Arrow Office Supply Celebrates 70 Years By Looking Ahead

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Marc Crane in his Detroit office

Longtime Detroit business Arrow Office Supply is celebrating its 70th year. According to Marc Crane, whose grandfather Harris purchased the business in 1979, it is one of the oldest independent office supply retailers in Michigan and is poised to continue growing and providing exceptional service to its customers.

“When my grandfather first started working at Arrow, it was pretty much a one-man operation,” said Crane, 29, of Royal Oak. “His three sons then came into the business: my dad, Sandy, and my uncles Michael and Danny. I remember I used to play in the Detroit warehouse when I was a child.”

Crane explained that when his Uncle Danny died unexpectedly in 2012, he stepped into a leadership position in the company and “hasn’t looked back.”

His business degree from Michigan State University has proved valuable in helping to guide the company to double-digit growth over the past several years. The company expanded from its original Detroit location on Grand River and opened a satellite sales office in Southfield in 2010.

Crane credits Arrow’s longevity to the company striving to give its clients “an outstanding experience at every point of contact and going above and beyond to ensure they are well taken care of.

“We employ 15 people,” he said, “and some have been with us for 20 and 30 years. People ask me what separates us from our competition, and I tell them it’s our people. From our customer service staff to our delivery drivers, we’ve got incredible people working for Arrow.”

The resurgence of Detroit’s economic activity is something for which Crane has special appreciation.

“We’re proud to have been located in Detroit continuously for the last seven decades, through the good times and the bad. Our city is going through revitalization, and we’re happy to be a part of that growth. Supporting Detroit-based businesses, buying local products and being a Detroit-area family business is very important to us.”

Crane said that by relying on the values of honesty and integrity instilled in him by his father, all of the business’ successes mean a lot more because he shares them with family.

“Looking forward, our future growth will be focused on our website, www.aronet.net, where we look to provide a top-shelf online experience,” Crane said.  “We also want to move more into the breakroom supply and janitorial needs areas of the office supply business. This way, Arrow will be able to provide our clients with everything from standards like ink and paper, to office furniture, to cleaning supplies, to coffee and snacks.

“Like our motto says: ‘We’ve got it!’ Our staff works hard to keep us price-competitive, and we pride ourselves on offering personalized service. One of the best parts of my day is meeting face-to-face with customers, helping them solve problems and increase their workplace productivity.

“But working with my family and building something together has been the most rewarding,” he added.

Another family affair is one of a more personal nature. Crane and his fiancee, Hannah Borman (of the Borman grocery store family), are planning an October wedding at Franklin Hills Country Club. Rabbi Joseph Krakoff will officiate.

Before that happy occasion, Crane has another celebration to look forward to: a 70th anniversary party for the entire Arrow Office Supply staff to be held this month.

“It’s not a surprise,” Crane said with a smile, “but it will really be special!”

 By Judy Greenwald | Contributing Writer

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