Make us your home page

Cox Enterprises reverses course, won't sell Valpak

It turns out Cox Enterprises is rather fond of those coupon-stuffed blue envelopes after all.

More than a year after saying it wanted to shed its Valpak direct mail operation in Largo, Atlanta-based Cox has decided to retain the business. The company began notifying its Tampa Bay area employees about the decision Thursday afternoon.

Cox Target Media, the direct marketing arm that oversees Valpak, is based in Largo. Valpak has had a major presence in Pinellas County, with about 1,000 employees at its plant and headquarters and another 100 at owned-and-operated locations.

Cox said it is encouraged that Valpak has a promising future as it aggressively enters new forms of media and generates new sources of revenue. Among other developments, has been optimized for mobile phones and released an app for the iPhone.

"Cox is pleased with Valpak's performance and (Cox Target Media president) Greg Bicket's leadership," said John Dyer, Cox's executive vice president and chief financial officer. "In a year of economic uncertainty, Valpak provides great cost savings for consumers."

Valpak, which forecasts about a 5 percent drop in annual revenue this year, has been cutting jobs and taking other steps to focus on its core mission. That focus includes turning many of its large-market distribution businesses into franchises. On Wednesday, the company said it signed a deal for Valpak executive Dan Harlacher to buy the Tampa Bay franchise.

Valpak built a $220 million printing facility in St. Petersburg three years ago, helped by job-creation incentives from state and local government. It's the largest privately owned industrial building in the county.

Entrepreneur Terry Loebel started Valpak in 1967 with a mailing to Clearwater households. He sold it in 1985 to a group of investors, who sold it to Cox in 1991.

Jeff Harrington can be reached at or (727) 893-8242.

Cox Enterprises reverses course, won't sell Valpak 12/10/09 [Last modified: Friday, December 11, 2009 10:20am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Founder of Tampa home sharing platform questions Airbnb, NAACP partnership


    TAMPA — A Tampa rival to Airbnb, which was launched because of discrimination complaints on the dominant home sharing platform, has concerns about the new partnership between Airbnb and NAACP announced this week.

    Rohan Gilkes poses for a portrait at his home and business headquarters in Tampa. 

Innclusive, a Tampa-based start-up, is a home-sharing platform that focuses on providing a positive traveling experience for minorities. [CHARLIE KAIJO | Times]
  2. Appointments at Port Tampa Bay and Tampa General Medical Group highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers



    Port Tampa Bay announced that Jamal Sowell has been named director of special projects. Sowell, a former member of the U.S.Marine Corps, will support internal, external and special projects, assist the executive team with management oversight and serve as a liaison on a variety of port …

    Port Tampa Bay announced this week that Jamal Sowell has been named director of special projects. [Handout photo]
  3. Drones restrictions coming at Tampa Bay area airports


    Starting Sept. 1, Tampa International Airport officials will be enforcing new height restrictions for drones and other unmanned aircraft systems, according to a press release.

    In this February 2017 file photo, a drone flies in Hanworth Park in west London. Starting Sept. 1, Tampa International Airport officials will be enforcing new height restrictions for drones and other unmanned aircraft systems,
[John Stillwell/PA via AP, File]
  4. Gov. Scott backs off boycott of companies doing business in Venezuela

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott will ask the Florida Cabinet next month to prohibit the state's investment managers from doing something they already do not do: invest in companies or securities owned or controlled by the Venezuelan government.

    Florida Governor Rick Scott interacts with people as he holds a Venezuelan Freedom Rally at El Arepazo 2 restaurant on July 10 in Miami. [Joe Raedle | Getty Images]
  5. Superior Uniform Group reports $65.6 million in sales for second quarter


    SEMINOLE — Superior Uniform Group Inc. reported sales of $65.6 million in net sales for the second quarter, up a percentage point from the same quarter last year, the Seminole-based company reported Thursday.

    Superior Uniform Group Inc. saw a sales increase for the second quarter, the company reported Thursday. Pictured is Michael Benstock, CEO. | [Courtesy of Superior Uniform Group]