Another Big Year for Distributors
Sales soar as diversification pushes growth.
Despite the loss of last year's fourth largest distributor, Dallas-based Precept, total revenue for the BFL&S Top 100 Distributors pushed over the $2 billion mark to $2.16 billion, compared to $1.92 billion last year. This 12.5 percent increase is due to acquisition and enlargement of franchises by the leading distributors as well as continued product diversification.
Although form sales for the Top 100 increased to $831 million from $780 million last year, they now account for only 38.6 percent of total revenue, compared to 40.6 percent of revenue last year. Label sales increased to $205 million from $177 million last year accounting for 9.5 percent of total sales.
Big gains were made by commercial printing, promotional products and direct mail. Commercial printing now accounts for 22.3 percent of Top 100 sales, having jumped to $481 million from $414 million last year. Promotional product sales at $221 million, up from $175 million a year ago, accounted for 10.2 percent of revenue. Direct mail increased from $89 million last year to $106 million, which accounts for 5 percent of total Top 100 revenue.
This year's Top 100 Distributors reported 8,512 employees, an almost 22 percent increase over last year's 6,987 employees. Distributor locations grew by more than 9 percent to 1,419 offices, much of which is due to acquisitions.
While productivity of sales per employee decreased to $253,330 from $275,172 last year, sales per location held steady at $1.5 million. As such, the overall increase in Top 100 revenue of $240 million was accomplished by an additional 1,525 people working at an additional 122 offices.
Top Company Growth
Share of market for the largest distributors dropped slightly. This year's top 20 companies accounted for 68.6 percent of total revenue ($1.5 billion), compared to 70 percent last year ($1.3 billion). They employ 5,691 people at 1,064 locations for $259,839 in sales per employee and $1.4 million in sales per location.