Office Depot Returns With Major Changes After Difficult Years

Office Depot Returns With Major Changes After Difficult Years

Office supplies retail giant, Office Depot, makes a long-awaited comeback after a very stormy period with closures, layoffs, and strategic shifts. The company has announced major changes with the intent to revitalize the business model in a bid to win back shoppers.

Over recent years, Office Depot has been under increasing pressure because of dynamics in the retail environment. The giants of the e-commerce era have disrupted the market for office supplies, whereas shifting trends in the workplace have reduced overall demand for products that have sustained traditional office retailers. All that led up to a major downsizing effort announced in 2020.

Office Depot Returns With Major Changes After Difficult Years
Office Depot

In the next three years, Office Depot closed or consolidated more than 300 locations across the country and laid off about 13,000 employees, more than a quarter of its workforce at the time. The anxious customer base watched as the once very familiar brand grew lean, setting off concerns for the long-term survivability of the business.

Office Depot leadership remained focused on the strategic relaunch plan during this restructuring. The objective? Move from a traditional retailer to a complete business solution for companies of all sizes.

“We have heard very intently to our customers’ changing needs,” said Office Depot CEO Gerry P. Smith. “While our roots are in office supplies, we are reinventing ourselves as a true partner for today’s business by offering such services as IT support, digital marketing, workplace solutions, and more.”

This is at the core of the relaunch: a ground-up reimagining of the digital platform and e-commerce experience. The new leverages advanced analytics to serve personalized products that drive consideration and easy checkout by business buyers through flexible purchasing options.

Not forgotten is the change to the physical retail footprint, which is being transformed with reimagined, modernized Office Depot stores coming up across the country. From interactive technology displays to dedicated small business services counters to co-working space,.
Accompanying this omnichannel approach, the company has grown its professional services arm. Ranging from managed print solutions to graphic design and website development, Office Depot positions itself as a one-stop business partner.

While the pivot seems to make good strategic sense, the road ahead for the company will not be easy. Generally, though, industry analysts have looked on the pivot as a smart move: “Office Depot seems to have a clear vision for thriving in today’s climate by moving beyond a traditional box-pushing office supplies model,” commented retail consultant Brian Kilcourse.

Shoppers can explore all the new products at or in the refurbished stores. As the company wraps up its multi-year transformation, the office supplies icon is looking to shake up the sector by inspiring new levels of confidence and taking its rightful place as an indispensable ally to business.

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