Re/code’s highly respected tech guru Walt Mossberg interviewed Hubert Joly, CEO of Best Buy, the last standing nationwide big-box, bricks-and-mortar consumer electronics retailer, with over 1,000 main stores and hundreds of smaller mobile device stores.
CCL industries, the Canadian packaging and label maker, acquired Avery Dennison last year and reported impressive Q2’14 financial results to 30 Jun’14
Iron Mountain (IRM), the global leader in information management services today reported stronger sales results for Q2’14 ended 30 Jun’14
Newell Rubbermaid,leading maker of business products and consumer brands today announced impressive sales and profits for Q2’14 ended 30 Jun’14
CDW Corporation, the $12Bn leading US multi-brand technology solutions provider to business, government, education and healthcare, today announced continued impressive Q2’14 results
Imation, the former storage media giant, today reported an accelerated rate of deterioration in its financial results for Q2’14 ended 30 Jun’14, plus more action to downsize its redundant businesses
Sonysharply cut its forecast for sales of smartphones, one of the ex-tech giant's big hopes to rebuild its troubled electronics business. Otherwise results were encouraging with rare surprise profits posted...
31 Jul’14 (Complete)
Epson, the leading printer and visual presentation products manufacturer achieved continued strong recovery in international markets for fiscal Q1’15 ended 30 Jun’14
The office of the future may not be about trappings or technology as much as the exchange of ideas, with a focus on employee engagement--what some experts are calling the "new sustainability."
Twitter,the premier permission based broadcasting & marketing service (not social media), reported soaring revenues and usage in Q2’14 ended 30 Jun’14. All dealers should master Twitter, the best promotional tool available...ask Amazon!
Vistaprint,the leading online provider of professional marketing products and services to small businesses once again reported strong sales growth for its Q4’14 ended 30 Jun’14
Systemax, the tech-direct marketer including Misco, CompUSA, Circuit City and Tiger Direct brands, reported continuing decline in its financial results for Q2’14 ended 30 Jun’14
It’s called deep linking, and it takes a shopper from an ad or e-mail directly into a reseller’s mobile app. However, most top online retailers lack this deep linking capability, according to data provided by Pure Oxygen Labs.
Sequana the parent company of leading European papermaker Arjo Wigginsand distributor Antalisreported continued decline in printing papers to half year ended 30 Jun'14. Like many complacent players it underestimates the market megatrends
30 Jul’14 (Updated)
Acco Brands, the one time leading OP manufacturer, issued another set of disappointing financial results for Q2’14 ended 30 Jun’14. It has become complacent and reactive to market trends and shows no sign of recovery...
Plantronics,the global leader in audio communications for business, today reported resounding results for its Q1’15 ended 30 Jun’14
Baidu, China’s largest web search service reported terrific results in Q2 ended 30 Jun’14. It will continue focus on apps used on smartphones and tablet computers for search and mapping...
Friday's bombshell news about Spicers’owner BeCap’sacquisition of OfficeTeamsent shockwaves across the OP dealer community. Yesterday, Spicers CEO Greg Michael quickly reassured dealers of its separateness. Today, comes news of its devaluation and move into a common fund?
Arrow Electronicsthe global provider of IT products, services today reported improved sales and profits for Q2’14 reversing previous positive trends
International Paper,the world’s #1 papermaker reported diasappinting results again for Q2’14 ended 30 Jun’14. Packaging now represent rising 62% of sales
29 Jul’14 (Updated)
Conventional wisdom has ruled the OP industry for 30+years. Channel structures; retail/commercial or B2B/B2C differences; survived in a race to the bottom. Now productivity services, delivered same-day, is on the disruptors’ agenda. Can the OP industry adapt?
29 Jul’14A deep dive into users’ buying behaviour in the business supplies category shows they know what they want and how to find it.
28 Jul’14 (Updated)
The tremendous growth of Google, Apple and Amazonreported this week are reminders of the deadly dangers imposed by the superstore revolution 30 years ago. Only this time, the damage could be worse with the double-down effect of the paperless office and disconnected dealers. We recommend 10 renewal remedies...
26 Jul’14Big box OP reseller Staples won the huge NY State contract for office supplies in May 2013. But a penny-pricing arrangement on 200+ items led bargain hunting buyers to fill their boots with damaging effect…
26 Jul’14 (Updated)I arrived at Heathrow yesterday to a chorus of alarm calls from leading OP dealers in the UK, after hearing the news that wholesaler Spicers’VC owner Better Capital, had bought dealers' arch competitor, OfficeTeam. We spoke to several outraged dealers about this bombshell development...
26 Jul’14The positive economic news keeps coming in the US/UK. Q2'14 GDP growth of 0.8% means output was bigger than Q1'08, its previous peak. Britain's economy is now bigger than it was at its pre-crisis peak, after official data showed GDP increased at a 3.1% clip in Q2’14.
Ingram Micro, the world's largest technology distributor with $42Bn in annual sales, grew sat a faster pace in Q2’14 ended 28 Jun’14
Amazon.com, the world’s #1 eMassmarketer, maintained its mighty sales momentum in Q2’14 with $90Bn in reach in 2014. This Godzilla stealth attacker has grown nearly 4x to $20Bn in business supplies in 5 years, without independent dealers reacting
24 Jul’14Starbucks,the leading worldwide coffee reseller, announced impressive results for Q3’14 ended 29 Jun’14. sales and profits are accelerating
WESCO a leading provider of electrical, industrial, and communications MRO and OEM products and services, today announced improving Q2’14 results
Acme United today announced strong results for Q2’14 financial results to 30 Jun’14 in spite of falling sales in Europe.
24 Jul’14 (Complete)
United Stationers,the US#1 business supplies wholesaler, yesterday reported flat sales and profits for Q2’14 to 30 Jun’14. Report and analysis complete
Domtar Corporation reported Q2’14 financial results ended 30 Jun’14. It’s investment in personal care products and acquisitions is a welcome diversion...
24 Jul’14 (Complete)
Canon reported financial results for Q2’14 ended 30 Jun’14 that disguised serious organic declines in its core businesses, Is it kidding about future prospects?
As it grapples with sluggish store sales, Walmart said that its U.S. CEO Bill Simon is stepping down and being replaced by the head of the company's Asia operations.
Amazon will release its Q2'14 results later today. Continued 20%+ growth rates are expected with $90Bn sales forecast in 2014 ($20Bn in business supplies). However, investments in distribution, drones, cloud and local services will depress profitability short term...
Logitech International,the once innovative leader in personal technology accessories today announced flat sales, but improved profit results in Q1’15 ended 30 Jun’14. Audit Committee investigations have put a dampener on outlook...
The mighty 3M today reported record sales and profits in Q2’14 ended 30 Jun’14 with accelerating rates of growth in health care, electronic and industrial supplies
Today, WBMason holds its 2nd Educational Consumer Show at New York Mets Baseball, Citi Field stadium expecting to attract 1000 teachers, principals and department heads. Report later today...
CCS Media, the fast growing UK tech services provider will blast through £100m ($160m) to achieve another record year of growth. We spoke with CEO Terry Betts.
Microsoft reported better than expected results for its Q4’14 ended 30 Jun’14. Since CEO Satya Nadella (pic left) took over as CEO market capitalization has increased 24%...
Applethe world’s #1 business tech provider, announced terrific results for Q3’14 ended 28 Jun’14. According to latest research it now dominates progressive companies’ technology usage soon to be cemented by the IBM connection
22 Jul’14 (Complete 14:00ET))
Yet another simplistic Seeking Alphaanalyst Daniel Jennings joined the ranks of bandwagon bigots yesterday in writing down Stapleswith the above headline. We expose the analyst’s naivety and lack of insight...
22 Jul’14After less than a decade of existence, smartphones and tablets will draw more ad money than traditional newspaper and radio media
Apple is gearing up for its biggest initial run of iPhones – up to 80 million units – for the model that is commonly known as the iPhone 6.
Lexmark International, surprisingly reported better financial results in Q1’14 after a long run of downward trends in sales and profits
Kimberly-Clark (K-C) the global personal hygiene brands manufacturer, reported solid Q2’14 results
Tomorrow is expected to be a blow-out quarter for Applewith market capitalization up 24% since the Q2’14 report. We can’t wait…
Clover, the leader in reman ink cartridges and Micro Solutions Enterprises (MSE), the leader in patented technologies for reman toner cartridges, completed their strategic merger.
Packaging Corporation (PCA) today reported Q2’14 financial results to 30 Jun’14. Packaging powers forward whilst paper volumes continue to slide
Philips, the Dutch diversified healthcare, consumer lifestyle and lighting company reported Q2’14 financial results including improved sales but lower profits…
Genuine Parts Company (GPC)parent of SPRichards & Co and Motion Industriestoday reported improved sales and profits for Q2’14 ended 30 Jun’14
Stora Ensoreported weak Q2’14 financial results and its departing CEO Jouko Karvinendescribed transformation plans to cut paper capacity and investment in new growth opportunities
Independent Stationers (ISG), the progressive marketing group announced today it was awarded the FSSI JanSan purchasing contract. We spoke with CEO Mike Gentile…
Office Depot, the beleaguered bigbox, has appointed another old-school retailer to try and rescue a business that is predominantly a contract/web delivery business. You couldn’t make this up!
Newell Rubbermaidtoday announced it would pay $308 million for a Chicago-based maker of reusable water bottles and thermal mugs, in the consumer-products company's first major acquisition since 2008.
21 Jul’14Tescochastened CEO Philip Clarkeis to step down to be replaced by Unileverpresident personal care Dave Lewis, a former marketer, as the embattled retailer plots a recovery from its recent poor performance.
Herman Miller, the leading office furniture maker, has bought upscale home and office design retailer. What's next for its move towards mobile executives?
19 Jul’14Getting off the bottom and moving more might lengthen your life, as well as decrease your risk of dementia, physical disabilities and other serious medical problems.
Amazonwill rake in $5Bn from its cloud computing business this year, according to Pacific Crest Securities.How long before the one-click wonder overtake the private cloud, hardware server leaders?
Twitterhas phenomenal power as a low-cost marketing tool. Ask Amazon. However, Facebookapparently has more users. In business, we doubt this and we’re pleased to see Twitter reviewing its metrics…
Knoll, today announced impressive growth results for Q2’14 ended 30 Jun’14 as it moves into higher margin specialty business
Googleannounced Q2’14 results ended 30 Jun’14 and a significant management loss. The Express delivery division is soaring but at what cost?
Assigning Meg Whitman as Chair-CEO of HP after Ralph Whitworth’s sudden resignation would be a big mistake. She needs to focus as CEO of the struggling giant and develop a coherent growth strategy...
WW Grainger, the $10Bn in sales, leading North American broadline supplier of FM, maintenance and office products today announced Q2’14 financial results to 30 Jun'14
HNI (HON) Corporation, a leading US furniture maker, reported stronger Q2’14 financial results to 28 Jun’14
Pelikan International the vehicle set up to acquire major German stationery brand makers Herlitz and Pelikan has raised funds to aid their recovery. Will it be enough to stop the rot?
“If you want to become a better entrepreneur and successfully grow your business, dedicate time and energy to improve your daily habits’ says Jacqueline Whitmore.
OnBuy,the ambitious UK start-up has fallen out with principal investor Centerprise International, causing growth plans to be put on hold...
Silicon giant Intel announced profit and revenue growth for the second quarter of 2014, although its Mobile and Communications group stood out as the weak performer.
Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer seems resigned to her fate. After 2 years she has acquired businesses that have masked her failure to achieve growth in a hot market...
Apple and IBM just announced a blockbuster partnership to help executives add business-specific applications to their preferred mobile devices. The landmark deal was announced by Tim Cook and IBM chief Ginni Romettythis afternoon
Microsoft is planning its biggest round of job cuts in five years, as the software maker looks to slim down and integrate Nokia Oyj’shandset unit...
Microsoftdubbed its first mobile contender the “Pocket PC” to emulate a small version of a Windows PC, because this was the way to perform digital tasks. How things have changed says Re/Code’s Walt Mossberg
Home and Office cleaning supplier Seventh Generation is acquiring a maker of single-serve coffee and tea brewers as it looks to broaden revenue sources and expand a ventures arm it set up last year.
We’ve been writing about the ‘office is where you are’ and the mobile imperative for 20 years. Leading Unified Communications (UC)marketer Jabrahave just updated its 2013 market study, GenM describing the communications revolution…
15 Jul’14 (Complete)
The hot topic in the market over recent years has been managed services e.g. MPS. It seems everyone has a solution. However, it is no good having a great ‘proposal train’ if there are no drivers or ‘C-level’ selling skills, to get on the right track to the CFO. We show you how...
Today, the American Postal Workers Union and its allies seem to be making progress in an important battle against Staples partnership with US Postal Service...
Small IT resellers claim HPexpressed concerns over government's £100m contract cap proves them right about previous protectionist practices...
Samsung has stepped up the mobile warfare between itself and its much-admired adversary Apple, by taking several shots at its apparent deficiencies. Meanwhile, Apple’s advanced iPhone6 and iWatch may have hit snags?
Office Depottoday announced a partnership with Samsung to offer the latest in wireless printing and tablet technology, into its Depot & Max stores and online. Late to the party again, we’re still waiting for CEO Roly Smith’sUSP…
14 Jul’14 (Complete)
We just read an article in the Small Business section of Business Weekthat we feel is highly relevant to all OP dealers locked into the declining paper related supplies. Start reinventing yourself now!
13 Jul’14 (Complete)
The Proficiency Index 10th Annual Survey of Businesswomen's Buying (typically Lucy), primarily user-choosers with executive power and influence, is more comprehensive than ever. It provides tremendous insight into the latest trends and how they have adapted to mobile devices and seek more productivity services from local providers.
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and AOL CEO Tim Armstrong talked over drinks into the wee hours on Thursday at the Allen Confab at a Sun Valley resort. Will AOL be the next Alibaba fuelled play for the misstepping Marissa?
Last Thursday, Amazonrolled out a host of new products that allow developers to more easily build mobile applications.
Dixons’ retail store brands Currys & PC Worldhave started promoting their Christmas promotions. This year will be all about the survival of the fittest and wearable technology…
Danwood Group, once the darling of UK document services market has turned turtle, masking its declining performance. Now its CEO Steve Francis, has turned on the industry’s customer service standards?
11 Jul’14 (Complete)Tributes have poured in following the very sad news that one of the great OP originals, Roy Cowanof Ofrex fame, has died. Roy was a much-admired motivator and mentor to so many sales people and progressive dealers that are successful today. We spoke to many of his disciples: “He made horses drink water…”
According to latest research dealers focus too much on cost cutting and improving gross margin %’s rather than investing in marketing, webstore development or technology…
Fastenal Company, a leading US reseller of MRO supplies including office supplies, reported faster growth results for Q2’14
Just days after Samsung Electronicsblamed its weak earnings on the smartphone market’s slowing growth, here comes another worrying sign for gadget makers.
MicrosoftCEO Satya Nadella, after five months on the job, today released his definition of Microsoft's corporate mission and hinted that an organizational shake-up is coming...
After several years of being displaced by the likes of Apple & Samsung, bizarre BlackBerryhas given the industry a peek at its new Square smartphone. It looks awful and misses the market again…
Proficiency Post has been highlighting the 3D Printing sales opportunity since 2011. Resellers can provide the sales and service to local businesses to replace fading copy & print demand. Staplesstarted in 2013, where are you?
10 Jul’14 When Meg Whitmanwas named HP’sCEO in 2011, it was a mess. HP had been slaughtered by the disastrous reign of Léo Apotheker, Meg vowed to invest and invent in true HP tradition. What happened?
Container Store Grouplowered its full-year financial projections amid a "retail funk" that has hampered sales growth of the home office supplier that went public last November
School Specialty,the one time leader in educational supplies, reported a better set of Q4’14 financial results to 26 Apr’14. It is now operating 40% lower volume levels than 2008
MSC Industrial Direct one of the largest MRO direct marketers and supplies distributors today reported financial results for Q3’14 ended 31 May’14
Michael Dell has opened up to about his commitment to Dell post-privatisation, claiming he will care about it even after he's six feet under. He sounds like a number of progressive successful leaders we know in the office market...
New technology has shaped the way our society lives and works. The printing press, radio, TV, mobile phones and the Internet are among these. “In the future we will see the greatest revolution yet, as billions of people connect to the Internet for the first time” writes Mark Zuckerberg.
8 Jul’14Just weeks after his appointment WalMart'snew CEO Doug McMillon gave his top executives a homework assignment: Read "The Everything Store," the book about Amazon's Jeff Bezos.
Search spending growth on smartphones outpaced growth on tablets 173% to 47%, according to a new report by Ignition One.
8 Jul’14No company has done more to change the way people drink coffee than Keurig Green Mountain. After the patent ran out 2 years ago hundreds of copycats emerged. Their KO day is imminent…
Samsung Electronics' warning of a third-straight quarter of profit decline highlights the pitfalls of the giant's reliance on smartphone sales....
Whilst it is sad to see the demise of the printer paper and ink market as exemplified at ITEX and Q1’14 results from the ex-tech giants it is exciting to envision the shift towards productivity services. We explore the opportunities for OP dealers…
New study ties too much sitting to risks for certain cancers. Those with the most chair time had worse odds for colon, endometrial cancers, researchers suggest...
Apple’s shares rose to a new high today…28% up since April, in anticipation of the success of brilliant new iWatch and iPhone 6 to be launched in Sept/October…
Googleis the undisputed king of search in subjects, but not in objects to buy e.g. products where Amazon is king. Here are Google plans to change this…
AFT Massachusetts, a teachers union with more than 25,000 members, said it is joining a boycott of Staplesin support of the American Postal Workers Union...
Economists and investment analysts’ employment reports have been increasingly convoluted by trends in start-ups and freelancing entrepreneurs. Now add the effects of robots and artificial intelligence and the picture gets blurry...
As the 2014 half year closes, we reflect on the BIG ISSUES facing OP resellers and identify 12 trends that are defining the future as traditional wholesaler/reseller structures breakdown towards a lower-cost transactional and higher-value productivity services future.
6 Jul'14 (Complete)
In 2011, we profiled ex-Fellowesexecutive Ron Weber of iBuyOfficeSupply.com of Plymouth (MN) who founded the etail start-up in 2007. He has doubled sales in the past 3 years with plans to achieve $20m+ in 2016.
Inefficiencies in electronics are costing the world dearly. The waste in not switching off devices in our always-connected world needs to be addressed by user friendly device inventors
What’s going on at the diminished buying group BPGI? A new sales-oriented CEO Barrie Hayeswas appointed 18 months ago, but nothing has happened in terms of strategic direction or new members?
3 Jul’14London’s Stationers’ Hall was packed with key industry figures gathered for the launch of the new European Digital Media Landscape to 2020 – The Future of Paper and Print…
It seems, slow growth corporations have been constipated by management-by-committee, forever. That's why it is refreshing to see new agile, lean leaders like Apple, Amazon, Google and Nike marginalize the meeting mired monoliths...
Happy Independent’s Day! Yes it’s all good news in the US/UK with output rising in services, manufacturing and higher GDP trends. CNBCmatches the OP dealers for pessimism, but opportunities to provide ‘personalised productivity services’ abound
3 Jul’14Sonysold off its Vaio PC unit in February due to sluggish sales, But for the second time in 2014, a model is at risk of overheating, and even melting.
SYNNEX Corporation the $12Bn business services wholesaler, today announced impressive financial results for Q2’14 to 31 May'14.
Fierce competition has convinced software giant Microsoft to stay out of 8in-screen tablet market, reports claim. Sounds a familiar story following waning Windows, beaten BING browser and Cloud confusion...
Hygiene and refreshments supplies boost office productivity; paper related products even supplied 'free of charge' increase costs. WSJ today reported on the huge snacking trend replacing set meals. We discuss…
The job market is back to previous highs but using far less office space according to real estate data firm Reis. Causes cited were shrinking space but what about the huge paperless, home office, co-working and freelancing shifts?
2 Jul'14 (Complete)
Last week United Stationers held its first CORE Lab session for leading OP dealers in Downtown Chicago. We spoke to over 20 of 160 attending dealers about their impressions and key takeaways...
Pinnacle Affiliates, the US large dealer group, as expected in our previous reports has added another 2 dealers with another large one in the pipeline for 2015. We speak to chairman Kevin Johnson(pic left) and the 2 dealer heads...
Philips said it is spinning off its lighting components business in the latest stage of the once-diversified Dutch electronics group's plan to focus on a handful of higher-margin activities.
Crystal Rock, the US Northeast water supplies dealer has endured a tough time since moving into OP with Hartford Stamp in 2010 and last year’s acquisition of Universal. We understand times are about to get harder…
Microsoft UKhas dropped hints about its channel strategy for the coming year, claiming that cloud training and better marketing will be high on the agenda.
Marketing Week editor Ruth Mortimer, just back from the Cannes Lions event warns that older businesses need to adapt to the new generational working needs…
Keurig Green Mountainannounced today that it had reached an agreement with Nestle US company to sell coffee brands in the US.
In 2008, Costco founder Jim Sinegalbought a Kindle from Amazon with a defective screen. He was so impressed when the company immediately replaced it that he wrote to Jeff Bezos to comment on the seamless customer service....
Pro-audio brand Sennheiserhas seen sales through resellers expand from 35% of its business to 70% in under a year in response to its new focus on its partnerships.
1 Jul'14 (Updated)
We’ve completed our half-year review of best practices in one of the most universally accepted measures of reseller productivity and a strong profitability indicator. The 2014 Half-Year Leaderboard is published below...
1 Jul'14 (Complete)
Mike Gentile, CEO of Independent Stationers is about to complete 10 years as leader of the progressive marketing group. We discuss his early challenges, its marketing transformation and its new direction…
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