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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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Blood plasma v biz supplyBusiness Supply
speed as crucial
as blood plasma

Dinosaur dealers & Half-
source 'holesalers outdated


As Amazon & WBMason acclerate rapid service levels to meet the immediacy needs of consumers, some deluded wholesaler leaders argue there is little need and costs are higher. What hope do dealers have to beat their #1 threat? 

Read more ...

supplier squeezeP u s h  back on
paper price hikes

Asian papermakers target
US market via S. America


US papermakers signalled months ago an 8% price hike effective in March/April 2019. Today that increase looks most unlikely given competitive pressure coming from Asian importers .... Later today

Read more ...

watt graeme softcat 18Softcat soars on
strong IT sales

Gaining UK market share
w/huge upside potential

 

UK fast growing #2 IT reseller Softcat reported tremendous progress in its first half results to 31 Jan'19. CEO Graeme Watt talks about market share gains and the huge upside potential...

Read more ...

Screen Shot 2019 03 20 at 12.15.31 PMCan AMZN's tree
grow to the sky?

'Everything to everybody'
mission eroding rapidly &
the vendor partners purge


Amazon has recently accelerated moves to drive profitability & cut costs inc. Private Label expansion; a smaller vendors purge; the Walmart price war; & abandoning NYC HQ2. Do these actions point to a peak in its market domination plan, at least in its etail activities? Updated

Read more ...

Screen Shot 2019 03 15 at 11.04.53 PM"Don't ignore
the OP core!"

UK #1 wholesaler VOW
chief calls for balance


Steve Haworth CEO of EVO Business Supplies, the VOW wholesaler, & Banner contract stationer duo, last year separated operations. Last week, we discussed with him progress, new developments & VC owner Endless' investment plans. Complete

Read more ...

vulture staples removerSycamore seeks
to cash in SPLS

Plans equity exit, via IPO,
will raise debt to $5Bn+


Vulture capitalist Sycamore Partners is looking to take most of its cash out of Staples through a recapitalization that will increase the debt load 25% to $5Bn. Financial engineering or asset strip?

Read more ...

Screen Shot 2019 03 22 at 11.46.08 AMA n t a l i s  owner
files bankruptcy

Sequana joins Arjo Wiggins
fate after BAT divi failure


Sequana (CEO Pascal Lebard
, pic left) owner failed Arjo Wiggins papermaker & Antalis paper merchant has confirmed that a court judgement over an unpaid BAT dividend would be converted to a bankruptcy filing. Antalis fire sale next?

Read more ...

Productivity stairway to heaven2Productivity key
to 'Progressives'
growth success

Broadline business supply
from single source wins


We've spoken w/many leading OP dealers in the US/UK recently. Progressives are positive about future growth prospects and driving a personalised  'managed productivity services' agenda. Here are the key ingredients... Updated

Read more ...

Lucy angry PCWayfair's woeful
wavering service

Customer complaints: cold
incomplete multi-deliveries

 
Giant furniture etailer Wayfair's popular adline "You got what I need" is increasingly ringing hollow with its fast growing base of customers suffering unreliable, incomplete & erratic deliveries from multiple 3PV drivers...

Read more ...

farmer scott cintasCintas drives
uniform growth

Acquisitions in facilities,
first aid up profitability


Cintas
, the uniform & business services specialist, posted impressive Q3'19 results and progressed along its strategic direction shift at higher profitability....

Read more ...

Screen Shot 2019 03 19 at 2.56.18 PMHP's Weisler on
MPS strategy

Highlights UK resellers
Apogee, Softcat & Total
best practice stories 


On Day 2 of its Reinvent event HP Inc.
 CEO Dion Weisler claims that its acquisition of leading UK reseller Apogee helped it address a fragmented European managed print services market.

Read more ...

owen andi HMillerMiller momentum
slows in US mkt 

Strong growth achieved
in Europe & consumer


Herman Miller,
the leading upscale furniture maker, continued to report strong results and order pipeline in Q3'19. Like rival Steelcase it's benefited from strong project furniture market demand, but slowed in US

Read more ...

bezos amazon achilles heelAMZN: Pvt Label
disrupter or dud?

Godzilla's attack on brand-
maker partners peters out?


Business supply resellers’ worst Amazon fear hasn’t yet come to pass. Its huge expansion in private label & exclusive labels has not gained traction with users in spite of some dodgy promo search tactics. Is own label an own goal for Godzilla?

Read more ...

Screen Shot 2019 03 19 at 4.34.29 PMAMZN purges
small suppliers

Cut the CRAP/Own Label
drive in price war v WMT


Amazon's
notorious reputation for squeezing suppliers has escalated over the past year. It's move towards private label and unrfair returns policies have extended to a purge on smaller supply partners announced on 2 March. Updated

Read more ...

Screen Shot 2019 03 19 at 8.29.08 PMFedEx: fearful &
falling off road

Price rises disguise demand
drop. Dire outlook v AMZN


FedEx CEO Fred 'Smug' Smith reported much slower growth boosted by price increases, effectively disguising a demand decline.  Sadly, he continued his arrogant attitude towards its growing etail customer base e.g. Amazon & opening the door to lower cost flexible delivery services including Uber...

Read more ...

Screen Shot 2018 12 19 at 9.57.41 AMSteelcase storms
ahead globally

Project furniture demand
accelerates double digits


Steelcase, the $3.5Bn in sales global leader in office furnishings, reported stronger demand across US/Europe in Q4'19 with a powerful order book. fuelled by key acquisitions

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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