Quill Corporation

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Quill Corporation
Type Corporation, Subsidiary of Staples, Inc.
Industry Retail
Founded 1956
Headquarters Lincolnshire, Illinois, U.S.
Products Office supplies
Website www.quill.com

Quill Corporation is a business e-tailer currently headquartered in Lincolnshire, Illinois. Over 70% of Quill's sales are conducted online.[1][verification needed]

Quill is owned by Staples, Inc. and is recognized as their most profitable division, accounting for nearly 25% of the company's net income. Between 1998 and 2009, Quill grew from $500 million in revenues to over $1.3 billion. The company is still one of Staples' fastest growing divisions and is led by Sergio Pereira, President of Quill Corporation.

History[edit]

Quill Corporation was the outgrowth of an idea by Jack Miller.[2] In 1956, with a small loan of $2,000 from Jack's father-in-law, a desk, chair and two phones, Quill's first office was established in the back room of his father's poultry shop on the north side of Chicago. Initially lacking retail experience, the young entrepreneur relied heavily on his face-to-face selling techniques to drive revenue. With the assistance of Jack's brother Harvey, the two evolved their marketing strategies to include mail-order campaigns that enticed potential customers with substantially discounted prices and free shipping - transforming Quill Corporation into one of the first mail-order [3] companies in the United States. In 1974, Quill reported annual sales of $3.5 million. During the early and mid-1980s, the company's revenues skyrocketed, amounting to $180 million in 1986. Its mail-order business was the most successful within the office supplies market, with more than 40 million catalogues and flyers sent to a customer base of approximately 600,000 businesses and organizations, and listing more than 9,000 various office supplies and products. In 1996, the company launched the web site Quill.com. In the winter of 1998, Quill Corporation was acquired by Staples, Inc. for approximately $685 million. Jack Miller utilized funds from the sale of Quill to create the Jack Miller Center.[4]

Environmental responsibility[edit]

In an effort to be more environmentally friendly Quill added a larger assortment of "green" products including paper, cleaning and breakroom, filing and binder products, as well as a laser cartridge recycling box that is free to order and free to return to Quill.

Online[edit]

The domain quill.com attracted at least 1 million visitors annually by 2008, according to a Compete.com survey.[5] Quill Corporation launched a Quill coupons page in 2014 to help customers find even better deals on the site. They've also launched a blog, Cafe Quill, aimed to start conversations with small to medium sized businesses about workplace leadership, business trends, productivity, and a special section called kindness corner to highlight stories about businesses doing great things in the community. Quill Ideas was developed in 2014 to give their customers a way to share thoughts and ideas that can make their workday easier and help enhance their experience with Quill.

Acquisitions[edit]

In July 2002, Medical Arts Press became a subsidiary of Quill when Staples, Inc. purchased the Minneapolis-based company for $385 million. Since 1950, Medical Arts Press has helped healthcare practices meet their unique front-office supply needs. Medical Arts Press carries the industry's largest selection of specialty filing and general office supplies, 100% government-compliant forms, code books, office furnishings, imprinted patient communication and giveaways, ink and toner, breakroom supplies and more.[6]

In addition to the acquisition of Medical Arts Press, Quill also obtained SmileMakers and Hayes Marketing Inc. (HMI). Both provide creative products to help build patient loyalty and promote practices with giveaway items, promotional postcards, greeting cards and more.

"A small part of your job is 100% of ours." Tagline[edit]

In 2014, Quill's "A small part of your job is 100% of ours." branding campaign was launched. In conjunction with the expansion of Quill's product assortment, the goal of the campaign is to show that Quill is a supplier of all products a business needs and highlight that they even offer speciality products for retail, foodservice, education, industrial and hospitality businesses.

Timeline[edit]

  • 1956 – Quill is founded by Jack Miller in Chicago, IL
  • 1957 – Brother Harvey joins the business and Quill moves into its first real office and warehouse
  • 1963 – Quill's first big mail-order catalog is introduced
  • 1974 – Quill reports annual sales of $3.5 million
  • 1974 – Arnold joins his brothers in the family business
  • 1986 - Quill reports annual revenues of $180 million
  • 1992 – United States Supreme Court case Quill Corp. v. North Dakota in which Quill took the position that North Dakota does not have the power to make Quill collect a use tax from North Dakota customers [7]
  • 1995 – A wide range of school supplies are added, such as crayons, rulers, audiovisual equipment, erasers, and other items to meet the needs of primary and secondary students
  • 1996 – Quill.com is launched
  • 1997 - Quill weathers the UPS strike.
  • 1998 – Quill is acquired by Staples, Inc. [8]
  • 2000 – Larry Morse is named President
  • July, 2002 – Medical Arts Press becomes a subsidiary of Quill
  • 2004 – Quill is awarded the "Circle of Excellence" Platinum Award by BizRate.com (a Shopzilla Company) for customer service [9]
  • 2006 – "So fast, so simple" branding campaign launched
  • April, 2006 – "Clips" the Quill chicken and official mascot of Quill's 50th anniversary is "hatched"
  • June 23, 2006 – Quill celebrates its 50th anniversary
  • 2007 – Quill is recognized by J.D. Power and Associates for providing "An Outstanding Customer Service Experience", expands to 12 distribution centers with the addition of 1 in Denver, Colorado, and attains 70% of total sales online at Quill.com
  • 2008 – Quill launches the Green Scene initiative with environmentally friendly products and business practices
  • 2008 - Quill is recognized for the second year in a row by J.D. Power and Associates [10]
  • 2008 – Michael Patriarca succeeds Larry Morse and is appointed senior vice president of Staples
  • 2009 - Quill launches layoffs of ARDC employess
  • 2009 - Quill launches their own YouTube page with a new "Ask Quill" campaign
  • 2009 - Quill rebrands to Quill.com and updates tag line to "Best experience in office products"
  • 2009 - Quill.com launches a Facebook page and Twitter feed 'Quillcom'
  • 2013 - Sergio Pereira succeeds Michael Patriarca and is appointed senior vice president of Staples

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Official website