Business meets expanded needs of remote workers
by Jan Tuney
As they marked the 44th anniversary of the business this month, the staff at Bettendorf Office Products/Evergreen Art Works reflects on the unusual year just passed, a year that saw a marked shift to outfitting a burgeoning number of home offices with everything from sit-to-stand desks to janitorial and sanitation products.
It also saw high interest in inventory like art supplies, coloring books, greeting cards and its popular Melissa & Doug toy line (the best selection in the Quad-Cities area) as local residents looked to their creative sides to keep themselves and their children occupied during the increased amount of indoor time that came with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Without a doubt,” says Manager of Operations Steve Hershberger, “it’s been a year like no other.”
Though some offices plan to reopen and bring a small number of people back on site, all indications from national business surveys are that 2021 will continue the strong emphasis on remote employment. Some employees may never return to their office environment.
As a result, businesses like the family-owned Bettendorf Office Products/Evergreen Art Works are assisting customers in establishing and maintaining functional home office environments. This is not just with furniture and supplies but custom framing and large-format printing as well as people try to beautify their new home offices, Hershberger said.https://df7c907ed0175fd72df10d431c38ea7e.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html
“Custom framing, along with art from the gallery walls, has been off the charts since the shutdowns started occurring,” he said.
While “it was a very tough time with commercial sales with so many businesses closed, the uptick in retail/home office sales helped to offset some of that decline,” he said. “We’ve been very fortunate to be able to stay open the entire time.”
Purchases were up for office products like inks, toners, paper, chairs, computer desks, home printers, and sit-to-stand desks.
With health studies showing the detrimental effects of sitting too much, Hershberger said the sit-to-stand desks were a popular item in 2020, and he expects that trend to continue. Several models are available, ranging from Ergotron, the world-wide leader, to Alera, a popular model with a lower price point, he said. Customers can browse the array of options they can purchase through Bettendorf Office Products at www.biggestbook.com.
Business continues to be brisk in the area of janitorial and sanitation supplies, now a necessity for home office workers as well as commercial customers.
“We’ve always sold jan/san products commercially, but for the first time ever, we actually sold them in the store,” Hershberger said. “When the mass merchants were out of toilet paper, we usually had it. We sold over 6,000 rolls of toilet paper during a six-week period. And we’re still selling a lot of cleaning supplies.”
Browsing the aisles of Bettendorf Office Products/Evergreen Art Works reveals an array of office and art supplies, crafts, stationery, greeting cards, calendars and personal organizers, and many sizes of envelopes, in any quantity. And that’s just a start. The Melissa & Doug selection is a great attraction for parents and grandparents, as the nationally known company has toys and crafts to appeal to many ages.
“Most importantly,” Hershberger said, “we want to thank our very loyal local customers through this trying year and look forward to a healthy and happy new year.”
BETTENDORF OFFICE PRODUCTS/EVERGREEN ART WORKS
Located at 3280 Middle Road. Parking conveniently located right outside the door.
Phone: Bettendorf Office Products, 563-359-3487; Evergreen Art Works, 563-359-8324
On Facebook @bettendorfofficeproducts
Online at bettoffice.com
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Browse office supplies available through Bettendorf Office Products at www.biggestbook.com.