W.B. Mason

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W.B. Mason
Type Private
Industry Office products
Founded 1898
Founders William Betts Mason
Headquarters Brockton, Massachusetts, U.S.
Area served Northeastern United States
Key people Steve Greene, Chairman
Leo J. Meehan, III, President and CEO [1]
Christopher Meehan, COO
Revenue $1.125 billion [2]
Employees 2271[2]
Divisions WhattaBargain! outlet stores[3]
W.B. Mason Interiors[4]
Website www.wbmason.com
W.B. Mason Building
Brockton, Massachusetts (September 2011)

W.B. Mason based in Brockton, Ma. is the largest privately held office products dealer in the U.S. that competes with Staples, OfficeMax, Office Depot and New England Office Supply. W.B. Mason primarily serves the New England and Mid-Atlantic areas of the United States. They have 42 distribution centers as well as sales offices in New York City and Philadelphia. The company has 2,271 employees,[2] 900 sales representatives, 450 delivery trucks (leased from Ryder),[2] and over 180,000 customers.[5][6] It is the largest customer of United Stationers.[7][8]

History[edit]

W.B. Mason was founded in 1898 by William Betts Mason in Brockton, Massachusetts, where its headquarters are still located.

William Betts Mason was born in Auckland, New Zealand in 1865. Upon his father's death in 1872 he immigrated to the United States with his American born mother and two sisters where they settled in his mother's home town of Brockton, Massachusetts. In the 1880s he began working in the printing and sign making trade and eventually became a master engraver .[9]

In 1898, Mr. Mason founded W.B. Mason, a business which sold printing, engraved products and rubber stamps. As the shoe industry exploded in the early 20th century in Brockton (making the city a candidate for the shoe capital of the United States), growth in the city's business exploded and W.B. Mason added office supplies to the company's sales offering. Mr. Mason died in 1912 leaving a legacy of providing impeccable, personalized service on the sale of office products.

W.B. Mason continued to operate for the next thirty years by Mr. Mason's family members. In 1943 it was sold to a Brockton businessman, Samuel Kovner, who as a boy swept the W.B.Mason floors and worked his way up through the ranks.

Under Mr. Kovner the company reached sales of $243,000 by 1963 at which time it was sold to Mr. Kovner's daughter and son-in-law, Helen and Joseph Greene. Joseph Greene added furniture sales to the company's selection and the W.B. Mason Company reached nearly a million dollars in sales upon his death in 1973. After his death Helen Greene moved her son Steven Greene into the leadership position of the company and under his leadership the company grew to $20 million in sales by 1993.

The ownership changed hands in 1983 when Steven Greene and his brother John Greene took over the business from their mother and they invited their two top sales people, Thomas Golden and Leo Meehan, to join the ownership group.

Mr. Greene remained President until 1993 when he elected to assume the position of Chairman of the Board, replacing his mother Helen. Leo Meehan became the President and CEO as the company launched a new office supply initiative based on free, fast, and complete next-day delivery on company-owned trucks. W.B. Mason grew twelve-fold in the next eight years achieving sales of $247 million by 2001. The next ten years saw the company grow four-fold again and reach a billion dollars in sales in 2011.[citation needed]

In November 2013, Lyreco teamed up with WB Mason for their US contract partnership.[10]

Business facts[edit]

W.B. Mason is the "Official Office Products Supplier" to the Boston Red Sox, the Boston Bruins, the Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees and the New York Mets. They sponsor the post-game show after Red Sox games on NESN, the Mets post-game show on SNY, the Yankees post-game show on YES, and the two-hour condensed replay of Yankee games on the YES Network. W.B. Mason also has its corporate logo prominently displayed in all four team's home ballparks: Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Yankee Stadium and Citi Field in New York, and on the Green Monster at Fenway Park in Boston. W.B. Mason also has sponsorships with MSG [Madison Square Garden] in New York City, The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York and MGM Grand Casino in Ledyard, Connecticut.

Along with these sponsorships, W.B. Mason assisted with funding a brand new sports complex at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts, W.B. Mason Stadium. The special relationship on the collegiate level is due in large part to W.B. Mason's CEO, Leo Meehan, being an alumnus of the institution. A number of W.B. Mason television commercials have used the college as a filming location as well. The current owners live in the Boston area.

Advertising[edit]

W.B. Mason logo

The company began advertising itself in earnest in 1986. At that time a slogan was introduced "Who But W. B. Mason" which came from the advertising firm T. J .Clark created by one of the partners named Paul Steven Stone. The slogan was combined with a picture of the founder W.B. Mason, a handsome mustachioed gentleman from the 1890s. Their logo features two U.S. flags flanking a portrait of W.B. Mason. The flag on the right has 50 stars but the one on the left shows only 45 stars, the July 4, 1896 configuration; this is because when the company was established in 1898, there were only 45 states. The most beloved of the W. B. Mason actors, Adam Twiss, is featured in the commercials, including the one shot in Fenway Park. Over the years, W.B. Mason's television commercials have broken new ground in the advertising of office supplies and furniture. From national commercials during the Super Bowl, to regional commercials focusing on local service, each has been crafted to support their promise of a vast selection of product, outstanding service, and low prices.[11]

Locations[edit]

W.B. Mason has a workforce of over 2,300 people, spread over 40 locations throughout the Nation. They also have warehouses across the United States that allows them to service customers in all 50 states.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Profile: Leo J. Meehan, III ’75", Board of Trustees, Stonehill College website
  2. ^ a b c d "W.B. Mason Company Expands Fleet and Strengthens 30-Year Partnership With Ryder", Ryder press release, Miami, Florida, July 21, 2010
  3. ^ "W.B. Mason's WhattaBargain Outlet Stores". Wbswhattabargain.com. Retrieved 2012-12-22. 
  4. ^ "W.B. Mason Interiors". W.B. Mason Interiors. Retrieved 2012-12-22. 
  5. ^ "Profile: W.B. Mason Co., Inc.", PrivCo, The Private Company Financial Data Authority
  6. ^ Profile: "W.B. Mason Company". Hoover's
  7. ^ "The Updated File on Office-Supply Stocks: FBR Capital Markets rates shares of Office Max, Staples, Office Depot, and others", Barron's, Friday, April 29, 2011. Quoting, "W.B. Mason also happens to be among the top five customers of office wholesaler United Stationers (ticker: USTR), hence the inclusion of that company's share price on the FBR Top Picks list."
  8. ^ "Big interview: Cody Phipps", Office Products International magazine, March 1, 2010. The interview is with Cody Phipps, President of United Stationers.
  9. ^ "Ask the Globe: Who was the famous W.B. Mason, who founded the Brockton-based office furniture and supplies store?", The Boston Globe, January 9, 2001
  10. ^ "Lyreco joins hand with WB Mason for US contract"
  11. ^ "W.B. Mason Commercials". 
  12. ^ "W.B. Mason Locations". Retrieved 11 July 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°5′2.0″N 71°1′5.6″W / 42.083889°N 71.018222°W / 42.083889; -71.018222