W.B. Mason

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W.B. Mason
Private
Industry Workplace Products
Founded 1898
Founder William Betts Mason
Headquarters Brockton, Massachusetts, U.S.
Area served
United States
Key people
Steve Greene, Chairman
Leo J. Meehan, III, President and CEO [1]
John Greene, President Office Products Division
Christopher Meehan, COO
Revenue $1.278 billion [2]
Number of employees
3100[2]
Divisions WhattaBargain! Outlet Stores[3]
W.B. Mason Interiors[4]
Website www.wbmason.com

W.B. Mason is the largest privately held office products dealer in the U.S. that competes with Staples, OfficeMax, and Office Depot. The company is based in Brockton, Massachusetts, and primarily serves New England, the Mid-Atlantic, the Mid-West and major metropolitan areas across the United States. They have over 60 distribution centers across the United States. The company has 3,100 employees,[2] 1044 sales representatives, close to 600 delivery trucks (leased from Ryder),[2] and over 230,000 customers.[5][6] W.B. Mason is the largest customer of United Stationers.[7][8]

History[edit]

W.B. Mason Building
Brockton, Massachusetts
(September 2011)
Image of the W.B. Mason original building, from the National Archives.

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

W.B. Mason continued to operate for the next thirty years by Mr. Mason's family members. It was sold in 1943 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 W.B. Mason for a world-wide distribution partnership.[10]

Business Facts[edit]

Mission Statement[edit]

"We are an organization focused on solving customer problems with personalized services and customized solutions. We are willing to take the long view on strategies that require extended periods of time to develop and are ever flexible to meet changing needs. Our objective is to provide "the best overall solution.""

W.B. Mason supply truck, part of their delivery network.

Delivery[edit]

W.B. Mason operates an extensive delivery network in the northeast and major metropolitan areas across the country. By maintaining dense routes, they are able to offer free next-day delivery to all their customers. In many areas, they are also able to offer free same-day delivery for the majority of items they sell. W.B. Mason trains its drivers to pass the front desk or loading dock and into the supply closets, break rooms, and desks of their customers.

Service[edit]

W.B. Mason prides itself on providing local, personalized service to its customers. To that end, they employ a very large external sales force and internal customer service team. In keeping with their model of local service, their customer service groups operate out of the local branch offices rather than one central call center. Most customers deal with the same sales and customer service representatives for all of their business with the company.

Selection[edit]

W.B. Mason’s selection of products is designed to allow their customers to deal with a single company for everything they need to run their business. This cuts down on the number of deliveries and supplier relationships a business needs to operate. They will consistently bring in new items and categories at the request of their customers, even stocking items for a single account. Their categories of sale include office supplies, paper, ink & toner, furniture, break room, office coffee, water, facilities maintenance, technology, foodservice supplies, and custom print & promotional items.

Advertising[edit]

W.B. Mason Flag Logo: The flag on the right has 50 stars but the one on the left shows only 45 stars: the July 4, 1896 configuration.

The company began advertising itself in earnest in 1986. At that time the slogan "Who But W.B. Mason" was introduced, which came from the advertising firm T.J. Clark and was 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 1890's. 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.

Baseball[edit]

W.B. Mason is the "Official Office Products Supplier" to the Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees, New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Indians. 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 six team's home ballparks: Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Yankee Stadium and Citi Field in New York, the Green Monster at Fenway Park in Boston, PNC Park in Pittsburgh, and Progressive Field in Cleveland. W.B. Mason also has sponsorships with Madison Square Garden in New York City, The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York and Foxwoods Resort & 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. Over 100 Stonehill alumni are currently employed by the company.

Television[edit]

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. They have produced and aired over 110 commercials.[11]

Locations[edit]

W.B. Mason has a workforce of over 3,100 people, spread over 60 locations throughout the nation allowing 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 W.B. Mason for US contract"
  11. ^ "W.B. Mason Commercials". 
  12. ^ "W.B. Mason Locations". Retrieved 11 July 2014. 

External links[edit]

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