Comment Dec-Jan 2016/17

Out with the old, in with the new (year).


Having just celebrated our 25th anniversary, we thought it was high time we gave OPI another facelift. Nothing radical – our reader survey in May 2016 revealed that you like most things just the way they are – but a de-cluttering of content and a contemporary design refresh. Thank you to our designer Joel Mitchell for making it happen during the very busy end-of-year period.

And, of course, there’s a new face and name on this very page. But as many of you will know, I’m actually rather an old face (certainly in OP terms!), having been involved in all things OPI for the past 18 years. So any feedback on design, content, new ideas – anything OPI-related in fact – please get in touch at

On the subject of content, there was really only one Hot Topic this month and that is the upcoming presidency of Donald Trump. The OPI team and delegates from around the world congregated in Chicago for the 2016 Global Forum just days after Mr Trump’s election sent shockwaves around the world. It certainly added some extra spice to the event, particularly to the many networking opportunities. 

Macro and micro economics and politics aside, the Global Forum illustrated once again how important it is that business supplies operators across the channels are on the ball if they are to have a realistic chance of success in the years to come. Technology and Amazon were some of the most used words on and off stage during the event, but so were category expansion and current M&A activities (ACCO Brands/Esselte and Staples and Office Depot in Europe spring to mind).

In terms of adjacent opportunities, nowhere are these bigger currently than in the facilities supplies sector, our special theme throughout this issue of OPI. It’s a big category, so we paid particular attention this time to the continual rise of personal protection equipment and, within that segment, to the emerging sub-category of gloves. Look out for the facilities supplies tab throughout the magazine which denotes these special sections. Enjoy the read!

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and prosperous start to 2017.