Newcomers Challenge Office-Supply Stalwarts
By JOSEPH PEREIRA and ANN ZIMMERMAN |
In the grinding recession, companies are finding ways to save even on the cost of the lowly office pen. And that has created an opening for discounters to steal business from the office-supply industry's big three...
Tony Ellison, president of online discounter Shoplet.com, said the downturn is encouraging more companies to try new suppliers. Sales at the New York-based retailer jumped to $100 million from $65 million in 2007.
As the economy worsened last summer, Tina Tuomikoski, a purchaser for Omaha-based investment firm CDM Service Group, dropped two national office-supply chains in favor of lower prices from online retailer Shoplet.com.
Ms. Tuomikoski estimates the move will save $30,000, or about 15%, this year for CDM, which has 260 employees. "In times like this it's a bargain too good to pass up," she said.
Shoplet is looking at expanding the loyalty program to additional customer segments, Ellison adds.
Shoplet expects to do $100 million or more sales this year, a spokeswoman says.