Valpak produces the famous Blue Envelope, delivering coupons and savings across the U.S. and Canada. It provides print and digital advertising to mostly small, local businesses through a network of 150 local franchises with almost 500 sales representatives.
Terry Loebel, an unemployed autoworker, founded Valpak® in 1968, using a $500 loan to start mailing coupons from his home to households in Clearwater, Florida. In 1972, Valpak established its first franchise in Orlando, Florida and by 1982, expanded business into Canada. A group of investors purchased Valpak from Terry Loebel in 1985. In September 1991, Cox Target Media, Inc. purchased Valpak and by 1997, Valpak® was mailing out 11 billion coupons a year.
In January 2017, Platinum Equity acquired Valpak from Cox Target Media, Inc. Today, Valpak has more than 730 employees and mails to nearly 40 million households each month. Annually, Valpak distributes almost 20 billion coupons in approximately 500 million envelopes and millions more through its mobile app and websites.
The Valpak® Manufacturing Center (VMC) is the largest, most-efficient short-run printing facility in the world. This $220-million, state-of-the-art, largely robotic printing facility is just over the Howard Frankland Bridge in Pinellas County. The facility was built in conjunction with the United States Postal Service, and in partnership with supplying companies from all over the world. It boasts more than one mile of conveyor belts and more than 25 robots (17 of which are automated guided vehicles that navigate utilizing wiring buried in the floor of the VMC). Part of the facility even runs in the dark since robots don’t need light to operate. Companies from around the world tour the facility as an example of a highly efficient print operation and an international engineering marvel.
Some key stats regarding the VMC:
96% increase in productivity over Valpak’s previous facility
What used to take 4 days to print now only takes 4 hours
144,000 blue Valpak envelopes assembled per hour
10,000 coupon inserts printed at a single time
2,200 feet of paper run through each press per minute
7,000-pound paper rolls and 2,500 pounds (each) ink totes used to print the Valpak Blue Envelope
470,000 square feet of manufacturing floor space (that’s 13 large 747 jets parked side by side)
98% of the waste produced by the manufacturing process is recycled
25 trailers of Valpak mail leave for delivery each day