Feb 9, 2015
America’s two largest U.S. office supply chains are once again challenging the views of antitrust regulators – and this time, if they succeed, it could spell the demise of traditional competition in that business sector. Read more »
Jan 31, 2014
International Paper (IP) and Unisource Worldwide (UWW) Holdings have announced a definitive agreement to merge their distribution businesses and form a newly created, publicly traded company that will be the largest paper distributor in North America.
This is a big deal. Two of the largest distributors of paper, board, and related supplies for the commercial printing and packaging industries are merging. It would be like Sysco and US Foods, UPS and Fedex, or Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks merging — OK, maybe not that big, but you get the idea.
The new xpedx/Unisource (unipedx? I hope not.) will have an unparalleled combination of product assortment, availability, logistics services, operational efficiencies, and, potentially, pricing power in the market. According to IP, the combined xpedx and Unisource business will have projected annual revenue in the range of $9 billion to $10 billion, and will have about 9,500 employees across more than 170 distribution centers in North America.
xpedx (blue) and Unisource (red) North American Locations
InfoTrends graphic from xpedx and Unisource data
Jan 24, 2014
Best Buy acquired mindShift in 2011 for $167 million. The strategy at the time was to use mindShift to break into cloud services and target more SMBs. Â Best Buy was focused on developing a services business and the thought was that with the combination of mindSHIFT’s cloud, data center and professional services would allow the two companies capture a greater share of the $40 billion small and mid-sized business MSP market. Paul Chisholm, chairman and CEO of mindSHIFT at the time in 2011 stated of the acquisition by Best Buy, “We are very closely aligned with Best Buy in both corporate vision, and in our culture of integrity, customer value and results.”
That was then, this is now, and the current reality for Best Buy is to leverage an asset (mindSHIFT) and go back to doing what made them great and focus on their core. Â Bottom line, this is a good/needed move for Best Buy after a disappointing 2013 that was capped off by a holiday price war with Amazon where it lost badly. Read more »
Sep 16, 2013
International Paper announced it will permanently close its massive Courtland, Alabama mill by the end of the first quarter of 2014. This is a huge decision for IP and speaks very loudly about the long-term demand for printing and communications paper. Printer and copier manufacturers, inkjet and toner vendors, office products and supplies resellers, and print service providers need to take notice.
International Paper Courtland Alabama Mill
Source: Decatur Daily
Read more »
Sep 6, 2013
In late July, The UPS Store announced an initiative to test 3D printing services via Stratasys equipment in select stores. The result has been significant publicity and interest in the offering. For example, the Clairemont, San Diego, location has received much attention due to the service since its debut three weeks ago. The owner, Burke Jones, spoke to Forbes about his store’s 3D printing service, the types of customers using it, pricing, and expectations for the future. One of the most interesting takeaways from Mr. Jones’ interview is who his customer base is. The majority are Read more »
Aug 22, 2013
Staples’ most recent earnings announcement and efforts to reinvent itself suggest the office equipment and supplies business has entered a period of long-term decline. Vendors and resellers need to take notice and develop new strategies for growth.
Consider some of the financial highlights and comments from Staples’ conference call with analysts: Read more »
Sep 17, 2012
Staples, Office Depot and OfficeMax have been in the news lately for declining revenue and profits. The office superstores (OSS) face an immense challenge to transform as there is less demand for some of their biggest sources of profit (ink and toner cartridges) and less use of one of their biggest assets (retail stores). How they pivot at this point will likely determine their direction for years to come.
Nov 11, 2010
John Wanamaker, known as the father of modern advertising, once made the now-famous statement: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.” With today’s analytics capabilities, marketers no longer have the luxury of ignorance. Read more »