|Ray Britton, President, Comet School Supplies|
Upon arriving in Dallas for CAMEX 2014, I excitedly went to visit Comet School Supplies, oneof ICBA’s long standing Vendor Partners. Comet’s facility is located in Palestine, TX, about 110 miles southeast of Dallas. While there I met with Ray Britton, President, and Don Howard, Vice President and toured their facility and learned about the history of Comet.
After a paper converting company was shuttered in 1986, Comet School Supplies was founded with the former employees of that converting company. About 2/3 of its business at the time was in the K-12 sector of the school supply business. Comet slowly increased in its involvement with the college bookstore supply channel, and today about 80% of their business is serving the collegiate bookstore market.
Comet initially was a regional company, but when they were awarded the Blue Books category in the old WCBA bid process in 1989, they made the decision to become a national company. Ray Britton stated that ICBA (formerly WCBA) was the entity that first invited them to "the national dance". And they've been loyal to ICBA ever since.
Comet was also the first in the industry to introduce Green Books, at the urging of Jim Williams, former General Manager at the University of Oregon Duck Store. Comet Green Books feature a 100% recycled cover with 10% PCW and inside page that are 100% recycled with 30% PCW.
Today Comet School Supplies employees 35 full-time employees dedicated to making it the best paper converter in the industry. They are an American company receiving raw materials from vendors throughout the United States and manufacturing their products in the Palestine, Texas plant.
New from Comet for 2014 include unruled journals from the new Impressions Collection, Creations Covers Lot 8 Bird Series (1-, 3- and 5-subject notebooks) and the Loadstar Series (1-, 2-, 3- and 5-subject notebooks). Comet is also known for their Lefty Notebooks, 100 count stiff-backed knee pads (both college and law ruled) and of course the Blue Books. For ICBA members, please log into your ICBA member profile at www.ICBAinc.com to view Comet's current buying program.
Thank you to Ray, Don and the entire Comet School Supplies team for a fantastic visit and for their continued support of the ICBA member stores!
Written by Marty Duncan, ICBA Program Manager