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Shake-up for signs as Jim’s cuts in

Wednesday, 10 April 2019
By Wayne Robinson

               Signage shake-up: Jim’s enters the market

The sign and print industry is facing a major shake-up, as the country’s biggest franchise operator Jim’s is coming into the sign, print, promotional products and uniforms sector, initially offering sign businesses, and sign employees looking to set up on their own, the opportunity to market under the Jim’s brand.

The move is likely to result in serious turbulence for existing smaller sign shops who are competing only on price, as based on the experience of other industries, the Jim’s brand will sweep up a serious part of the market.

Operating as Jim’s Sign & Print the businesses will join almost 4000 other Jim’s franchisees in a range of activities, in what is a $500m a year operation. Price to become a Jim’s Sign & Print franchisee has not yet been finalised, but it will be less than $30,000, with an ongoing monthly fee likely to be less than $1000.

The move by Jim’s has been driven by the directors of national signage supplier Major Media. Speaking to Print21 its co-director David Field says, “Becoming a Jim’s franchisee will give signage companies a point of differentiation apart from price. It will also give them access to the knowledge, experience and suppliers of Major Media, although that is a separate company to Jim’s Sign & Print.

“It is also likely to impact on smaller signage businesses that are operating with cheap materials and processes. The Jim’s brand will operate to a national standard set by us.”

Field says franchisees will also benefit from work being passed onto them by Major Media, which operates nationwide, and is looking for accredited franchisees to handle work for it. There are actually two divisions being set up, Jim’s Sign & Print, and Jim’s Uniforms, the latter though is mainly for stay at home mums

Jim’s has already launched Jim’s Signs & Print in Victoria and will open into other states over the year. It says that, “Eventually we will cover the whole of Australia and New Zealand, with an aggressive growth strategy already in place.”

The Jim’s model is for each state to have a franchisor, who looks after the franchisees. Queensland will be the next state to have a franchisor. Franchisees will be territory based, but will be able to keep existing clients outside their assigned territory. Calls to the Jim’s call centre will be allocated by territory. Last year Jim’s call centre took 800,000 calls.

Jim himself is a fascinating character. His real name is David Penman, he launched his first franchise Jim’s Mowing in 1989 and now has 50 franchise operations. Known as a hard-nosed businessman, he once fired his own sister, who hasn’t spoken to him since. He claims to drive an old car, says he never goes on holidays, and eats at his local pizza joint, despite having a half a billion dollar a year business.

6 Responses to “Shake-up for signs as Jim’s cuts in”

  1. April 10, 2019 at 1:16 pm,


    Jim, I wish you would update your logos as they are the absolute worst examples of 80’s clip art out there, I cringe every time I see yet another variant slapped on to the side of a passing van or trailer. This one tops the most basic understanding of the business. Can’t wait until you open a strip club franchise. I wonder what the graphics will be, stick to mowing.

  2. April 10, 2019 at 1:44 pm,


    that’s not a good sign

  3. April 10, 2019 at 7:43 pm,


    Scaremongering at its best!
    How will a mowing and cleaning franchise bring any value to the printing industry?
    There established signage franchises, established print franchises with some large format capability and established signage companies.
    Printing is not a growing industry, so is David Penman just after basic franchise fees and fees for every call via his call centre?
    What is the motive of Major Media?
    I feel sorry for anybody buying such a franchise.

  4. April 12, 2019 at 7:17 pm,

    Who Wantstoknow

    Highly likely it will attract would be investors outside the industry like so many Signarama’s. The only one making any money will the Franchise burning and churning the would be investors. Not sure why our industry should be worried but then yet again the industry for years believe the sky is falling.

  5. April 15, 2019 at 11:53 pm,


    Once again peoples ignorance stands out.
    Point 1. Franchisees won’t be mowers or cleaners but suitably qualified just like ever other division
    Point 2 Jim “David” does not own the division he nearly provides his franchise system
    Point 3 Old logo yes but one of Australia’s most recognized. Why would you risk changing it?
    Point 4. 4000 Franchisees means 4000 instant clients
    Point 5 You notice new divisions with their logo “slapped on it”. Marketing working then.

  6. April 16, 2019 at 11:04 pm,


    Nobody said that they are mowers and cleaners, but most print franchisees aren’t printers and come from all walks of life.
    A new franchise, with the stigma of mowing will struggle to compete, especially in an industry, where a lot of skill is required. Unless it is all farmed out to trade suppliers of course.
    Yeah right, 4000 instant customers, as if every mowing and Antenna business would need signage.
    I guess you are part of the franchise, good luck to you

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