TriMega Purchasing Association has signed a strategic initiative to market private label brands from United Stationers and SP Richards.
The TriSupply programme, the first agreement of its kind, allows TriMega’s independent dealers to market Universal and Sparco from the two leading wholesalers, at a cheaper cost than is currently available.
The products can be shipped and assorted with select branded products that are included in the programme.
"This is a first ever initiative where independent dealers are working in true partnership with the national wholesalers to sell and market the established private label brands of the wholesalers," said Charlie Cleary, president of TriMega.
"Our members have struggled to find an effective and competitive response to the proliferation of private label products from our publicly traded competitors.
"The result has been that we have split our import-purchasing dollar between the two national wholesalers and our own Value Plus product."
TriSupply aggregates the total purchases of all three, allowing members to purchase import private label goods at a lower cost.
"It is a terrific opportunity to leverage existing capacities and inventories that exist today with each of the national wholesalers, to improve profitability and provide overall financial stability to TriMega members," he added.
"TriMega has long prided itself on having a strong, open relationship with all of our wholesaler partners – not just the two nationals. In recognising that our combined prosperity lies in fostering an environment where our mutual dealer customers can succeed, we have tended to work quite well together.
"This latest endeavor was a natural migration for us to go to the next level. TriSupply is a huge move in the right direction at the right time for our dealers, as it means we can all work together and not apart."
Cleary said that TriSupply answers some of the fundamental weaknesses of the independent dealer in the marketplace.
"TriSupply accomplishes our goals without mortgaging the finances of our dealers and their group. We would anticipate that as dealer benefits from the TriSupply programme begin to be realised, other domestic dealer organisations will head in this direction.
"Doing so would improve the position of independent dealers nationwide, regardless of buying group affiliation. In our opinion, that is simply a good thing for everyone involved."