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Tried and true favourites reinforced their reputations last Friday at the 2011 Brother/Stationery News Reseller of the Year Awards, held at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia in Rushcutters Bay.

Stationery Wholesalers romped in with a respectable lead, achieving the winning score in the $5 - $20 million category for the third time in the Awards' 11-year history. 

The Under $5 million category saw the return of a long-running and much-loved business Humphreys, cementing its previous win in this category in 2008.

In the Supplier of the Year stakes, ACCO emerged the winning favourite, followed by runner-up Avery Dennison.

$5 - $20 million category

Stationery Wholesalers backed up its reputation as a favourite among suppliers with impressive figures, advanced computer systems and a marketing approach that trumped the competitors.

A peek at the books proved this business has the robustness to withstand the challenge of the recent economic downturn.

In a surprise second placing, relative newcomer Impact Office Supplies beat its nearest competitor by a whisker. 

Impact has never been in the Reseller of the Year Awards before, but has impressed suppliers enough to feature as a finalist.

Independent buying group ASA Australia can pat itself on the back for being represented by both the winner and the runner-up in the $5-$20 million category. If this is the calibre of its members, the group can be proud. 

Under $5 million category

Humphreys is an iconic business of Sydney's northern beaches community, so it is not surprising it fared well in the awards this year, walking away victor for the second time after winning in 2008.

What really elevated Humphrey's was its excellence in marketing and promotion. The company has employed a number of strategies not seen among any of the competitors in either categories.

The Paper Bahn owners Barry and Deb Patterson have followed up last year's win in this category with another, if not as sensational, equally solid performance, with a placing as runner-up.

A spacious, attractive shopper's paradise, this business is no 'warehouse-only' outfit, but a showroom where clients are seated in a display office lounge and offered coffee and refreshments before a discussion about their business needs.

Supplier of the Year

Congratulations to ACCO, which received enough votes to place number one Supplier of the Year.  In a surprise reshuffle, Avery Dennison, usually a quiet if reliable achiever, was considered second best by the endorsement of industry. Long term favourite Dynamic Supplies came a respectable third, followed by Mitsibushi Pencil, Pelikan Artline and Tonnex International.