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Office Line increases sales by 12%

“We are still in a transitional phase, where we do not see any major impact on sales of paper or paper-based products.”

Dr. Haitham Durbia, Executive Manager of Kuwait wholesaler and distributor Office Line is confident that demand for office supplies will continue to grow in 2019. He updates The Office Times on the company's latest developments:  

How is Office Line performing?
Office Line closed its fiscal year 2018 with increased revenues, margin expansion, and net income.  The Company saw comparable sales increase by12%, with strong performances across all product categories. We will continue to focus on operational excellence, and delivering an easy experience to our customers.

Are your customers reducing the use of paper and paper-based products?
It is only natural that office automation is having an impact on paper and paper-based products.  This downtrend, if I may label it, may continue but not at a tremendous pace.  We are still in a transitional phase, where we do not see any major impact on sales of paper or paper-based products.

What products are selling well? 
We remain focused on new initiatives to improve sales across all operating divisions.  Such initiatives encompass an omnichannel approach to deliver the best service to our customers.
As for products that are doing well, we are pleased to see sales increases for Post-it Notes, Scotch Magic tapes, writing instruments, meeting solutions and technology products.

Is your focus still on contract sales and the SME market?
Indeed, as a distributor of a Fortune 500 company, we continue to witness strong retention levels, both with our contract customers, which account for approximately 40% of turnover, and with SMEs.  We have also been focusing on strengthening the retail channel with our retail partners. 

What is the trend in Kuwait for the economy and the office supplies market?
A multi-year global economic expansion that has benefited emerging economies such as Kuwait is tampering off.  However, we do not expect the Kuwait economy to go through anything but a corrective phase. As for the office supplies market , we are not expecting any major fall off from a slowing economy.

What are your predictions for 2019?
We do not expect any major geo-political or economic event that may disrupt our local economy.  If anything, our predictions are in line with our prior year of a slight decrease in economic activity, albeit not at an alarming rate, due to the tense regional situation.

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