On Aug. 30, Lyndhurst, NJ-based motivational and promotional products marketer Awards.com purchased Reliable HomeOffice, a catalog of office furnishings. HomeOffice was owned by Schaumburg, IL-based Reliable Office Supplies, which itself is owned by conglomerate Boise Cacade Office Products. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
According to Warren Struhl, chairman of Awards.com, a new holding company will be formed to incorporate Awards.com and Reliable HomeOffice. As of press time, however, a name for the company had not yet been finalized. Struhl, founder of stationery and forms cataloger Paper Direct and cofounder of multititle catalog holding company Genesis Direct (Proteam.com), will be a controlling investor of the company along with his family.
Struhl says potential synergies in the small office/home office (SOHO) market were the catalyst for the deal, since both HomeOffice and Reliable target small-business decision makers. Awards.com customers who have ordered recognition products may also be receptive to HomeOffice’s desks, chairs, and storage equipment.
“We think there’s enormous potential to cross-market these products,” Struhl says. When asked if he was concerned about the new company’s prospect of success in light of a slowing economy, Struhl contends that the downturn actually stands to boost business. “With all the layoffs occurring, people are spending more time in their home offices. I think the [SOHO] space is only going to get bigger.”