Author: My Office News

Why wedding stationery matters

By Jess Young for SWNS

When it comes to planning a wedding, there is a lot to think about and you’d be forgiven for forgetting how important stationery can be. From invitations to menus and everything in between, it can all be a bit overwhelming.

Yet, wedding stationery is a relatively simple, affordable and important way to add style to your big day.

In this post, we will consider where you can make savings, things that can be done at home and the items that are definitely worth spending money on.

Programmes: get a professional to design them
In our opinion, these are an important and worthwhile investment for your big day, and they are something that should definitely be outsourced to a professional designer. It’s a quick and easy way to organise your day, introduce people to the running order and even introduce the key members of the wedding party.

If done correctly, they can provide a beautiful way of telling your story and of ensuring that everyone is on the same page. What’s more, they offer a beautiful keepsake for guests to take home and can help the wedding magic to last that little bit longer.

Menus: can be side-stepped
Yes, it’s nice to have menus on your wedding day, but in the grand scheme of things they really don’t matter. This is one option that could easily be omitted from your ever-growing to do list.

Why not consider putting your menu inside your programme – that way you are killing two birds with one stone.

Escort and place cards: these can be made at home
Escort cards are definitely another optional, but place cards are very important. Unless you’re having a small wedding, place cards are going to save you a lot of hassle on your wedding day. However, they’re not something that are worth spending a fortune on.

In fact, these can both be made at home and even supermarkets sometimes stock pretty and appropriate offerings. If you have pretty or neat handwriting, then use your creative spirit to do them yourself. Alternatively, ask a friend who has beautiful writing. This will save you time, money and make them more personal than any ordered place cards would ever be.

Wedding timelines: optional but cute
This is a relatively new trend in the wedding world but one that we are definitely fans of. There are some really cute examples of wedding timelines online and they’re a fun, time saving and quirky new tradition.

Again, these can be made at home but if you have a theme, we suggest asking your stationer or a graphic designer to create this for you. As it can be a playful way to tie your theme together.

Whilst it might initially feel like a chore, wedding stationery offers a creative and fun way to show the intended character of your wedding. Using these tips, tricks and advice, wedding stationery will be fun and something that all parties can be involved in.

How to detect and avoid online scams

By David and Libby Koch for News.com.au

Digital technology, social media and e-mail have changed the way we communicate – but it also gives criminals easier access to victims.

Online scams are so sophisticated and appear so authentic that they are conning thousands of Australians out of millions of dollars. And the scams are like cockroaches — you can’t seem to kill them.

It has been particularly distressing for us to receive emails from readers and viewers who have lost money on Facebook scams recommending investing in Bitcoin or endorsing an erectile dysfunction lotion.

These are constantly reported to Facebook who take them down, but then they immediately reappear apparently using a different server.

The worst scams doing the rounds to be aware of and avoid at the moment are:

• Netflix: Fake emails claiming your account has been blocked because of payment issues and asks for bank details to resume service.

• Paypal: Fake emails wanting your bank details and passwords to confirm account.

• SARS impersonators: Telephone using an automated voice claiming you haven’t lodged a tax return and to call a number or legal action will commence immediately. A similar scam claims to be from a law enforcement agency.

• Gift Cards: Fake emails claiming you owe a company payment and they only want you to be paid by gift cards like iTunes, Google Play, Amazon and Australia Post Load&Go prepaid debit cards.

• Celebrity endorsement scams: Use a well-known personality to sell products ranging from face creams and cosmetics to weight loss and investments.

• Governance: Scammers are even pretending to be regulators and asking for personal details to renew business or company names online.

• Surprise inheritances or money owed: Usually posing as a lawyer or accountant, these scammers notify you they are holding money in your name from an inheritance or lost superannuation and want your bank details to transfer it over.

• Telco and energy bills: Fake invoices and statements from Telstra and Optus as well as Origin and AGL demanding immediate payment. Or they claim you’ve overpaid or entitled a refund and want bank details to send the money.

• Phishing never seems to go away. These are authentic-looking emails supposedly from your bank asking you to click a link to the bank website and verify all your details and passwords. It’s a con.

One wrong click of the mouse could be costly.

The list of digital scams is almost endless, and we haven’t even got to pyramid schemes, dating scams and online shopping.

Now that we’ve scared you with ways you can be conned out, here are some key ways to protect yourself.:

1. Never give your password, PIN, bank details or Tax File Number to anyone online or over the phone. Generally no legitimate company will ask for those details online. If you’re uncertain, ring the bank or telco and check whether it is legitimate. If someone rings us and asks for us to verify our details we’ll ask them to tell us what they have rather than us volunteer the information.

2. Review your security and privacy details on social media and be careful with who you connect with.

3. Choose passwords carefully. We have to remember an enormous number passwords across different accounts but it is important to make them hard to crack. Use a password authenticator app or a password keeper on your smartphone.

4. Check for clues on the authenticity of an email. If it uses a general, rather than a personal, greeting you need to beware. Fakes often have bad grammar, sound overly official and are poor quality.

5. Beware of unusual methods of payment. A lot of scammers like to work outside traditional financial systems and processes. Anyone who wants payment by a gift card or virtual currencies (like Bitcoin) is usually a crook and probably into money laundering.

6. Don’t agree to deals straight away. Tell the person who calls that you’re not interested or that you want to get independent advice before making a decision. Then you can do more research to verify an offer.

7. Visit Google and other websites to verify information.

9. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. The most powerful filter you have against scams is your gut feel. These offers are probably best avoided or, at least, need detailed verification.

Be on your guard.

By Kevin Lancaster for MyBroadband

Discovery Bank, Bank Zero, and TymeBank – South Africa’s newest banks – are set to “disrupt” the local banking scene in 2019.

Disrupt – an almost meaningless word which is akin to “millennial” in terms of its flagrant use by anyone who wants to show they understand trends and marketing – is not enough, however.

The new banks must destroy everything in their path, particularly the banking fees South Africans pay today.

We recently showed that compared to Bitcoin and Ethereum, and their respective blockchains, local banks are slow and cumbersome.

Where it took Bitcoin and Ethereum under 10 minutes to send tokens from one account to another, a local bank transfer from Standard Bank to Absa took almost 12 hours.

The cryptocurrency transfers did accrue a small transfer fee while the bank-to-bank transaction was free, but there are no monthly fees for most cryptocurrency wallets – unlike a bank account.

The potential of cryptocurrency transactions is not truly realised with local payments, however, and where they truly shine is in international payments.

While maintaining fast transfer times regardless of where in the world you send tokens, the fees you pay do not change. If you send Ethereum to Durban or Dubai, it will take the same amount of time and you will be charged the same fee.

The same cannot be said for bank transactions. “International fees” are charged when you make a payment across a border.

A practical example of this is when you pay your Netflix subscription fee, you pay extra – as the money goes to the company’s operation in Amsterdam.

A Netflix Premium subscription costs R169, with a transfer fee of R4.65 added on top of this.

International fees
These bank fees extend to “currency conversion” charges, too, which means that if you make a payment in an international currency with your card, you will have to pay for the pleasure.

Nedbank, Absa, FNB, and Standard Bank all charge this fee, which ranges from 2% to 2.75% – depending on which bank you are with. Capitec told MyBroadband that it does not charge a currency conversion fee.

While 2% does not sound like much, this accumulates rather quickly when making multiple transactions.

I discovered this on a recent work trip to the US, where I used my South African credit card to pay for items in US dollars.

After checking my online banking a couple days into my trip, I immediately switched to drawing cash for the day and sucking up the once-off withdrawal fee as opposed to making all payments with my card.

And yes, there is an “international fee” when withdrawing cash from an ATM in a foreign country.

Before switching to cash, these are the international fees which I accrued on my card:

R5.47
R6.99
R16.03
R13.56
R4.60
R0.79
R8.01
R3.37
R5.48
R313.72

The total: R378.02.

Whether these fees are implemented by the local bank, international banks, or a combination of the two is irrelevant – as the consumer this is what you pay.

Admittedly, the example of international transactions is an extreme one but it nonetheless serves as a reminder of the culture of fees worshipped by local banks.

These fees extend far beyond international payments and see users being charged to send an email payment confirmation to a recipient.

Before you fill in the text box at the bottom of your online payment confirmation window, entering the beneficiary’s email address so the bank will send them a mail confirming your payment was made, first check how much it will cost.

For me it was R1.10. My bank charged me R1.10 to send an automated email confirming a payment – another discovery made during the fee investigation.

Discovery Bank, Bank Zero, and TymeBank have all talked a big game about disrupting the local banking scene when they launch.

Let us hope they can deliver on their promises and that they will do more than merely disrupt – they must destroy and replace.

E-commerce could create 3m jobs in Africa

Source: Fin24

Online marketplaces establishing themselves across Africa could create around 3-million new jobs by 2025.

These digital platforms, which match buyers and providers of goods and services, could also raise incomes and boost inclusive economic growth with minimal disruption to existing businesses and workforce norms.

These are among the findings of a new report, How Online Marketplaces Can Power Employment in Africa, released by Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

Generating employment is an urgent priority across the continent. The African Development Bank estimates that one-third of the 420 million Africans aged 15 through 35 were unemployed as of 2015.

Around 58% of the new jobs—created directly, indirectly, and through the additional economic activity generated by online marketplaces—will be in the consumer goods sector, 18% will be in mobility services, and 9% in the travel and hospitality sector, according to the report.

For online marketplaces to reach their full potential, however, the public and private sectors must work together to build the right digital environment from the outset, the report notes.

Obstacles to industry expansion include underdeveloped infrastructure, a lack of regulatory clarity and limited market access.

The economic and social benefits of online marketplaces

“Online marketplaces are a good illustration of how the digital revolution can create economic opportunity and improve social welfare in Africa,” says Jan Gildemeister, BCG partner and managing director based in Johannesburg.

“Because Africa currently lacks an efficient distribution infrastructure, online marketplaces could create millions of jobs.”

Concerns that growth in online marketplaces will merely cannibalise the sales of brick-and-mortar retailers are misplaced in the case of Africa, according to the report.

There were only 15 stores per one million inhabitants in Africa in 2018, compared with 568 per million in Europe and 930 in the US. This extremely low penetration suggests that there’s minimal risk that e-commerce will displace existing retailers and that much of the population is underserved.

The report also details the ways in which economic activity generated by online marketplaces boosts employment and incomes.

These businesses create demand for personnel in new fields, such as platform development, as well as for merchants, marketers, craftspeople, drivers, logistics clerks, and hospitality staff.

Some also offer skills-development programs and help small enterprises raise capital to expand their businesses.

Online marketplaces also boost demand for goods and services in areas currently beyond the reach of conventional retail networks and bring new people—such as women and youth who may be currently excluded from labour markets—into the workforce.

The report recommends that the online marketplace community and African governments collaborate to address the challenges that hinder the online marketplaces’ ability to grow.

S&P downgrades Cell C

By Gugu Lourie for Tech Financials 

South Africa’s troubled mobile operator, Cell C, has been downgraded on liquidity and refinancing risks concerns, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Global Ratings has said in a statement.

Cell C faces considerable short-term liquidity and refinancing risks, with R8.8 billion of its R9 billion reported debt maturing within the next 18 months, and still-negative free cash flow.

The rating agency lowered Cell C’s issuer credit rating to CCC- from CCC+, placing it in “junk” territory.

The agency said Cell C would face a near-term liquidity crisis if it was unable to refinance upcoming maturities and secure new financing.

“This would increase the likelihood that Cell C might engage in a distressed exchange or restructuring discussions, which would likely result in us lowering the ratings further,” said S&P.

“We could raise the ratings if Cell C successfully refinances its upcoming debt maturities and if the refinancing enhances its capital structure and liquidity.”

Cell C’s liquidity position continues to weaken, while re-financing risk has intensified because of upcoming debt maturities.

In addition, it was announced in February that The Buffet Consortium, backed by financial institutions, would become a minority shareholder in an effort to bolster the company’s balance sheet and ensure its sustainability.

“Still, the conditions, timing, and outcome of such a transaction remain uncertain,” warned S&P.

Cell C’s reported cash on hand of about R500 million at Dec. 31, 2018, and a committed vendor financing facility of $71 million (R1 billion).

“Cell C’s liquidity position remains vulnerable to funding conditions, as well as the willingness of financial institutions to refinance the upcoming maturities and extend new capital expenditure (capex) financing lines,” said S&P.

The company’s upcoming debt maturities in 2019 and 2020 include:

  • A R1.4 billion airtime backed facility due July 2019;
  • About R3.8 billion of bank funding due January and July 2020;
  • A $184 million (R2.6 billion) senior secured bond due August 2020; and
  • A rolling R900 million handset financing facility.

“While the company generates sufficient EBITDA to cover its cash interest costs, the high effective interest rates on its
current borrowings and its unfunded capex profile lead us to assess its current capital structure as unsustainable,” said S&P.

“Furthermore, macro-economic conditions in South Africa remain weak, limiting Cell C’s ability to increase revenue and improve margins.”

New bill aims to ‘regulate’ Airbnb in SA

The public has 60 days from Monday April 15 to submit comments on the Tourism Amendment Bill, which will regulate short-term accommodation in the so-called shared economy, Blessing Manale, chief director of communications at the Department of Tourism, told Fin24 on Monday.

Airbnb is an example of such a business model.

“We are not trying to ‘kill’ Airbnb-type accommodation, but there is currently no legislation stipulating who is responsible for regulating that industry,” he said.

The bill was published in the Government Gazette on Friday April 12 and re-published on Monday April 15, due to a printing glitch. The bill will enable the minister of tourism to determine certain so-called “thresholds” for short-term home rentals.

According to Manale, these could include a limit on the number of nights guests could stay at an establishment. It could perhaps even limit the number of guests due to potentially larger water consumption in an area. Thresholds could also look at pricing, zoning, how much an establishment can earn and maybe even regulating matters like security.

“It is ultimately to ensure we bring all the various types of short-term accommodation into one pot. We want to make sure that whatever shared economy business model comes here, we are ready for it,” said Manale.

The Department of Tourism plans to discuss with provincial and local governments on issues like oversight on zoning and whether Airbnbs-type establishments should only be allowed to operate in certain areas.

“We are proposing to first empower the minister of tourism and then he can decide what should be the biggest priorities, for instance for thresholds,” said Manale.

He emphasised that it is not about whether operations like Airbnb and should exist or not.

“They are, however, mostly self-regulating. We now just want to hear both sides – from those having such accommodation establishments and those who feel it is hampering the more ‘formal’ tourism industry,” he said.

“The bill is now under public consultation. We just want to gather input from the industry, local government and even tax experts on how to deal with income, for instance, that might be falling through the cracks.”

The department is in the process of holding seminars and workshops to inform people about the bill and its proposed changes for the shared-economy.

“There is still a long way to go,” said Manale.

“From government’s side, we realise that it will be useless to make regulations if we cannot ‘police’ it,” he said.

“Those running the likes of Airbnbs need not worry that government wants to ‘kill’ the shared economy in the tourism industry. It is a business model that works. The intention of the bill is rather to create the best outcome for the local tourism industry.”

More information on how to submit comments on the bill can be obtained from Mmaditonki Setwaba on msetwaba@tourism.gov.za or 012 444 6312.

By Alistair Anderson for BusinessLive

Listed property fund managers are hopeful that the rescue mission at SA’s largest clothing retailer, Edcon, is an isolated case and that other retailers will not have to beg landlords and investors for rental reductions or cash injections.

Edcon is a large employer, with 40,000 staff, while its operations also affect numerous suppliers and 100,000 workers indirectly.

A number of the landlords where Edcon rents stores have assisted it by either granting a rent reduction or by investing cash, both in exchange for equity.

Edcon also achieved a recapitalisation deal worth R2.7bn at the end of February. These funds were raised by some of SA’s biggest landlords, banks and the Public Investment Corporation (PIC).

Property analysts and fund managers argue that it is in the national interest for Edcon to survive.

Edcon has been battling to save jobs following some poor strategic decisions and mounting competition from newer retailers who have eaten into its market share over the past decade. In the past few weeks, it managed to sign a rental savings deal with a fifth of its landlords so that CEO Grant Pattison could implement a turnaround plan. This plan includes selling or closing underperforming businesses and flattening management structures.

“The collapse of Edcon would have posed a systemic risk to the retail sector in SA. Edcon does appear to also have a more focused and simplified strategy, which I think is important as the various landlords that supported the recapitalisation would have taken comfort from this,” said Pranita Daya, a real estate analyst at Anchor Stockbrokers.

“Furthermore, an Edcon failure would have resulted in massive job losses and these landlords exercised good corporate citizenry in working towards a commercial solution,” Daya said.

Edcon approached 30 of about 100 landlords, with 21 agreeing to reduce rent for two years, while the turnaround plan was implemented, in exchange for stakes in the group. Others injected cash in exchange for equity.

Other retailers have not asked their landlords for rental reductions despite weak economic conditions, and a lack of consumer and business confidence. This was confirmed by Growthpoint SA CEO Estienne de Klerk.

While Growthpoint, which is the largest property group in the country, participated in Edcon’s restructuring by providing it with an injection of R110m in return for an equity stake, it said a rental reduction for the troubled retailer would not have been in line with its own strategy.

Hyprop Investments, which owns blue-chip malls such as Hyde Park Corner, Clearwater Mall and Canal Walk, however, did agree to a rental reduction. CEO Morne Wilken said if any other tenants opted for a rental reduction, Hyprop would need to recognise value in acquiring an equity stake in return.

One landlord who also declined to reduce rentals paid by Edcon but had chosen to implement cash for equity was Liberty Two Degrees; the owner of stakes in malls such as Sandton City, Melrose Arch and Eastgate. The company’s CEO, Amelia Beattie said she had not been approached by any tenants other than Edcon about rental savings.

“Edcon is a specific case. We didn’t decrease rentals and our leases with Edcon have not changed. Instead we are making cash contributions,” she said.

Beattie said the company focused on creating environments where tenants could trade well. “We negotiate our leases with our tenants’ stores case by case. There is demand for space at our malls, which can be seen with how quickly we relet the space vacated by Stuttafords.”

Do credit card fees go beyond the law?

Source: Supermarket & Retailer

The National Credit Act (NCA) prohibits a credit provider from charging any fees or charges not listed in section 101 of the act. One of the permitted charges is a “service fee”. Regulations under the act cap this fee at R60 a month, unless an exemption applies.

So, is it legal for banks to charge credit card account holders a “card fee” or a “credit facility fee” over and above a monthly service fee? If not, why has the National Credit Regulator (NCR) done nothing to stop banks from doing so?

At the beginning of last year, Standard Bank started levying a “card fee” on anyone who has a standalone credit card, which is one that is not offered as part of an account with a bundle of transactions for a set fee.

The bank said the fee was to cover the costs of “the administration and maintenance of all the value-added services and features” associated with the credit card.

At the time, Nthupang Magolego, a senior legal adviser at the NCR, said the act provided a “closed list” of fees that a credit provider was allowed to charge under a credit agreement, and a card fee was not one of them.

She said the regulator would “investigate and take appropriate action” if an illegal fee was being charged.

More than a year later, the regulator will not say whether or not it investigated the issue. It has ignored requests for comment.

All of the big five banks are now charging either a card fee or a credit facility fee on some or all of their credit cards.

Ethel Nyembe, the head of card issuing at Standard Bank, also wouldn’t answer questions relating to an investigation by the regulator into the bank’s credit card fees.

Credit cards provide access to certain lifestyle offerings such as access to airport lounges and cinemas.

Customers who don’t want these benefits can use alternative credit offerings such as personal loans, overdrafts and certain credit cards from which such offerings are removed, says Nyembe.

Cilliers Kriel, CEO of the credit card division at FNB, says the bank’s credit card is more than a credit facility. It’s also a “financial services product”.

“The credit card account is a financial services product as defined in the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act which can be used to make deposits, withdrawals, earn credit interest, make payments either by swiping at merchants or by debit order.

“The credit facility gives the customer the option to borrow, up to an agreed limit . The credit facility is attached to and maintained in association with the credit card account.”

Absa and Nedbank also separate the charges on the card account from those charged for a credit facility.

The NCA permits a credit provider to charge fees relating to the financial services agreement or account beyond those listed in the act for a credit agreement, says Kriel.

But Trudie Broekmann, an attorney who specialises in consumer law, says the act does not define a “financial services account”, so it’s not clear what the lawmakers intended by this.

Only if they intended to include a credit card account in the definition can the banks rely on the exemption and charge more than the R60-a-month service fee, she says.

In her opinion, the section of the act that treats the credit facility and the financial services account as separate components was drafted with an overdraft facility linked to a cheque or current account in mind. With an overdraft facility, it’s clear the credit facility (the overdraft) is secondary to the financial services account (the cheque/current account) and so regarding the two as separate components does not appear to be misplaced, she says.

“In the case of a credit card account, however, the credit facility and the financial services account are one and the same and it seems artificial to regard the account and the facility as separate components subject to separate service charges.”

No-one opens a credit card account without a credit facility and the primary function of a credit card account is to provide access to the credit facility, she says.

Treating them as separate components and charging you for each is like a supermarket charging you separately for an egg shell, egg white and egg yolk, she says.

Broekmann says it can be argued that the banks are in breach of the act when they charge you more than R60 a month on your credit card.

“This contention should be tested and I would be eager to represent a group of credit card holders . in taking the complaint to the National Consumer Tribunal to reach clarity on this aspect.”

By Suman Bhattacharyya for DigiDay

Staples no longer wants to be thought of as a place to buy office supplies.

In a brand revamp, Staples this week repositioned itself as “the Worklife Fulfillment Company,” or a place where it says workers can feel happy and productive, reminiscent of WeWork. Staples wouldn’t say if this means it’s going to launch co-working spaces of its own (it ended a co-working trial with startup Workbar earlier this year), but it’s rolling out new private-label technology and office products and yet-to-be-announced business services. It’s also launching a business-focused content-marketing platform called The Loop.

“The focus on Worklife means providing services, products and solutions and an improved digital experience that allows our customers to work wherever, whenever and however they want,” a Staples spokeswoman told Digiday.

Among office supplies companies, a services focus isn’t unique to Staples. Office Depot’s Los Gatos, California location, for example, includes 5,000 square feet of co-working space. Called the Workonomy Hub, it has flexible hot desks, a Starbucks kiosk and a dedicated area for shipping. Any business or worker can sign on for subscriptions or à la carte services.

The pivot to services, including shared-office space, along with agency-style marketing, advertising and other business services, is a way retailers can monetize unused space, generate additional revenue from co-working customers, and build an ongoing relationship beyond one-off interactions or purchases. The co-working market, however, is highly competitive. Beyond industry heavyweights like WeWork and Regis, there are an estimated 200 co-working companies across the U.S. that have at least one location that’s 5,000 square feet, according to real estate company Cushman & Wakefield. Retailers, particularly office-supplies companies, are betting on services and co-working as a means to lock in regular revenue from clients already in their ecosystems.

“We have a very large physical footprint across the country as you can imagine with almost 1,400 locations; we’re always looking for new ways to reimagine how we can get more value out of that square footage,” said Kevin Moffitt, Office Depot’s chief retail officer. “It’s also is a way for us to continue to develop our communities. With our business customers, we have very strong relationships.”

Relationships, in turn, make way for additional service offerings and product purchasing opportunities. It’s a follow-on effect that resulted in increased sales, Office Depot CEO Gerry Smith told investors last November. After opening the initial co-working space and office services center in Los Gatos in August 2018, Office Depot added new locations in Irving, Texas, and Lake Zurich, Illinois. Meanwhile, Staples rolled out a new line of private-label brands associated with its new mission, including office supplies products line Tru Red, Nxt Technologies, a tech product line, CoastWide Professional, a facility supplies brand, and breakroom essentials label Perk.

While the growth of co-working and service arms are natural areas for expansion for office-supplies companies, one disadvantage they may have when compared to pure-play co-working companies is a physical space that looks and feels more boxy and less niche.

“I’m not sure that office supply stores are that attractive as destinations,” said Forrester retail analyst Sucharita Kodali. “Part of the appeal of WeWork is that they are in interesting locations and have attractive layouts that make the space appealing to members.”

Meanwhile, companies that specialize in setting up co-working spaces are seeing increased inquiries from big-box retailers. Industrious, which runs its own co-working spaces and designs them, said it’s seen an increase in the number of big-box retailers that want help redesigning their spaces, and Kettle, a subscription-based service that allows restaurants to be used as co-working spaces, also said it’s also seeing an uptick in interest from retailers.

“It lowers the barriers to entry to allow people to come and stay, they’re surrounded by your branding and it offers opportunities for new customers,” said Kettle co-founder Daniel Rosenzweig.

Compared to co-working companies, office-supplies companies say they’re uniquely positioned to cater to businesses and mobile workers because they offer on-site services on demand which other companies could be challenged to provide at scale.

“You go to other competitors, and they may have a single printer available for 300 folks who are working there, while we have end-to-end marketing services available within a 20-foot walk from your dedicated office, and you can get your laptop fixed right there,” said Moffitt.

Office Club to join Nemo Group

Source: Dealer Support

Office Club and Nemo Group are combining to offer numerous advantages to both the dealer and supplier communities.

By joining forces with Office Club, Nemo will represent well over 300 dealers and offer the natural home for all resellers whether they are commercial, retail or online.

Combining these groups will give a true and varied offering within the industry, whatever the dealer size and wholesaler preference.

With no plans to change brands or management, the respective strengths of each group will be retained.

Member companies will therefore initially see little change whilst behind the scenes the management teams, already accustomed to working together through BPGI membership, will work with supplier partners, to identify and realise the synergy opportunities from the collaboration.

The combined on and off-line marketing expertise offers vendors a conduit to over £500m in end-user sales and members will be able to develop new relationships with marketing support tailored to their needs.

Nemo MD, Tim Beaumont, said: “This is a great fit, each group has their strengths and USP’s, but together we will have a much stronger offering. Office Club is a compelling brand, the groups will keep their own identities, with the existing management collaborating to create a symbiotic offering.

“Office Club are strong in retail and Nemo are very commercial focused, our combined purchases with wholesalers and direct spend will significantly increase. There is great depth, experience and knowledge in both management teams, which will complement each group, to offer enhanced programmes for Nemo members and Office Club dealers.”

Office Club CEO, Toby Robins, added: “Nemo and Office Club are both strong organisations with which I have been associated for many years, so I am familiar with the culture and strengths of both.

“With Office Club becoming part of the Nemo family, there are benefits to members, vendors and staff. This is a very exciting development in our industry and I look forward to facilitating from my ongoing role as a non-executive director.”

Michael Morgan, chair of Nemo, continued: “We are really excited about this opportunity and believe that our members, dealers, wholesaler and vendor communities will benefit from this union as it gives us a strong platform to approach all of the independent dealers across the UK. Together we are stronger.”

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