United Stationers Plans Layoffs, Name Change to 'Essendant'

  • Video and Film
  • Print
  • cartridgewebsite-com-big-banner-02-09-07-2016
  • big-banner-ad_2-sean
  • 2toner1-2
  • mse-big-new-banner-03-17-2016-416616a-tonernews-web-banner-mse-114
  • 7035-overstock-banner-902x177
  • 05 02 2016 429716a-cig-clearchoice-banner-902x177
  • mse-big-banner-new-03-17-2016-416716a-tonernews-web-banner-mse-212
  • 4toner4

United Stationers Plans Layoffs, Name Change to 'Essendant'

 news 2015-02-19 at 11:23:02 am Views: 440
  • #42021

    United Stationers Plans Layoffs, Name Change to 'Essendant'
    United Stationers plans to reposition itself with a new name, a more digital focus and fewer employees.

    The Deerfield-based company, a 93-year-old wholesaler of technology, office products and cleaning supplies, will take the name Essendant in June, pending shareholder approval. It also has announced plans to exit certain businesses and lay off an unspecified number of employees.

    Like Acco Brands, which last week announced lower quarterly earnings and layoffs, United Stationers is grappling with the challenges of a workplace that is becoming increasingly digital, the shift toward purchasing products online and store consolidation.

    "The name United Stationers no longer captures the breadth of products and solutions we provide," said Diane Hund, the company's vice president of marketing, in a news release. "The name Essendant, a combination of 'essentials' and 'ascending,' better reflects our goal to be the fastest and most convenient solution for workplace essentials."

    On Monday, United Stationers reported fourth-quarter net income of $25.8 million, down 24 percent from $34.1 million in the year-ago period. Earnings per share fell 21 percent, to 67 cents a share, from 85 cents a share in 2013's fourth quarter. Quarterly sales rose 8.9 percent to $1.3 billion.

    The company estimated the cost to lay off employees and consolidate facilities will total $9 million this year, including $7 million in the first quarter. The restructuring is expected to result in savings of $10 million annually, beginning in 2016, executives said Tuesday during a conference call with analysts.

    United Stationers has 77 facilities, but the locations affected by the repositioning have not been disclosed, executives said.

    "We recognize this represents a significant amount of change," company President and CEO Paul Cody Phipps told analysts. "But in this dynamic and rapidly evolving marketplace, this change is required."

    Executives of the company did not respond to an interview request.

    The company incorporated in Illinois in 1922 as United Stationers Supply Co. As of Feb. 14, 2014, the company had about 6,100 employees.