View Article

07

Indianapolis, IN – August 7, 2017—Independent Stationers, an industry-leading nationwide member-owned business products cooperative, is celebrating 40 years of service to the independent dealer community.  

In 1977, Hoosier Independent Stationers (HIS) was formed in Indianapolis, Indiana by seven independent office supply dealers. Their vision was to become the best customer driven sales force in the marketplace while cooperating as a single buying force in the U.S. While this concept was already being utilized in the grocery and hardware industries, HIS was the first office supply dealer group in the nation. Soon after 1977, the group began to expand beyond its Indiana boundaries, and changed its name to Independent Stationers. Today, over 400 dealers belong to the group, generating $4 billion in end-user sales.

Miller Huggins, Inc., in Anderson, Indiana, was one of the group’s founding members and its current president, Steven Foster, gives the group kudos for its ability to help keep his business relevant to its customers and provide resources that enable him to compete in the marketplace. “IS not only helps us to be competitive with the big box stores and the big online players like Amazon,” he contends. “It has also done a good job of building alliances with other organizations in areas such as Jan-San, Breakroom and Educational Supplies that are helping us diversify and find new growth opportunities.”

“Certainly many unpredictable events have occurred over the past 40 years,” says Mike Gentile, President & CEO of Independent Stationers.  But in spite of all the change and unpredictability of the times, IS has continued to create progressive programs that have added value for our hundreds of members. I sincerely admire the resiliency and entrepreneurial spirit of today’s independent dealer. Independent Stationers is a big-tent; we value and welcome dealers of all sizes, who service customers in multiple channels, and we will continue to collaborate with others both in our industry and outside the traditional OP channel to create POWER for the INDEPENDENTS!”