In a tenure that spanned 17 years, beginning in January 1994--when, at age 42, he became only the third CEO in the history of a retailer that began business as a rack jobber
in 1963--Ryan reshaped chain drug retailing in America.
Northern Sales got its start in 1962 as a "rack jobber
" in Juneau, before expanding into the cigarette and tobacco market.
Handleman Company, distributor and rack jobber
of books, software, music and video to major mass merchandisers, buys a 75% interest in itsy bitsy Entertainment for what reportedly could be more than $100 million.
This will be more economical than buying products in the category from a southern wholesaler or a rack jobber
, he said.
(ComputerLand, one of On Demand's first customers, recently turned over its consumer software shelves to an outside rack jobber
; we suspect there's a pattern here.) And On Demand will certainly have some appeal to software companies whose retail presence is too marginal to attract conventional resellers.
"Then they either let a rack jobber
handle it, or let it slide altogether -- which is a mistake," Seidel says.
"We have a very good relationship with our rack jobber
. I meet with them once a week for about three hours.
"I hated it!" he exclaims, conjuring up an obviously distasteful picture of himself "with a green shade on my head." Instead he went into business as a rack jobber
and ended up as one of the industry's most respected marketing consultants.
That, says Harry Steck, president and chief executive officer of entertainment rack jobber
Rank Retail Services America, is a major reason why many drug chains have been reluctant to tackle the category.
Another company that has capitalized on the children's and family segment is Rank Retail Services America, a rack jobber
headquartered in Aliquippa, Pa.
A rack jobber
who services Portland, Ore.-based Fred Meyer Inc.'s video business, says that drug stores and other mass market retailers can use hit releases effectively to build traffic.
Over the years, some supermarket retailers have tested the waters in peripheral categories like cosmetics, toys and housewares--not true leased departments, but giving limited space to rack jobbers
. The term is actually in the dictionary but for those unfamiliar with this virtually obsolete cottage industry-- Google it.