The company has expanded into all forms of visual communication, specializing in providing point-of-purchase displays, pop-ups, kiosks and installations in addition to its large format digital and printing services, and is a key service supplier to the travel retail industry throughout the country.
All of which ground to a halt with the outbreak of COVID-19.
“I know I am not alone in saying that I am really worried about my small business. Associated Photo & Imaging has like many had to pivot, in order to survive,” Diana Herrera, AP Imaging President tells TMI.
“We went from a booming business manufacturing luxury brand POP and many types of print décor to total shut down. Associated Photo is one of Miami’s oldest small businesses — next year we would celebrate our 75th anniversary. But we, like many others, had to rethink our infrastructure and look for a way to reinvent ourselves and re-open.”
The company soon realized that the talent, equipment and materials it had on hand to produce POP displays could be re-purposed to create desperately needed personal protection equipment (PPE). It has now been designated as an essential supplier, and is open for business.
“We are making everything from face shields for children and adults (an order of which was donated to Miami’s Nicklaus Children’s Hospital) to protective panels used in retail stores and hospitals. As a custom house we can do a lot more. We are printing window decals with COVID instructions, floor graphics indicating safe social distancing parameters, shelf talkers and signs. We have even designed special panels for social distancing within elevators,” explains Herrera.
“We will have to make people less fearful of the virus if they are going to travel again. We have to find a way to make consumers safe & comfortable with traveling, and safeguards and tools such as the ones we are producing will be part of the solution. We want to do all we can to keep people safe by offering these products. I think they will become part of the new norm, at least for a while,” she says.
For more information on how AP Imaging can work with your company, or to share suggestions for new products you may have, contact Herrera at email@example.com