Comment May 2017

State of flux.


This issue of OPI has the southern hemisphere at its very heart. Flick through the pages and you’ll find a whole host of articles and topics that are dedicated to this part of the world. 

Why not get started with this month’s Big Interview with Trevor Girnun and find out more about mighty reseller Waltons in South Africa going through yet another major restructuring – or simplification – process? Moving across the Indian Ocean, Australia (and to some extent New Zealand) is the place to be at the moment in terms of sheer action in our sector, with the country’s three main resellers all in a state of limbo and the threat of Amazon looming large. 

As we know only too well from the failed Staples/Office Depot merger, a deal in theory is certainly not a done deal in practice. What is perhaps more predictable is that any transaction in progress will be disruptive and, even if just temporary, good news for the country’s independent dealers.

On the topic of dealers, following the Office Power’s recent research findings on the future of dealer groups – which clearly rattled a few cages judging by the feedback we’ve had – we are taking a broader look at the role of dealer groups and their potential future.

As is so often the case, it’s a mixed bag of opportunities versus challenges. The same conundrum exists in another context – the facilities supplies sector, our special category focus in this issue. A proportion of this sector is very well established already for the business supplies sector – most notably the coffee and breakroom segment – but there is still plenty of untapped potential out there too.

And challenges. Talking of coffee, the UK market in particular has very recently seen a stream of – mostly negative – headlines about the environmental concerns around disposable coffee cups. Find out more about the issues and if/how they’re being addressed.

Last but very much not least, let me introduce you to and officially welcome Joshua Allsopp to the OPI editorial team. Josh has proved to be a very quick learner of all things OP and is fast becoming our resident newshound (email him at For a glimpse into Josh’s life, see this month’s 5 minutes with… 

Have a great month!