Staples to Snap Up Medical Arts Press Catalogs

Office supplies cataloger/retailer Staples agreed on July 9 to buy Medical Arts Press, a multititle cataloger of medical-related printed products, for $385 million. The all-cash transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the summer. With the acquisition, Staples’s combined catalog sales increase to nearly $3 billion — still trailing those of rival Office Depot, which reaped catalog sales of $3.76 billion last year.

“We feel there are tremendous synergies to expand our offering and presence in the medical industry,” says Deborah Hohler, spokesperson for $10.74 billion Staples. She notes that 25% of Medical Arts’ products overlap with those sold in the Staples catalog and in the titles of its Quill Corp. subsidiary. “That provides us tremendous potential for cross-selling — a great opportunity for Staples and Quill to sell to Medical Arts’ 300,000-plus customers.”

The $168 million Medical Arts Press, based in Brooklyn Park, MN, has three titles. The Medical Arts Press catalog sells printed office products and practice-related supplies such as medical forms, shipping pouches, and pill envelopes to medical offices; SmileMakers sells children’s giveaway novelties to doctors, dentists, and educators; and Hayes Marketing sells marketing-related products to chiropractors, dentists, and eyecare professionals.

The Medical Arts team, including CEO Steven Wexler, will report to Quill Corp. president Larry Morse, though they will remain in Minnesota. Staples plans no immediate changes to Medical Arts or widescale layoffs. But Medical Arts vice president of sales and marketing Jim Hoffman and chief financial officer Michael Kasner, whose jobs are considered redundant with those positions in Staples, will be let go after a transition period.

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