|Last Quarterly Update:||2/20/2017|
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Companies in this industry distribute paper products and other office supplies. Major companies include Essendant (formerly United Stationers), SP Richards (a subsidiary of Genuine Parts), and the distribution arms of retailers Office Depot and Staples (all based in the US), as well as Pelikan (Germany), Lyreco and Manutan International (France), and Spicers (UK).
Worldwide, countries with strong economies tend to have the highest number of office supply distributors. Developing countries where new businesses are being created, such as China and India, will attract more office supply distributors as demand for office products increases.
The US office supply and paper wholesale industry includes about 4,700 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with annual revenue of about $39 billion.
Demand is closely tied to the level of business activity. However, workplace digitization is depressing demand for traditional office products. The profitability of individual companies depends on merchandising and an efficient delivery system. Big companies have economies of scale in distribution because they can supply a wide range of products to the same customer. Small companies can compete successfully by distributing specialty products or providing superior customer service. The US industry is concentrated: the 50 largest companies generate about 75% of revenue.
Wholesalers may compete with their suppliers (office supply manufacturers), who may sell products directly to retailers or consumers. Wholesalers may also compete with their customers (office supply retailers), by ...
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