Archive for the ‘Industry News’ Category

City Office Supply Supports “Promoting Local Connections”

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

For two decades, independent business products resellers have been carving chinks in the armor of the big-box chains. From dispelling their lower pricing and quality customer service claims, to disproving their better value assertions, stalwart independent resellers are standing firm against what was once viewed as an insurmountable threat to their existence. The challenge continues today as business products resellers prove that their strong community ties as local businesses represent yet another advantage over their big-box competition. “The current trend of more communities and businesses latching onto the buy-local theme has been a grass-roots effort in more than 100 communities nationwide over the past 10 years,” says Jeff Milchen, founder, American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA), The recent economic downturn definitely got a lot more communities thinking that they needed to be more proactive in driving business to their local independent merchants to improve their position that was years in the making, he continues. “Each time consumers make the choice to patronize a local independent business, they’re creating far more local economic benefit than they would by taking their business to a chain store.”

Local Independent Business Chain Stores
Profits re-spent in community Profits go directly to out of town headquarters
Local business supports local business Out of town headquarters support out of town businesses
Located in downtown districts or neighborhoods keeping the area vibrant Located in development near freeways  causing negative impact on downtown business districts
Career jobs with better pay and more knowledge and productivity Young people working minimum wage jobs part time

 

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 There’s no question the big guys have size. But with that size comes clumsiness, an inability to move quickly, and a lack of flexibility. In contrast, independent resellers are very nimble, very flexible, and very quick in responding to meet customers’ needs locally. Many customers aren’t even aware of the fact that there is the option to buy local.  That has to be changed one customer at a time by increasing  exposure in the community.  Independent resellers are local yet offer the same kind of world-class, logistics, service levels, and inventory as any big chain—if not better.

City Office Supply offers the best of both worlds. They are small enough to be totally responsive to your needs, yet large enough with their buying partnerships to deliver the $600 million in inventory that are in the partnership’s buildings across the country.

 Although data suggest that independent businesses continue to be challenged by the weak economy, the 2011 Independent Business Survey conducted by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance found that those located in communities that have an active buy-local campaign experienced markedly stronger revenue growth in 2010 compared to those in areas without such an initiative.  Independent businesses in places with a buy local initiative, which comprised about half of the respondents, reported an average gain in revenue of 5.6 percent.  The survey’s findings suggest that more people are aware of and seeking out independent businesses.  Nearly two-thirds of respondents said that public awareness of the benefits of supporting locally owned businesses had increased in the last year.  Likewise, 83 percent of respondents said the fact that their business is locally owned and independent matters to some or most of their customers, while 11 percent said it mattered to a few of their customers, and only 2 percent said that it was irrelevant to customers.

 

The complete survey can be seen online at the New Rules Project website, www.newrules.org, under the News Center tab.

 

Source:  http://www.ussco.com/resellers/USS-042-MayJun_FINAL.pdf

 

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patent infringement

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Judge Denies Summary Judgment Request from
Staples in PaperPro Patent Infringement Case
A federal district court judge has ruled against Staples in a patent
infringement lawsuit filed by PaperPro against the Framingham,
Massachusetts-based big box. In the suit PaperPro alleges Staples’
One Touch staplers infringe on three of its U.S. patents.
Staples had filed a motion for summary judgment in the case, in
an attempt to have the judge decide the case without going to
trial. In her ruling, according to PaperPro, the federal judge found
“a reasonable jury could conclude that Staples’ accused staplers
infringe the…patents, and myriad factual disputes preclude granting
summary judgment of non-infringement to Staples.”
A jury trial in the case is tentatively scheduled for November in
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, PaperPro
said.
JULY

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industry acquisitions

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Esselte Acquires Ampad
Office products manufacturer Esselte announced last month it has
acquired Richardson, Texas-based Ampad, in a move it described
as “a strategic addition to Esselte’s branded office products business
and an expansion for Esselte into the writing and envelope
product categories.”
“This is an exciting opportunity for our company, as we continue
our global expansion in office products” said Esselte CEO Gary
Brooks. “We look forward to working with the Ampad team and
our customers in order to ensure a seamless transition into one
progressive business.”

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Big Box Woes

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

The fallout from the ongoing wave of official auditors’ reports and

other investigations alleging overcharges and other irregularities

by Office Depot on various state and local government contracts

continued last month, as the Better Business Bureau of Southeast

Florida and the Caribbean revoked Office Depot’s membership in

the organization.

The BBB said its board of directors voted to revoke Office Depot’s

membership due to “recent government action involving the business’s

customer relations, which indicates a significant failure of the

business to meet standards of conduct expected of a BBB member.”

Specifically, the BBB cited the announcement last month from

Florida attorney general Bill McCollum that his office has negotiated

a settlement with Office Depot regarding allegations that the

company overcharged governmental agencies and non-profit organizations

for office supplies in violation of the Florida Deceptive

and Unfair Practices Act.

Under the settlement, McCollum said Office Depot will pay approximately

$4.5 million in refunds to eligible Florida customers,

including Florida government agencies.

According to an investigation by the attorney general’s Economic

Crimes Division, Office Depot allegedly switched certain local governmental

agencies and private non-profit organizations in Florida

from one pricing plan to another without their full understanding or

knowledge, potentially resulting in higher prices for those customers.

In addition to the refunds, Office Depot will reimburse the attorney

general’s office for its investigative costs and for costs associated

with ongoing and future enforcement actions. Office Depot also

agreed to comply fully with the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade

Practices Act.

The Florida attorney general is just the latest in a growing list of

state and local government officials who have found problems with

how Office Depot performs relative to its office supplies contracts.

Similar settlements have been reached in California, Georgia, Missouri

and elsewhere and numerous other investigations are ongoing.

For more information, visit www.idealercentral.com/id_watch.

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Tools ‹ City Office Supply — WordPress

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

GSA Announces New Office Supplies Blanket Purchase Award WinnersA group of independents, including about 100 members of the is.group dealer co-op, can

look forward to the prospect of more federal government business following the announcement

by the General Services Administration (GSA) earlier this month of the award winners

under GSA’s new Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) for office supplies. GSA estimates

its new BPA has a potential annual spend of more than $200 million and will run for four

years if all options under the agreement are exercised.

In addition to is.group, winners included Capitol Supply, Sunrise, Florida; Sita Business

Systems, Chantilly, Virginia; Shelby Distributions, El Paso; WECsys, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota;

Document Imaging Dimensions, Yorkville, Illinois, and Metro Office Products,

Belcamp, Maryland.

Also winning awards were Office Depot and EZ Print Supplies, Granada Hills, California,

as well as (for toner only) Cartridge Savers, Madison, Wisconsin; ASE Direct, Franklin,

Tennessee, and New York Inkjet, Baldwin, New York.

.

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