Friday, May 9, 2014

Office Depot Steers Onto New Direction

Office Depot, one of the largest global providers of office supply and solutions, has announced the closing of 400 stores it operates in the U.S., which comes at the heel of its merger with Office Max.
This move is to ensure the company's established footing in the industry as it steers towards new direction.

The company said the stores will be closed by 2016, with 150 of the closings coming at the end of this year. Office Depot operated 1,912 stores in its North American division at the end of last year, and the OfficeMax merger added 823 stores to its lineup. The merger was completed in early November. See 

ABC news reports that Office Depot has not identified how many jobs will be affected by this move, but it assures that it will look to place its best talent impacted by the store closings into new roles, wherever possible. Read more at:

It should be noted that within a backdrop of a slightly recovering U.S. economy, predicted to be grim this year, while at the same time, a shifting consumer trend of buying from online stores that has badly affected the sales of brick-and-mortar retail stores, the merger of Office Depot and Office Max is envisioned to create more impetus for the business.

The merger seems indeed to be heading in the right direction this early as shares of Office Depot, which also reported better-than-expected quarterly results, rose as much as 20 percent in early trading. The stock was among the highest percentage gainers on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, Reuters reported.

The company’s chief executive, Roland Smith, said that Office Depot’s goals this year would include improvement in re-aligning their stores in North America to better meet customer demand. “The overlapping retail footprint resulting from the merger provides us with a unique opportunity to consolidate and optimize our store portfolio,” Mr. Smith said in a statement. See more here

Office Depot is an equal opportunity employer, a global leader committed to diversity and inclusion, and known to care for its employees by providing them with good pay and benefits, as well as allowing their retail associates with flexible hours, if such need arises. The company's commitment to diversity and inclusion has also earned for itself several diversity awards, and a name to reckon with.

Despite the upheavals it has encountered in terms of declining sales, which according to a financial news analysis, was attributed by CEO Smith to a weather-challenged start to the year,” Office Depot has managed to override these.

It is not just a problem of Office Depot alone, but as retail analyst David Strasser of Janney Montgomery Scott said, “This industry has issues, we know that, but it is becoming clearer that Office Depot is under competent leadership,” he observed in a research note. “Office Depot may not have the top line figured out, but as this quarter demonstrates, the company is making substantial progress integrating OfficeMax into the fold.” - See more at:

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