Distributors Take Control of the Market
Sales revenue exceeded $2.5 billion for the 2004 BFL&S Top 100 Distributors.
The total of BFL&S' Top 100 Distributors revenue was $2.78 billion—18 percent higher than last year's $2.35 billion.
The $430 million increase in revenue was led by the largest distributors, with the top five companies increasing sales by $129 million. But, increases can be found throughout the entire Top 100 list.
IBSA (International Business Solutions Alliance) took the lead this year by increasing its number of affiliated distributorships from 61 last year to more than 100. Among the top five, Proforma, American Solutions for Business and Global DocuGraphix all reported healthy revenue increases, while Workflow dropped a bit.
Form sales for the Top 100 increased by $100 million to $844 million. However, because of the increase in overall sales, forms as a percentage of total sales dropped from 32.9 percent last year to 32.7 percent.
Top 100 label and tag sales rose to $287 million from $247 million in 2003, constituting a 16 percent increase. Labels as a percentage of total sales increased to 11.1 percent from 10.5 percent one year ago.
Commercial printing now accounts for 21.5 percent of total distributor sales, compared to 20.8 percent last year. Top 100 distributors sold $554 million in commercial printing, compared to $488 million in 2003.
Promotional products sales also increased in 2004 to $391 million, up from $345 million one year ago. Promotional products now account for 15.2 percent of total Top 100 Distributor sales.
Direct mail sales dropped this year to $117 million from the $141 million reported last year. Direct mail now accounts for 4.5 percent of total sales, down from the 6 percent reported one year ago.
This year's Top 100 reported 9,009 employees—an increase of 14.4 percent over last year's 7,872 employees. Distributor locations increased by 10.6 percent to 1,758.