Eat, Print and be Merry
Last year’s Top 100 distributors rankings began with the shaking news that IBSA was no longer being counted as its own entity. With such a giant removed from the list, sales figures were skewed negatively as compared to the previous year. Readers may be reminded of a similar scenario appearing in last month’s issue of BFL&S as we reported our top 100 supplier rankings. The top 100 suppliers numbers may have set readers a little on edge. With sales apparently down, there would be little reason to rejoice even though the explanation was reasonable. But, tensions can be released, and withheld celebrations can be redeemed with the sales figures of the top 100 distributors.
In BFLS’s 2004 ranking, the top 100 distributors had total sales of $2.78 billion. However, 2005 saw a significant drop to $2.34 billion, largely a result of the skewed data. The dip was short-lived and this year, the top 100 distributors boasted sales of $2.91 billion, an enormous 24.4 percent increase over last year.
Forms still dominate the industry. Holding 24.2 percent of sales, the next two largest categories combined barely surpass the forms market. Forms sales this year totaled $704 million, up $96 million (15.8 percent) from the previous year. While forms sales increased, as a percentage of the industry, forms dropped approximately 2 percent.
Last year, commercial printing comprised 19.5 percent of the top 100 sales, while this year saw a drop to 15.0 percent of sales. Still, the industry saw $436 million in commercial print sales this year.
Despite the large change in industry share, the actual dollar difference is a mere 4.4 percent.
Only divided into a separate category last year, envelopes, stationery and folders increased overall sales to $349 million from $296 million last year. Though this is an increase of $53 million (17.9 percent), it is a decrease in market share of the category, albeit a small one. Envelopes counted for 12.0 percent of sales this year as opposed to 12.6 percent last year.
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