Distributors Rise to the Challenge
Sales hold despite a difficult economy.
In spite of the economic woes of the past year, total revenue for the BFL&S Top 100 Distributors remained above $2 billion at $2.16 billion, which is exactly equal to last year's total.
The most likely reasons that the industry was able to hold its ground in terms of revenue were an increase in product diversification, an increase in the number of franchises held by Proforma and American Solutions for Business (formerly American Business Forms), as well as outright acquisitions by other large distributors.
Forms sales for the Top 100 decreased to $793 million from $831 million last year, accounting for 36.7 percent of total revenue, compared to 38.6 percent last year. This is the first time in recent years where both the dollar value of forms sales and the percentage of overall revenue devoted to forms decreased.
Label sales increased to $218 million from the $205 million reported last year, accounting for 10.1 percent of total sales.
Commercial printing, promotional products and direct mail all fared well for 2002. Commercial printing now accounts for 22.4 percent of Top 100 sales with $484 million, compared to sales of $481 million a year ago while promotional product sales account for 11 percent of total sales at $238 million, up $17 million from $221 million last year. Direct mail, which was $106 million last year, totaled $135 million this year—6.2 percent of total sales.
Employees and Productivity
This year's Top 100 Distributors reported 7,274 employees, a decrease of 14.5 percent from last year's 8,512 employees. However, distributor locations, increased by 5.5 percent to 1,498 offices.
Productivity as measured by sales per employee increased dramatically to $296,948 from $253,330 reported last year and sales per location reached $1.4 million this year compared to $1.5 million a year ago. The $2.16 billion in Top 100 sales was accomplished with 1,238 fewer employees working out of 79 more locations.