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OPI has always prided itself on being the number one information source for the OP industry. Whether it’s a case of getting the key interviews at the key times or spreading news of major industry developments with cross-channel repercussions we endeavour to keep all informed.

 

To this end I am very pleased to say that two of the major stories to come out of the industry this month, SP Richards’ hook-up with Sam’s Club and Esselte’s sale of its phenomenally successful Dymo labelwriter unit to Newell, were broken by OPI. Since the end of last year, we have speculated that the sale of Dymo was on the cards and in the May 2005 issue of OPI magazine, Nick Eyriey in his Hot Topic asked "Could Esselte resist a decent offer- for the labelwriting division. The answer, we now know, is no.

 

All the millions spent on Dymo’s Big Campaign, which centred on TV advertising, have helped to make Dymo a brand to rival any on the high street and gave the handy little gizmo an eventual price tag in excess of $700 million. Some time back I was fortunate enough to meet with the team responsible for marketing Dymo in the UK market, and I was impressed with how ambitious they were with their plans for TV advertising during peak time shows such as Pop Idol (that’s the UK version of American Idol to our friends in the US).

 

For me, the size of the campaign really hit home when Esselte’s UK marketing director Mike Patterson said it was bigger than any he’d been involved in with his previous employers McDonald’s – now we really are talking BIG.

 

In line with the SPR/Sam’s Club link-up, on which we will have more next month, and on the subject of mass market retailers, regular readers will recall me discussing Tesco’s increasing interest in office supplies and stationery (I’m the strange guy who hangs around checkouts to see how much people are spending on OP!).

 

Well, I found some interesting comments from Tesco this month on its plans for the back-to-school (BTS) market. Tesco, which unlike Wal-Mart seems only too happy to talk about the importance of selling office and school supplies, revealed that it sells twice as many PCs and laptops during the BTS season than it does during the Christmas trading period. You can also add to this the firm’s bold claims that it expects stationery sales to be up by a third for this current BTS season.

 

And to top it off, the retailer has significantly increased the number of stores to carry the range and has doubled the sales space in stores as it throws its considerable weight behind its charge on the BTS market. All this brings a whole new meaning to the term school bully.