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WORKING THROUGH IT: Print Shop Makes The Grade

By Cece Nunn, posted Mar 24, 2020
Sky Grainger works on loading a delivery Monday for Copycat Print Shop. (Photo courtesy of Copycat Print Shop)

Editor's note: The Business Journal will be running regular features on area businesses and how they are adjusting operations, innovating and coping in general with the economic impacts of the coronavirus. For story or subject suggestions, email [email protected].

Over the weekend, Copycat Print Shop employees worked around the clock to finish a massive order due by noon Monday.

The job entailed printing packets of educational material for schoolchildren.

Store employees started on Friday and didn't finish until the early morning hours Sunday, said Betsy Kahn, owner and president of Copycat Print Shop, which recently moved to 637 S. Kerr Ave. in Wilmington.

But other than that large job and an initial rush of signs, business has “held steady,” Kahn said.

Some procedures have changed at the shop, in addition to offering free delivery.

“None of us has ever experienced anything like this,” Kahn said Tuesday. “Initially, our preparation was simply to start wiping down everything, and we have accelerated that to a specific time frame  . . . we wipe down everything every hour on the hour and the whole critical list to wipe down: doorknobs, countertops, computer mice, phones and on and on.”

Delivery drivers are wearing gloves, and the lobby door is locked.

“We’ve put signage out in front saying we will bring work out to you so you don’t have to come in,” Kahn said, “which has actually been difficult for us to wrap our brains around. Everything’s requiring a different way of doing things.”

The print shop, which started in the 1970s, has also been offering 11- by 17-inch signs free, especially to restaurants and medical facilities. 

The business has nine employees.

“Every morning in our team huddle, we check in: how are you feeling, if you need to leave, say so,” Kahn said.

She said she hopes print shops will be categorized as essential services in North Carolina.

“We know we’re serving a purpose to a lot of people; we just don’t know for how long,” Kahn said. “We’re prepared to shutter if we have to.”

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