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Author Topic: Leavitt Reps  (Read 1380 times)
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TheFugitive
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« on: March 09, 2015, 01:42:52 PM »

When I was with Ames, one of the most indispensable parts of the business was your Leavitt Rep.

The Joseph Leavitt Corp. was a jobber/vendor to Ames.  Although it was something of an internally
held vendor.  The Joseph Leavitt Corp. was a spin-off of the G.C. Murphy company which had been acquired by
Ames in 1985.  Some of the employees of the former Murphy Mart, and their McKeesport, PA warehouse facility,
were kept on to supply hardware, stationery, and certain other consumable items to Ames stores.

Your Leavitt Rep would come to your store, basically once per week, to walk the aisles and order replenishment of
certain goods (basically pegged hardlines merchandise) that was out-of-stock, or about to be.  Your rep came
equipped with a marvelous new piece of 1980's technology, the Telxon Barcode Scanning Gun.  He or she would
walk the aisles, scanning your out-of-stocks, and thus placing an order for replenishment.

Seems silly today when it seems every retail store has Telxon guns sitting all over the building.  But in the late
80's this was a big deal.  I remember our Leavitt Rep, a very attractive young lady named Melissa.  Her territory
at that time was basically the ENTIRE STATE of Michigan!  From Imlay City and Caro in the East, all the way
out to Cadillac and Rockford in the West, and down to the Indiana line.  She would travel from town to town and walk the aisles of Ames stores, scanning their out-of-stocks.

Seems like a highly and wasteful, inefficient system.  But in 1988, what the heck did we know?

Boston Distributors (and later Millbrook) were not captive divisions of Ames. But they filled basically the same
function for HBA merchandise.  A rep would come in weekly to scan and place the order.  Traveling extensively in the process.

Just about all stores today I think handle this function internally.  With their own scanning guns, cycle counts,
and much more accurate POS systems which transmit sales data in near-real time.   Walmart reportedly cuts an order for one piece of a certain good at the very moment it is being rung through the checkout at a store out there somewhere.
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