Distributors Enjoy Another Good Year
Despite changes in the make-up of the Top 100, distributors posted strong numbers for 2005
THE BIG CHANGE in BFL&S' Top 100 Distributor rankings this year is the absence of International Business Solutions Alliance (IBSA), which skews the results significantly. Because IBSA is an affiliation of distributors, rather than a single distributor entity with completely central billing, BFL&S decided that placing it in the rankings would be inappropriate. Make no mistake—with $447 million in total sales and almost 2,000 total employees at 283 locations—IBSA is having a huge impact on the distributor marketplace. Now under new management, expect to see IBSA grow even further by gaining additional national accounts.
Even without IBSA, total revenue for the Top 100 Distributors is still a solid $2.34 billion, albiet 16 percent lower than last year's $2.78 billion.
The top five companies this year increased their sales by a combined 15.2 percent, or $169 million.
Form sales for the Top 100 dropped by $234 million, and dropped as a percentage of total sales from 32.7 percent last year to 26 percent.
Top 100 label and tag sales decreased to $209 million from last year's $287 million. As a percentage of total sales, labels and tags dropped to 8.9 percent this year from last year's 11.1 percent.
This year, commercial printing sales accounted for 19.5 percent of total Top 100 Distributor sales, down from 21.5 percent last year. Meanwhile, promotional product sales dropped slightly from $391 million last year to $384 million this year.
Direct mail sales increased dramatically, to $175 million from $117 million a year ago. Direct mail now accounts for 7.5 percent of total Top 100 Distributor sales, an increase of 3 percent.
As a new category this year, envelopes, stationery and folders sales were $296 million, or 12.6 percent of total Top 100 sales.