Sunday Sales Blast 2/26/17

NY first for cleaning product disclosure

Under a law from the 1970s, the State is authorized to collect information about cleaning products and to restrict chemicals of concern. When enacted, the law banned phosphorous-based cleaners, because of their effect on water quality. 
Today, Governor Cuomo announced that New York will require cleaning product makers to fully disclose what's in their products.

In his 2017 State of the State book, Governor Cuomo said: 
"Consumers have a right to know what chemicals are in household cleaning products. Common household cleaners may contain chemicals shown to negatively impact health in many ways, including carcinogens, hormone disrupters, asthmagens, allergens, and skin irritants. Despite this, cleaning product labels often do not give consumers adequate information to allow them to make informed purchasing decisions with regard to health risks."

This first such requirement in the nation is the culmination of years of work. Clean and Healthy New York and other advocates joined Earthjustice to file suit against cleaning product makers under the 1970s law. This prompted the Department of Environmental Conservation to revisit the issue. CHNY's steady, concerted leadership with our allies and government staff has paid off, with impact that will be felt across the country.
The Governor announced that not only will the State require disclosure of chemicals and their potential to contribute to serious illnesses and disease, New York will use this process as a model for chemical disclosure for other products:
"This ingredient disclosure approach, which will go into effect this year, will serve as a pilot for potential expansion to other consumer products of concern, such as personal care or children’s products. The pilot will evaluate such factors as ease of consumer use, consumer education regarding chemicals and health risks, and manufacturer compliance and enforcement."

What will Bullen be doing?

What does all of this mean to you a distributor of janitorial products? For us it means we will be reviewing and updating all product labels just like we did 2 years ago for the GHS requirements. Will we provide this information? Yes we will, we already do it for our "green" products under either EPA DfE or Green Seal. This will just be an extension of that labeling to all of products. For you as a distributor this will be something that will depend where you are located. Those in NY will be impacted first and we are sure other states will follow. There is no timing required that we can find but we will keep an eye on this and advise all of our customers as we get more details.

Essendant Adapting to New Threats

In order to fend off new competitors as well as longtime foes, Essendant is refocusing its brand positioning and expanding into foodservice, executives announced last week at the company's show for suppliers and customers in Las Vegas, NV.

It's no longer just Staples and Office Depot that stand in the way as Essendant aims to grab more share of what the company estimates as a $40 billion office supplies market and $25 billion jan-san market. Even industrial and MRO stalwarts are encroaching on its turf.

"Grainger has really invested in this space; they're spending a lot of time and effort grabbing jan-san market share," Harry Dochelli, president, office and facilities essentials, said during the show's opening keynote. "Home Depot bought Interline. Ferguson is out buying jan-san distributors. And everybody wants to sell more stuff, so it's not just the typical sales channels anymore. You've got new competitors selling things you've traditionally sold."

Amazon is another threat for the master distributor. It is the No. 3 supplier for office and No. 7 supplier for cleaning and sanitation – a category where it wasn't "even on the chart a few years ago," Dochelli said. These new threats underscore an evolving industry and increasingly competitive landscape with more millennials in the workforce and more B2B buyers demanding digital purchasing options.

Sounds to me that the best thing for a distributor to do is have his or her own brand and not rely on master distributors for your future. Click the BYOB logo for more info.

Have a great day and an even better sales week!

Scott Jarden