Posts tagged: Staples

Office Supplies and the Death of Traditional Competition

Other Posts
 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 »

xpedx + Unisource – Will Bigger Be Better?

Jeff Hayes
 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

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Ricoh Acquisition of mindSHIFT – Launch Pad for Services and Sign of Acquisitions to Come

David Ramos
 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.  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.  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 »

International Paper Closes Another Mill…Wake-Up Call for the Office and Commercial Printing Industry

Jeff Hayes
 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

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The UPS Store Fires First Salvo in U.S. Retail 3D Print Services

Other Posts
 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 »

Staples Earnings Don’t Bode Well for Office Equipment & Supplies Industry

Jeff Hayes
 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 »

Office Depot and OfficeMax Announce Merger of Equals

Other Posts
 Feb 21, 2013
Rumored for some time, Office Depot and OfficeMax announced that the companies would be merging with the goal of creating a stronger and more efficient combined company. While retail has been the office superstores primary and original mode of business, the three top chains, Office Depot, OfficeMax, and Staples, are all finding that their business has been evolving away from retail towards the Internet and business to business (B2B). As a result, the chains have been altering their strategy towards smaller stores and making greater investments in e-commerce initiatives. We believe that for electronics and high value supplies like ink and toner, Internet is creating great stress on retail. The truth of the matter is that with the proliferation of tablets and smart phones, people are spending more time with their devices and less time visiting a store. Also, adding to the competitive pressure for the superstores, Walmart and other mass merchandiser types are a one-stop-shop and now carry wide range of office supplies.
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The Need for Transformation at Staples, Office Depot and OfficeMax

Jeff Hayes
 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.

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Data Analytics… The Missing Link

Matt Swain
 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 »

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