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  • Screen Shot 2019 05 21 at 2.25.45 PMEtailers escape
    from reality...

    Casual customer dating
    does not sustain growth

    Five years ago, we reported that the rapid OP etailer expansion was peaking, as a result of Amazon's aggression and the incidence of high customer churn from its disloyal 'casual dating' model. Progressive resellers exercising a deep customer intimacy model have achieved sustained success as etailers escape the market...

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  • Screen Shot 2019 05 21 at 10.44.17 AMStanley's Smart
    factory project

    New Craftsman tools plant
    opening in Summer 2020

    Stanley Black & Decker
    , the $14Bn tools, storage & OP maker plans to open a new Craftsman manufacturing plant in North Texas. This follows the launch of its Manufacturing 4.0 Centre of Excellence centre in Connecticut last month

    Read More
  • Screen Shot 2019 05 21 at 9.51.36 AMExertis Plugs
    bold progress

    International expansion
    drive v top broadliners

    UK Based tech reseller Exertis held its annual 'Plug In' partner event last week, in the illustrious surrounds of Silverstone race track. New group MD Tim Griffin outlined his differentiation plans v international powerhouses Ingram & TechData....


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  • menear craig.HDHome Depot's
    growth sliding

    PRO wholesaler model
    outpaces slow DIY sales

    Home Depot
    the $108Bn+ home & business improvement supplier again reported slower growth in direct sales. In contrast its $3Bn PRO (ex Supply Works) wholesale division is gaining strength with business service providers....

    Read More
  • HP death of the printerPrinters plunge
    in Europe Q1'19 

    Context research confirms
    brand leaders sales trends

    Sales of printer hardware through distributors in West Europe (WE) were sharply down by 4.2% in Q1 2019, according to the latest distribution data published by CONTEXT.

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commodity cliffOP/Papermakers'
plunge persists...

Paperless, printless trend
forces race to reinvent or
ruin for old brand leaders

Most leading OP, Paper & Print makers have now reported a Q1'19 sales slowdown. We analyse the market, comparative performance and any plans for reinvention. Paper demand is plunging, but price hikes disguise the decline, spiralling down 50% since 2008 Updated for today's results 

Read more ...

mobile webstore masters 2016Mobile Webstore
M a s t e r s 2019

The progressive resellers
that get what Lucy wants

We've hammered home the mobile webstore imperative for 9 years now. Yet still less than 20 resellers in US/UK have responded to Amazon, Wayfair & Staples moves that drive huge sales volumes with users. We review leaders' progress inc. Staples' new webstore... Updated later today 

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Screen Shot 2018 12 02 at 5.31.27 PMTop FoodService
resellers rising

Insightful market analysis
into business supply rivals.
FaB growth opportunity...


The US FoodService market (exc. food) is estimated at $300Bn and grew at 3-4% over recent years. Some of the leading progressive business suppliers are making early inroads. We study the Top 20 players and rising stars. 

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retail retreat doomedR e t a i l
R e t r e a t
R e v i s i t e d

Bigbox & trad dealers
face death by 1000 clix

The financial press is awash with headlines of struggling retailers as ecommerce trends in the US/UK soar and threaten traditional resellers/department stores. We discuss latest developments from Q4'18 results. Updated

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Screen Shot 2019 02 21 at 11.39.12 AMThe Young GenZ
business trends

Digital, diverse, ethical,
mobile & entrepreneurial

Generation Z (GenZ), comprise consumers born between 1995-2005, just entering prime spending years. GenZ’s are mobile, social & ethically conscious & represent 25% of market spend potential. We discuss Fortegra's Steve Davison research paper.... Updated

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Screen Shot 2019 02 21 at 12.35.34 PMOmnichannel
M a r k e t i n g
C h a m p i o n s

Can 'click & collect' model
match Amazon mastery?

Internet Retailer’s 2019 Omnichannel Report
reveals which top retailers omnichannel services fare best and which need improvement. We compare bigboxes Walmart, Staples, Depot & Home Depot with Amazon...

Read more ...

commodity cliffPapermakers'
p r i c e  h i k e s

Paperless trend, capacity
cuts, cause cartel actions?

Most leading OP, paper & print makers have reported Q4'18 results. We analyse the market, comparative performance, capacity cuts & plans for reinvention. Paper demand is falling, but price hikes disguise the decline, spiralling down 50% since 2008 Updated for today's results

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Screen Shot 2019 01 03 at 11.26.02 PM'19 Predictions:

OPocalypse or Opportunity?

Mobilize managed
productivity services

What will happen with Amazon, Apple, Staples, Essendant, SPRichards, Office Depot, WBMason, HP, Uber, Imperial Dade, SPOT (Spicers-OfficeTeam), EVO/VOW, Westcoast, dealers, groups, wholesalers, manufacturers in 2019. Here are our predictions....Refreshed & Updated

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Screen Shot 2018 12 02 at 5.31.27 PMFood Service: Fine
forecast for 2019

4% growth mirrors outlook
in hygiene, safety & packng

FoodService & Equipment
reports that the 4% growth achieved in the market in 2018 will be maintaned in 2019. We publish John Muldowney's report and comment on opportunities for progressive dealers...

Read more ...

innovators top 2013Top Innovators.
Top Innovations

Illustrious icons comp'd
w/personal productivity
drivers & best products

Time Magazine
recently reviewed the most innovative companies of 2018; and Forbes magazine the best breakthrough innovations. We feature the most innovative leaders and best innovations in the business supply/personal productivity marketplace… Updated


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progressive leaders resellers 2015

Top Reseller Review 2018

Taking charge
of their destiny

Bigboxes, leaders, rising
stars, laggards & top tips

The bigbox share of the US-UK markets tumbled again in 2018. Disintegrating Depot and stalled Staples have lost an est. $27Bn sales since 2007. Progressive resellers, MSP's and Amazon continued to gain market share.... Updated

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Best performers 2015Best Performers
Review of 2018

Leaders, brands, web,
products, productivity,
services, ads, greenest

Despite the #OPocalypse aka perfect storm impacting the office supply market, it was another powerful year for progressive broadline business suppliers & managed service providers. M-commerce became buyers' preference; Amazon's high growth rate decelerated; & regional independents expanded via acquisitions. Proficiency Index reviews best performers in each category...

Read more ...

Christmas crackers 2017Xmas Crackers
& Top Turkeys

Fun reflections on an
OPocalyptic, paperless
year of consolidation

2018 will go down as another tough year for ‘turkeys’ (aka vultures) citing ‘political uncertainty' excuses as causes of failure. For progressives it’s been another cracking year of growth in new business supply categories: hygiene & safety; refreshments & food service, plus packaging.   

Read more ...

Productivity leaders 20182018 Champions
of Productivity

Will lean stocking dealers
surpass stockless etailers

We're conducting the Proficiency Index Dealer Productivity 2018 Full Year Review, the most universally accepted indicator of dealer profitability. Leading dealers have now submitted sales forecast for 2018/employee numbers (FTE's) . We'll finalise the final championship leaderboard tomorrow

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Furnituremakers 2026 montageFurniture market 
renaissance rolls  

Worklife confluence fires
up ergonomic innovation

The transactional/replenishment furniture market continued to slowdown, meanwhile, CEO's project a positive outlook especially in contract interiors.. We highlight trends and review top furnituremakers' performance after Q3'18 results. Updated

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Most admired leaders 2018Business Supply
Personality 2018

Who are the progressive
leaders driving the market

Fortune has published its Annual list of Business Leaders inc. CEO's at Amazon, VMWare, Adobe & Apple. We invite your leader nominations in the broadline business supply market to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Tues. 18 Dec and will publish the leaderboard with mini profiles on 24 Dec.

Read more ...

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not yesterday's news tomorrow."

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Latest Frost Bites

Etailers escape from market reality

Screen Shot 2019 05 21 at 2.25.45 PMEtailers escape
from reality...

Casual customer dating
does not sustain growth

Five years ago, we reported that the rapid OP etailer expansion was peaking, as a result of Amazon's aggression and the incidence of high customer churn from its disloyal 'casual dating' model. Progressive resellers exercising a deep customer intimacy model have achieved sustained success as etailers escape the market...


Etailers maul Mall retailers

Bezos godzillaEtailers maul
mall retailers

Death by 1000 cuts
for department stores

Seeking Alpha analyst Wolf Richter reports on the rise and rise of ecommerce at the expense of retail stores especially, the mall locations. We discuss and analyse his findings... Later today


Is it all clicking for Wayfair?

Screen Shot 2019 02 22 at 9.25.47 AMIs it all clicking
for Wayfair?

Skyrocketing sales. What
about service & profits?

, the #1 US furniture reseller is a newly minted Fortune 500 entrant. It has two visionary founders, 2,300 data geeks, and skyrocketing sales. Now it just needs to turn a profit" writes contributgor Jeffrey O'Brien. We discuss his article plus its growing delivery service issues weighing on the brand


Amazon v Walmart War - Who's winning?

Amazon v walmart sumoAMZN v Walmart
War. Who wins?

US #1 retailer online sales
tiny compared w/Godzilla

 steady growth trend has attracted praise from financial press. However, its important to get real when comparing progress v #1 Amazon. Godzilla's US sales online are 6X v Walmart from faster webstore experience & delivery service. We compare the key metrics.....Updated


Will tariffs trump private label lemmings?

Screen Shot 2019 05 14 at 8.35.32 AMWill Tariffs trump
PLabel lemmings?

China Trade War threatens
price hikes for bigboxes

The huge hike in tariff rate to 25% proposed on Chinese imports will almost certainly be passed on where possible to consumers. However, will businesses resist particularly on paper-related private label products? Updated



Disconnected dealers - 2019 Update

disconnected dealer2Disconnected
dealers act now!

Old motive: High GP's;
New: User productivity

Late last century, normal OP dealer motivation was maximising margins and maintaining relationships with stationery buyers. Enter the digital 2000's, Amazon has led the market with personalised service beyond the buyer to Lucy, the typical user chooser, with faster delivery service across a broader business supplies selection. Time to go beyond the buyer! Complete



Will Bain expand hygiene further or flip?

Screen Shot 2019 05 02 at 6.13.13 PMWill Bain expand
hygiene interests
further or flip? 

Bought & IPO'd HDSupply;
Next: Diversey & Imperial?

VC Bain Capital an original investor in Staples has invested in the FM/Hygiene supply market in recent years. In 2017, it bought a top hygiene brand Diversey from Sealed Air and last week took a majority stake in Eastern US jansan reseller Imperial Dade. What's the plan? We look at the options to invest further or flip? Complete


Alibaba to grab Office Depot?

Screen Shot 2019 04 29 at 1.05.04 PMWill A l i b a b a
grab  D e p o t?

China partner to rescue
desperate one cheaply?

, the Chinese based global ecommerce marketplace giant, formed a 'collaborative partnership' with Office Depot last month. What is Alibaba's intent given that it has yet to penetrate the US market successfully? Complete



Fastest delivery speed winner? WMT, TGT or AMZN?

amazon prime deliveryFastest delivery 
speed winner?

Analyst: "WMT & TGT
steps ahead of Amazon"

"Traditional  retailers "Walmart and Target are a step ahead of Amazon in delivery moving to same-day" according to retail equity analyst John Zolidis. Keep up, Amazon have been delivering same day to the world's major cities progressively since 2014.


Will Amazon's CRaP strategy crater?

Bezos unhappy stretchedWill AMZN's CRaP
strategy crater?

Do private label ex-China &
split delivery plans bode ill?

etail growth rate has slowed dramatically over recent quarters. Meanwhile, it's cutting its 'CRaP' defined products; shifting to imported private label; cutting back on small vendors; and splitting deliveries into multiple drops. We discuss the consequences...Updated


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