Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : United Stationers Supply Co.
United Stationers Supply Co.

United Stationers Supply Co.

In 1921, Morris Wolf, Harry Hecktman, and Israel Kriloff bought the Utility Supply Co. and started selling office products in Chicago. By the 1930s, they had retail stores as well as wholesale and retail catalog operations. The company's annual sales rose from about $120,000 during its first year to $2 million by 1948, when mail-order sales accounted for about 40 percent of the business. In 1960, when it was still based in Chicago, the company changed its name to United Stationers Supply Co. When Howard Wolf, a son of the founder, became United Stationers president in 1967, annual sales hit $10 million. By the early 1980s, when it had exited the retail business, United Stationers ranked as the nation's leading wholesaler of office supplies. Annual sales reached about $180 million by 1986. In 1995, an investment company called Wingate Partners bought a large piece of United Stationers and merged it with Associated Stationers, creating United Stationers Inc. By the end of the 1990s, the company grossed about $3.4 billion in annual sales; about one-sixth of its 6,000 employees nationwide worked in the Chicago area.