The flagship store of a company once synonymous with copying and printing in central New Jersey has changed its name.

Triangle Reprocenter of Princeton changed its name on January 1 to Princeton Printing and dissolved its franchise with Manhattan-based National Reprographics Inc. The Princeton store was Triangle’s first franchisee in 1984.

According to William Howard, co-owner of Princeton Printing with his wife, Cecelia, the move is mutually beneficial to both businesses since NRI’s strength is not franchises, and he no longer has to pay a franchise fee.

At the height of its success in the 1980s and 1990s, Triangle was the go-to destination for print and copy services and art supplies. NRI purchased the 68-year-old Triangle from Joseph Teti in 2007, mainly for the business it did with large companies, says Howard. The franchises, though, were a different story.

“They were not familiar with how franchising works. They were not geared for that,” says Howard. “After struggling with it for a few years, they said, ‘it’s not working for any of us,’ so if we were willing to change names, then they would just close the franchises.”

Since NRI will continue to own the Triangle brand, the name change is a requirement of ending the franchise. While Howard has decided to change his store’s name, others in the area have not.

Sam Carnevale, owner of Triangle Reprocenter of Rocky Hill says he hasn’t made a decision yet, but will “probably follow suit.”

And Triangle Copy East Windsor will remain a franchise, operated by owner Michael Cocciolillo. The Triangle store in Pennington, corporate owned, has changed its name to NRI Pennington.

There is some risk to the transaction, Howard says, as NRI could be a direct competitor. For example, they could go after print jobs at Princeton University, where Princeton Printing gains some of its business.

Despite hard times for many in the print and copy business, Howard says he is pleased with how his business has adapted to the struggling economy and the constantly evolving industry. He recently opened a new location at 1276 Route 206 in Lawrenceville.

“With our expansion,” says Howard, “we are able to handle more print jobs, complete them faster, and cover a larger portion of Mercer County.”

“Our location on Nassau Street makes us a top choice for students to bind their theses, and our reputation of a quick turnaround has built a loyal small business customer base,” he says.

Howard believes that customer loyalty will continue, despite the change of name. “We think they will keep coming because of who is running things, not because of the name. At least that’s what we’re hoping.”

Howard says the store also tries to be a good neighbor to the environment, incorporating sustainable business practices into its daily operations. Solar panels were installed onto the roof — they own the building — in 2008, making Triangle the first commercial business in Princeton Borough to be powered by solar energy. The shop uses no ink, only toners, and all paper used is recycled and acid-free.

“Being a printing business in a society where everything is going paperless and moving toward more environmentally friendly solutions, we are proud to be taking strides to minimize our impact on the environment,” says Howard’s daughter, Melissa Kelly, layout coordinator.

Triangle was founded in 1939 as Triangle Blueprint in Trenton, and then later became Triangle Art, and then Triangle Reprocenter in 1978. After deciding to franchise in the 1980s, it grew to 15 locations in New Jersey, including an art-supply store in Lawrenceville. That store closed in 2006, and the Teti family sold the following year to NRI.

Princeton Printer, 150 Nassau Street, Princeton 08542; 609-924-4630; fax, 609-683-9653. Bill Howard, president.

Also at 1276 Lawrence Road, Lawrence Township 08648; 609-882-8000.

Triangle Copycenter East Windsor, 222 Dutch Neck Commons, Route 130, East Windsor 08520; 609-448-8161; fax, 609-448-9499. Michael R. Cocciolillo, owner/operator.

Triangle Reprocenter/Rocky Hill, 1225 State Road, Princeton North Shopping Center, Princeton 08540; 609-921-9525; fax, 609-683-0079. Sam Carnevale, manager.

NRI Pennington, 7 Route 31 North, Pennington Square, Pennington 08534; 609-737-0700; fax, 609-737-3323.

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