||The company was formed in 1968 as a specialist manufacturers
representative firm keying in on the housewares industry. Initial operations covered a
limited territory in the Northern Illinois market representing a limited line of products
for smaller manufacturers in the field.
During the 1968 - 1974 period, the company
developed a substantial base of local and regional retail chain stores and a number of
local distributors. Primary business growth during the period came from concentration in
the houseware and related domestic softline products groups.
During the company's ten year plan period, 1975 - 1984, a number of key accounts were
developed which provided substantial growth in sales and remain as key accounts today. The
accounts include firms such as Walgreens, American Drug Stores, Dominicks, Shopko, Mills
and Blain Supply, Promotions Unlimited, Menards, Jewel Foods, Roundys, Fleming/Gateway,
Wards, Sears, Tru Value and Ace Hardware. Markets were widened to include all of Illinois and
During the company's second ten-year plan period, 1985 - 1994, product lines
represented were broadened to take advantage of the years-long contacts developed with
major chain operations. During this time two additional associates joined the firm
bringing many years of chain store and related product experience to the company. During
the period, a sustained 20% annual growth rate was maintained.
During the current ten-year plan period, 1995 - 2004, the company has sought out key
product lines to take advantage of the constant changes and continuing growth in the
retail chain operations. During this time an additional associate was brought into the
firm and our territory expanded into Minnesota. The accounts added were Target Stores,
Snyder Drug, Educational Teaching Aids, United Stationers, Super Valu Foods, Kohl's Foods,
and Kohl's Department Stores.
The company has continued to evaluate new methods and techniques, has maintained
conversance with evolving retail concepts, and has employed state-of-the-art systems for
it's own operations. The company has added computer-automated systems, in house EDI
capabilities, fax and advanced telecommunications equipment, and modern management
planning and performance review methods to its operations.
The company principal and key associates