Independent sellers in Pa. sold more than 81 million products last year on Amazon

Amazon has released its Small Business Empowerment Report, detailing how independent sellers in Amazon’s U.S. store sold more than 4.1 billion products in 2022 – an average of 7,800 each minute.

More than 60% of sales in Amazon’s store are from independent sellers, most of which are small and medium-sized businesses. Those sellers averaged more than $230,000 in Amazon sales last year and exported 260 million-plus items.

Pennsylvania is home to over 14,000 independent sellers selling in Amazon’s store, according to an Amazon spokesman. They sold more than 81 million products in 2022 through Amazon, with average annual sales of $170,000.

The most-shopped categories from U.S. independent sellers in Amazon’s store, a release said, are health and personal care, home, beauty, grocery and apparel.

Selling in Amazon’s store has also enabled independent sellers to create an estimated 1.5 million jobs in the U.S.

“Small businesses are the heart of our local communities and the backbone of the U.S. economy,” said Dharmesh Mehta, vice president of Worldwide Selling Partner Services at Amazon. “Amazon invests billions of dollars annually to provide entrepreneurs with a constantly improving set of valuable tools and resources to help them gain access to capital, quickly launch in our store, build their brands, and rapidly scale and reach more customers. Amazon is committed to the success of small businesses, and we are excited to continue innovating on their behalf and help them grow into thriving success stories.”

According to the report, brand owners in the U.S. grew sales over 20% year over year in Amazon’s store.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

C-P Flexible Packaging buys Minnesota company 

York-based C-P Flexible Packaging, one of the top 20 flexible packaging suppliers in the U.S., has acquired Bass Flexible Packaging Inc. Terms were not disclosed. 

This allows C-P Flexible Packaging, a portfolio company of the New York private equity firm First Atlantic Capital, to expand into the confectionary and health and beauty markets and adds state-of-the-art short run and short lead time capabilities, according to a release. 

Headquartered in Lakeville, Minn., Bass produces a variety of stand-up pouches, premade bags and shrink sleeves. 

C-P Flexible Packaging’s North American footprint has now grown to 11 locations with more than 1,000 employees. 

“We are very proud of our team at Bass and the business that we’ve built,” co-owner Andrew Shaffer said in the release. “We believe our business is in excellent hands with C-P Flexible and that the combined resources of the two companies will only strengthen the opportunities for both employees and customers.” 

C-P Flexible Packaging CEO Mike Hoffman added, “The Shaffers have developed one of the most agile service models in the industry at Bass, with precision focus on the market’s need for short lead times and run lengths. Combining this unique strength with their high-growth end markets complements C-P’s strategic initiatives in these areas.” 

Giant to ship products to customers through new service 

The Giant Company plans to expand its online grocery services with the addition of a new shipping option on items that aren’t traditionally found at its stores. 

Currently Giant shoppers can place orders within one of Giant’s stores and either pick-up or have those items delivered to their homes through the company’s e-commerce tool, Giant Direct.  

The Carlisle-based grocery chain announced on Monday that customers will now be able to buy new items from outside sellers on Giant Direct through Ship2Me. Similarly to Amazon, customers can purchase items in categories like health and beauty and home décor and have those items shipped directly to their homes. 

The new offering works in tandem with Giant Direct, allowing someone to order their grocery products from their nearby Giant location and order further items to be shipped to their homes, Giant wrote in a press release on Monday. 

“Ship2Me by GIANT is a natural extension of our current grocery delivery options,” said John Ruane, senior vice president of omnichannel merchandising at The Giant Company. “By offering access to complementary products not traditionally found in store, we are adding endless aisle shopping options for today’s busy families, all with the convenience of being delivered right to your door.” 

The Giant Company also announced Ship2Me by Martin’s for its Martin’s Food Markets chain, to be used alongside Martin’s own e-commerce service. 

Giant operates 180 stores throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. The company employs 30,000 people. 

York distributor partners with Turkish manufacturer to custom build PPE

To address holes the pandemic poked in the medical equipment supply chain, York medical equipment distribution company Legacy Medical Sales, LLC,  partnered with a Turkish manufacturer to make its own products.

Since its founding in 2019, Legacy has served as a distribution channel for companies such as Irving, Texas-based pharmaceutical and health care equipment distributor McKesson– either shipping products directly to clients or from its York warehouse.

Distributors today are just as busy getting personal protective equipment to businesses and health care providers as they were at the beginning of the pandemic. The difference is that the need for some personal protective equipment has decreased while the need for products like lab coats have increased, said Peter Collipp, co-founder of Legacy.

“We are supplying lab coats to Cook Hospital in Chicago,” Collipp said. “We would face the same challenges if we tried to buy them from the big companies, and if we went to the secondary market we would be paying high premiums. From the manufacturing side, we could create products to their specifications.”

To fill the need that Legacy found by focusing on distribution alone, the company went to a Turkish manufacturer that is fulfilling Legacy’s orders and shipping them to the states.

In the past, Legacy sourced a majority of its product from China, but when looking for a partner that would allow it to manufacture products on a smaller scale, the company settled on a company in Istanbul.

“The pandemic really exposed some major problems in the medical equipment supply chain,” said Jason Vogelsong, co-founder of Legacy. “We have full control of the process, and that’s important. When you are relying on others for anything, there is a degree of uncertainty. By selecting manufacturers and developing those relationships ourselves, we can see the whole process, including any risks that may arise.”

Legacy currently has no plans to bring its manufacturing to the states but may look to do so in the future, said Collipp.

DB Schenker to lay off 206 employees from Shippensburg warehouse

Supply chain management and logistics solutions firm DB Schenker will lay off 206 of its employees at a Shippensburg warehouse.

The Essen, Germany-based company announced the layoffs in a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, or WARN, notice sent to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry last month.

In the notice, the German firm said the layoffs are part of a rescoping of DB Schenker’s service agreement for the 9300 Olde Scotland Road warehouses’ owner, Procter & Gamble Distributing LLC.

The layoffs will take effect on April 15 and will affect training coordinators, general warehouse workers, warehouse production coordinators and others.

Procter & Gamble, referenced as “the customer” in the notice, has expressed interest in hiring most of the employees at the location but has not yet announced what that will look like.

Neither DB Schenker nor Procter & Gamble were available for comment.