The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Commentary: Master distribution evolves with shifting markets

The role of master distribution has shifted significantly. That's why we wanted to understand more clearly why United Stationers diversified with the acquisition of ORS Nasco in December.
Dick Gochnauer addresses (see page 1 interview) how United adds value in two places: marketing and logistics. Different forms of support services have evolved to fill these two needs in highly fragmented and consolidating markets. These include buying/coop/marketing groups, master wholesalers, hybrid catalog/master distributors, independent logistics providers (CoLinx in power transmission) and joint ventures between manufacturers ( There's a mix of competition and cooperation across all these entities.
Distributors and manufacturers have leveraged these tools to ...

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