Your views

 

Private label

 

Dear Editor,

 

I read your article Revolutionary scheme offers dealer lifeline (OPI September) with interest. However, I think it is important to point out that the new TriMega ‘TriSupply’ initiative is neither "revolutionary" nor "groundbreaking".

 

OfficeStar Europe has operated an identical scheme with Spicers 5 Star private label (PL) range since 1998 in the UK and 2003 in Germany. The group has adopted 5 Star as its ‘own’ PL range which has successfully competed with the global players.

 

Conventional wisdom is that most new ideas in the OP industry emanate from the US, but the reality is that with PL the reverse is true. Market penetration of PL is far more developed in Europe than the US for most product categories. PL sales for OP products are estimated to represent over 30 percent of the market in Europe compared to just 15 percent in the US.

 

The US OP market has been a bastion of manufacturers’ brands but this is now under threat. US dealers and wholesalers are now committed to rapid growth of their own PL. The power channel is estimated to be growing its sales of PL products and one of the two US wholesalers has a declared strategy to double its PL sales in the next two years!

 

Good or bad, the implications of this new attitude towards PL in the US will extend well beyond its shores.

 

Martin Eames, managing director, OfficeStar Europe

 

Charity success

 

Dear Editor,

 

Congratulations go out to the Spicers cyclists who took part in a 50-mile bike ride from London to Cambridge, raising £12,000 ($22,800) for Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

 

Well done to you all for a great achievement! I know you may not have entirely enjoyed the agony of the hills on the day, but I hope that on the whole you remember it as being a day of great fun. I enjoyed cycling with you all and was pleased you volunteered so willingly to help a great charity cause. Thank you!

 

Ian Milligan, European purchasing manager, Spicers