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  • productivity stairway to heaven 2017Death of Indie
    dealers greatly 

    exaggerated?

    Market trends turn against
    impersonal, cold bigboxes


    Does size matter? The office market over the past 35yrs has been dominated by bigboxes & Amazon's lead in business supplies, points to a continuation. But emerging trends show the big guys are declining fast & Amazon peaking. The rise of progressive resellers providing 'personalised productivity services' embracing mobile technology, can & will succeed.. Tomorrow

    Read More
  • Screen Shot 2019 04 20 at 11.25.07 AM'Industry Week'
    plan quashed 

    Plan B? Go for IDC
    'Biz Productivity' show


    The Business Supplies Association (BSA) plan to rationalise vendors' heavy schedule of 20+pa shows & create an 'Industry Week' has been quashed. Understandably, leading wholesalers & resellers wouldn't cooperate. Great idea, so what's Plan B?  We feel consideration be given to a more customer centric 'Business Productivity Show'  for the IDC. We spoke w/BSA pres Barry Lane... Monday

    Read More
  • Screen Shot 2018 12 14 at 3.24.27 PM'Fakebook' fraud?
    FTC focus...Zuck

    CEO wilfully broke privacy
    Firewall, faces $23Bn+ fine


    FTC regulators investigating Facebook for mishandling/selling users’ personal information have set their sights on CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, exploring his past statements on privacy; seeking new, heightened oversight of his leadership & record busting penalties 

    Read More
  • Screen Shot 2019 04 19 at 2.25.47 PMDo Workplace
    W e l l n e s s
    programs work?

    Changing behavior; gains
    in motivation prove tough


    Company workplace wellness programs — efforts to get workers to lose weight, eat better, stress less and sleep more — are an $8 billion industry in the U.S. Recent research reports heathier behaviour, but not necessarily healthier results? We discuss findings...

    Read More
  • Screen Shot 2019 03 01 at 11.44.11 AMA c m e  United
    loses sharpness

    Shifts focus to safety
    tools & First-aid kits


    Acme United
    today announced slower sales growth in Q1'19 financial results. Sales of core cutting tools slowed whilst moving successfully into safety products....

    Read More
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Screen Shot 2019 03 31 at 4.56.58 PMPhony 'Poland
Spring' source?

Unnatural Nestle accused
of defrauding consumers


It’s springtime for New England lawyers who contend Nestle's 'Poland Natural Spring Water' doesn’t come from an actual spring. The suit contends the #1 US bottled water brand original spring in Maine dried up 50 years ago. 

Read more ...

Screen Shot 2019 04 01 at 3.51.17 PMIowa's #1 adds
12th location

Storey Kenworthy buys
Rite Price of Oelwein


Iowa's #1 office supplier, Storey Kenworthy (DesMoines) has bought regional neighbour  to consolidate its leading state wide market position

Read more ...

Screen Shot 2019 03 29 at 9.48.44 AMThe Up-Lyft-ing  
e x p e r i e n c e

IPO values transportation
service at $25Bn mkt cap


Lyft, 
the #2 transportation service company has beaten #1 rival Uber Technologies. to an initial public offering (IPO), and that’s important for a number of reasons. We review its history & prospects 

Read more ...

antalis truck taillightsAntalis' adversity
disguise & denial

Packaging & price hikes
hide paper volume plunge


Europe's #1 paper merchant, ailing Antalis confirmed its continued decline in Q4'18 first reported on 8 Feb The CEO is in denial with his "in line with objectives" rhetoric; no growth or reinvention strategy, apart from packaging; as it steers  towards the sunset

Read more ...

Screen Shot 2019 03 29 at 1.32.27 PMCut 'CostToServe' 
#1 priority v price

Lower cost of goods comes
2nd in drive for productivity

Hidden costs are a burden to productivity for distributors & customers. Growing competition is forcing businesses to digitize to stay productive & maximize use of technology, to boost profitability. We explore options & best practice .... Updated

Read more ...

Screen Shot 2019 03 28 at 1.29.31 PMServiceNow stars
w/Compass Grp

Digital workflow NOW tool
unlocked lost productivity 


Leading digital workflow productivity provider to the enterprise market ServiceNow recently reported stellar results. We discuss with CEO John Donahoe his "make work better for people" mantra & report on Compass case study

Read more ...

Depot Dishonesty 2012Deceptive Depot
damned by FTC

Tricked users to pay for
needless malware services


Office Depot
 & software partner Support.com have been fined $35m by FTC for tricking users into buying costly & needless PC repair services. Nothing's changed in the dirty Depot culture  since 2005

Read more ...

Screen Shot 2019 03 28 at 10.05.18 AMArjoWiggins works
with best bidder

Admins consider offers for
Conqueror fine papermaker


Administrators at the Arjowiggins UK fine papermakers operations are working with a preferred bidder for a large part of the business and hope to conclude a deal next month.

Read more ...

Screen Shot 2019 03 28 at 2.15.49 PMFraudster Lynch
v Incompetent HP 

Court case: Autonomy deal
exposes weakness & failure


Hewlett-Packard
botched its $11Bn buy of Autonomy and then tried to cover up its incompetence by accusing the UK software company’s founder Mike Lynch of fraud, a London court was told

Read more ...

Screen Shot 2019 03 27 at 4.51.31 PMOmnichannel
obfuscation?

Who's winning? 

WMT, Home Depot, SPLS
ODP, BBY, Target, AMZN?


Internet Retailer’s 2019 Omnichannel Report
reveals which top retailers execute omnichannel services best. Amazon's well-designed execution now raises the stakes for other merchants.

Read more ...

Screen Shot 2019 03 27 at 4.37.22 PMScintillating
Synnex soars

New CEO drives new
acquisition strategy


Synnex
, the $20Bn IT supply wholesaler, has enjoyed resurgent organic growth since 2016 aided recently by big acquisitions inc. Converys

Read more ...

Screen Shot 2019 03 27 at 2.43.58 PMOverstock over
& out of stock?

Lossmaking, deceptive
captain of sinking ship?


Failing furniture & business etailer, $1.8Bn in sales, Overstock again 
reported heavy losses in Q4'19, as continued to seek withdrawal from its core ecommerce business. How much longer can its CEO survive? 

Read more ...

Screen Shot 2019 03 27 at 12.32.29 PMSycamore: Stick
Staples or twist?

Vulture Capitulation? Cash
withdrawals expose sting?


Sycamore Partners, which bought Staples in 2017 for $7Bn, is planning to recapitalize and load the bigbox with $5Bn+ in debt. Is the vulture capitalist planning an IPO, or typically a sell off, and if so to whom? 

Read more ...

Screen Shot 2019 03 26 at 2.52.15 PMAntalis chief's
defence & denial

Paper merchant distances
itself from Sequana demise


Leading European merchant
Antalis
is “driving the process” of selling on majority shareholder Sequana’s shares as the group files bankruptcy & papermaker partner Arjowiggins goes into administration. Why the defence & denial?

Read more ...

Screen Shot 2019 03 26 at 11.39.48 AMIs Wayfair retail
move wayward?

Image & marketing drive
outpacing service ability 


Wayfair, 
the leading international home & office furnishings etailer will open its first retail store later this year, in the Natick Mall (MA). Shouldn't Wayfair address its core customer service issues first?

Read more ...

Screen Shot 2019 03 28 at 2.36.13 PMApple bites back
in subs services

Can News+, TV+ & Card
drive new revenue streams


Is Apple losing its lustre? CEO Tim Cook announced its upcoming TV streaming service amongst other subscription services at its “It’s show time” launch event yesterday. The jury's out on its ability to excite the Apple Nation....

Read more ...

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not yesterday's news tomorrow."

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Latest Frost Bites

Death of Independents greatly exaggerated

productivity stairway to heaven 2017Death of Indie
dealers greatly 

exaggerated?

Market trends turn against
impersonal, cold bigboxes


Does size matter? The office market over the past 35yrs has been dominated by bigboxes & Amazon's lead in business supplies, points to a continuation. But emerging trends show the big guys are declining fast & Amazon peaking. The rise of progressive resellers providing 'personalised productivity services' embracing mobile technology, can & will succeed.. Tomorrow

Read More...

BSA's Industry Week plan quashed

Screen Shot 2019 04 20 at 11.25.07 AM'Industry Week'
plan quashed 

Plan B? Go for IDC
'Biz Productivity' show


The Business Supplies Association (BSA) plan to rationalise vendors' heavy schedule of 20+pa shows & create an 'Industry Week' has been quashed. Understandably, leading wholesalers & resellers wouldn't cooperate. Great idea, so what's Plan B?  We feel consideration be given to a more customer centric 'Business Productivity Show'  for the IDC. We spoke w/BSA pres Barry Lane... Monday

Read More...

Workplace Wellness programs - Do they work?

Screen Shot 2019 04 19 at 2.25.47 PMDo Workplace
W e l l n e s s
programs work?

Changing behavior; gains
in motivation prove tough


Company workplace wellness programs — efforts to get workers to lose weight, eat better, stress less and sleep more — are an $8 billion industry in the U.S. Recent research reports heathier behaviour, but not necessarily healthier results? We discuss findings...

Read More...

Marketing: User behaviour beats Demographics

Personalised emarketingUser behaviour
bts demographics

Personalised marketing the 
new segmentation strategy


Marketing Week's Charlotte Rogers
reports that
research shows marketers are shifting away from classic demographics to find more accurate ways to segment users based on their behaviour and personal interests...Updated

Read More...

Sycamore Partners: Beauty or BEAST?

Screen Shot 2019 03 27 at 12.32.29 PMSycamore Partnrs:
Beauty or BEAST?

Analysts: Is $1Bn loan hike
a road to ruin e.g.ToysRUs?


Vulture capitalist Sycamore Partners owner of Staples & Essendant recently hiked the former's debt load by $1Bn to $5.2Bn, with estimated interest payments of $400m+ pa or c3%/sales. Many analysts ask: Is this a repeat of the ToysR Us bankruptcy situation; and Sycamore's Nine West demise? We discuss... Complete

Read More...

Retail retreat runs rampant

doomed catalog retailRetail retreat
runs rampant 

Buying habits change
puts bigboxes in peril


The NYTimes reported yesterday that "planned retail store closures in the US already exceed 2018 total". A similar story applies in bigbox business supplies, with Staples & Depot expected to merge or accelerate closures this year...

Read More...

Staples Rebrand draws skeptics

Screen Shot 2019 04 02 at 2.59.13 PMStaples rebrand
draws skeptics

Forbes writers: 'Complex
solution...simple challenge'


Staples
r
ebrand of its logo, webstore and 5 new private labels under the 'WorklifeFulfilment' byline has attracted much interest in marketing circles e.g. Forbes. We discuss the comments, criticisms and conclusions ...Updated

Read More...

Marketing to Baby Boomers mistake

Screen Shot 2019 04 09 at 12.49.49 AMMarketing to baby

boomers mistake

'Forever Young' Gen prove
its about 'attitude' not age


Marketing segmentation this century has coralled consumers into age groups: Baby Boomers, 'GenY' aka 'Millennials' & 'GenZ'. Its not working its 'marketing mush'. It's more about attitude not age writes FT's Michael Skarpinker

Read More...

Global Slowdown happening - Prepare!

Screen Shot 2019 03 04 at 11.56.31 AMBatten down for
global slowdown

Corp growth decelerates
in US/EU, B2B/B2C mkts


Economic data across advanced global economies have deteriorated since Q3'18, indicating fading growth and the need to prepare for slowing demand reports the Financial Times. Gear your business to help customers save money & time... Provide Managed Productivity Services! Here's how....

Read More...

Original Brands v Private Label War ignites

Screen Shot 2019 04 04 at 1.16.16 PMPrivate L a b e l
propagandists?

Bigboxes battle brands w/
"users indifferent" rhetoric?


Staples
launch of 'Worklife Fulfilment' products is the latest bigbox to push private label following Amazon, Depot's Workonomy; and fated Adveo & old OfficeMax iterations. Meanwhile, core delivery service competence drags. What's the motive? Where's the valid user research? Where's the vendor partnership? Updated

Read More...

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