Office Depot

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Office Depot, Inc.
S&P 400 Component
Industry Specialty retail
Founded October 1986; 30 years ago (1986-10)
Founder F. Patrick Sher
Headquarters Boca Raton, Florida, United States
Number of locations
1,912 (December 2013)[1]
Area served
North America
Key people
Roland C. Smith
(Chairman and CEO)
Stephen Hare (CFO)
Deborah A. O'Connor (CAO)
Troy Rice (EVP)
Products Office supplies, Technology, Furniture, Copy & Print, Shipping Services
Brands Office Depot, OfficeMax, Grand & Toy, Viking Direct, Ativa, TUL, Foray, Realspace, DiVOGA
Revenue Decrease US$14.485 billion (2015)[2]
Increase US$ 115 million (2015)[2]
Increase US$ 8 million (2015)[2]
Total assets Decrease US$6.442 billion (2015)[2]
Total equity Decrease US$1.603 billion (2015)[2]
Number of employees
49,000 (2016)[2]
Subsidiaries OfficeMax
Grand & Toy
Viking Direct

Office Depot, Inc. is an American office supply retailing company headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, United States of America. The company has combined annual sales of approximately $14 billion, employs about 66,000 associates, and serves consumers and businesses in 59 countries with more than 2,200 retail stores, e-commerce sites and a business-to-business sales organization. The company’s portfolio of brands includes Office Depot, OfficeMax, Grand & Toy, Viking Direct, Ativa, TUL, Foray, Realspace, and DiVOGA. [3]

It was announced February 20, 2013, that Office Depot and OfficeMax would combine in an all-stock deal, pending regulatory approval and stockholder approval.[4] On November 5, 2013, the merger was completed.[5]

On February 4, 2015, it was announced that rival Staples had agreed to purchase Office Depot in a cash and stock deal worth approximately $6.3 billion. However, in December 2015, the Federal Trade Commission voted to block the merger.[6] On May 10, 2016, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia granted the FTC a preliminary injunction against the merger. After the ruling, Office Depot and Staples announced termination of their proposed merger. [7]


Office Depot location in Torrance, California.
Office Depot’s “Green” store in Austin, Texas.
Office Depot’s first (now closed) LEED CI store in Austin, Texas
Office Depot store located in North Lauderdale, Florida.

Office Depot was founded in October 1986 by the late F. Patrick Sher, the former chairman and chief executive officer; Stephen Dougherty, the president; and Jack Kopkin, the executive vice president.[8] All three were formerly associated with Home-owner's Warehouse, the home improvement company that Sher sold to Service Merchandise in 1983 and renamed as Mr. HOW Warehouse. The catalog showroom chain eventually sold off the Mr. HOW Warehouse units to a variety of buyers including Builders Square, the home center warehouse subsidiary of Kmart Corporation. They envisioned a warehouse-style store for office products where customers could purchase items in bulk for discounted prices. This concept led to the beginning of what is known as Office Depot, and the company opened its first store at Lakes Mall in Lauderdale Lakes, Florida in October 1986. Office Depot recently closed all of its Connecticut locations.[9]

Other events and milestones[edit]

This is a list of other events and milestones that have to do with Office Depot, Inc.[10]

  • 1988 – Initial public offering of stock.
  • 1991 – Expands to the West Coast of the United States by merging with Office Club.
  • 1992 – Increases operations in North America by acquiring The Great Canadian Office Supplies Warehouse Chain.
  • 1993 – Enters contract stationer business by acquiring Wilson Stationery & Printing Company and Eastman Office Products Corporation.[11]
  • 1994 – Begins international expansion by signing joint venture agreement with Grupo Gigante in Mexico and licensing agreements with Israel, Colombia and Poland.
  • 1995 – Opens 500th store in North America as well as stores in Poland; signs joint venture agreement to open stores in France and licensing agreement to open store in Thailand; establishes Business Services Division (now Business Solutions Division).
  • 1996 – Launches B-to-B e-commerce Web site.
  • 1997 – Furthers international footprint by venturing into Hungary; operates 45 locations outside the United States.
  • 1998 – Launches; merges with Viking Office Products, the leading direct marketer of office products in Europe and Australia.
  • 1999
    • Launches first international Office Depot Web site for Viking Direct,; listed on Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.
    • Hires advertising agency DeVito/Verdi to revitalize US sales
  • 2000 – Enters European contract stationer market with launch of the European Business Services Division.
  • 2001 – Acquires[12]
  • 2002 – Begins Viking Direct catalog/direct mail operations in Switzerland, Spain and Portugal; expands into Central America with new retail stores in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Costa Rica through a joint licensing agreement.
  • 2003 – Doubles European business with acquisition of Guilbert, S.A.; becomes the first office supply superstore to offer fully functional and comprehensive Spanish website.[citation needed]
  • 2004
    • Buys 124 former Kids "R" Us stores for $197 million from Toys "R" Us, and sells 20 of these stores to Petco for $45 million.
    • Introduces “Green Book” catalog of environmentally preferable products,[13] as well as the first free, nationwide in-store electronics recycling program and free, in-store cell phone and rechargeable battery recycling program in all stores in the U.S. and Canada.[14][15]
  • 2005
    • Names Neil Austrian interim Chief Executive Officer; relaunches “Taking Care of Business” tagline.
    • Names Steve Odland Chairman and Chief Executive Officer[16]
  • 2006 – Celebrates its 20th anniversary; acquires Best Office Co., Ltd.; Allied Office Products, Papirius s.r.o., and AsiaEc.
  • 2007
    • Joins US Green Building Council; opens first store in Puerto Rico and new Global Sourcing Office in Shenzhen, China.
    • Opens the first pan-European financial operations support center in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, the Office Depot Shared Service Center.
  • 2008 – Introduces “Office Depot Green” product line; unveils first "Green" store in Austin, Texas and received LEED Gold Certification from USGBC; announces alliance with Netbizz Office Supplies in Singapore, AGE in Sweden, and in Hong Kong.
  • 2009
    • Signs franchise agreement with M.H. Alshaya Co.; opens first store in Kuwait.
    • Company purchased by BC Partners.
  • 2010 – Names Neil Austrian interim Chief Executive Officer; he became the company's Chairman and CEO in 2011.
  • 2011 – Furthers international footprint into Dominican Republic; opens first store in Santo Domingo, capital city, with expansions to follow in all major cities of the country.
  • 2012 – Begins a partnership with the Born This Way Foundation to sell limited edition office supplies.
  • 2013 – OfficeMax begins negotiations with Office Depot to engage in a "merger of equals".[4]
  • 2014
    • Announced that it will close 400 stores due to declining sales and customer migration to e-retailers.[17]
    • Office Depot and OfficeMax merged and started combining.[18]
  • 2015 – The Federal Trade Commission voted to block the merger with Staples.[19]
  • 2017 – Gerry Smith was named as chief executive officer (CEO), effective Feb. 27. Smith will succeed current Chief Executive Roland Smith, who announced his plan to retire in August 2016. Smith is currently the chief operating officer at technology company Lenovo Group. [20][21]


The domain website attracted at least 37 million visitors[22] annually, according to a 2008 survey.[23]

Environmental programs[edit]

Office Depot has structured its environmental strategy around three concepts: Buying Green, Being Green, and Selling Green.[24] Initiatives supporting this strategy include the following below:

Buying Green[edit]

  • By investing more than $20 million in energy efficiency initiatives in 2005, Office Depot reduced its electricity and absolute carbon-dioxide emissions from North American facilities by over 10% in 2006.[25]

Being Green[edit]

  • In 2008, Office Depot created a dedicated brand of green office products: Office Depot Green,[26] and built the world’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified retail store prototype in Austin, TX. The store obtained LEED Gold certification from the US Green Building Council (USGBC).[27] That same year, Office Depot won the BSI British Standards award for Innovation. These awards are open to any UK organization certified to ISO 14001, which is the world’s only international environmental management system standard.[28]
  • In Europe, Office Depot’s UK Headquarters is a green building, having achieved a BREEAM “Very Good” Rating.[29]
  • In 2010, Office Depot's Headquarters in Boca Raton, FL was awarded LEED Gold certification from the US Green Building Council for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance.[30]

Selling Green[edit]

  • Office Depot offers more than 6,500 products with environmental attributes and certifications.[31]
  • Office Depot offers numerous green solutions for its customers, including The Green Book, Greener Office website,[32] Ink and Toner Cartridge Recycling Program and a Tech Recycling Service.[31]


In 2005, Office Depot became known as the “Official Office Products Partner of NASCAR”, a title that the company continues to hold to this day.[33] Also in 2005, Office Depot signed on as the primary sponsor of the #99 Ford Fusion, owned by Roush Fenway Racing and previously driven by Carl Edwards. They sponsored Edwards until the end of the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. In 2008, Office Depot announced that it would become the co-primary sponsor for Tony Stewart and the No. 14 Chevrolet at Stewart-Haas Racing in 2009.[34] In September 2012, Office Depot announced it would not renew sponsorship with Tony Stewart or Stewart-Haas Racing.[35]

In 2012, Office Depot partnered with the Born This Way Foundation, which was started by Lady Gaga to sell limited edition office supplies and give 25% (1/4) of the money earned to the organization.[36][37]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Office Depot to close at least 400 stores". CNNfn. 2014-05-06. Retrieved 2014-05-06. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Office Depot, Inc. Form 10-K, Securities and Exchange Commission, February 25, 2014
  3. ^ Reyes, Robin (17 March 2016). "Office Depot Adds More Than 4% – Amazon Eyeing Office Depot's Corporate Business, Which Could Help Clear Staples Merger". Sonoran Weekly Review. Retrieved 17 March 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "Office Depot, OfficeMax to Merge to Compete With Staples". Bloomberg. Retrieved 20 February 2013. 
  5. ^ Dhanya Skariachan (5 November 2013). "Office Depot closes deal to buy OfficeMax". Reuters. 
  6. ^ Kosman, Josh. "FTC votes to block Staples merger with Office Depot". New York Post. Retrieved 8 December 2015. 
  7. ^ Bartz, Diane. "Staples, Office Depot scrap merger deal after judge rules for FTC". Reuters. Retrieved 10 May 2016. 
  8. ^ "Office Depot, Inc. - Company History". Funding Universe. 2012. Retrieved 2010-02-26. 
  9. ^, "Office Depot, Inc. - Company History," [1], Retrieved 2010-02-26.
  10. ^ Idea Group Publishing, "Office Depot's E-Commerce Evolution," [2], Retrieved 2009-11-05.
  11. ^, "Diversified dollars: 7 corporate programs," [3], Retrieved 2009-11-05.
  12. ^, "Office Depot to acquire and," [4], Retrieved 2009-11-05.
  13. ^ Phenicie, Carolyn (2007-10-03). "Corporate America Goes Green". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-01-30. 
  14. ^ Editors, GreenBiz (2004-12-22). "Office Depot Joins Free Cell Phone and Rechargeable Battery Recycling Program". GreenBiz. Retrieved 2017-01-30. 
  15. ^ "Office Depot|Max | Press Releases: Press Release". Retrieved 2017-01-30. 
  16. ^, "Steve Odland, Executive Profile and Biography." [5], Retrieved 2009-11-05.
  17. ^ "Office Depot to close 400 US stores, posts loss". CNBC. 2014-05-06. Retrieved 2014-05-06. 
  18. ^ "Office Depot and OfficeMax Complete Merger". Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  19. ^ Kosman, Josh. "". New York Post. New York Post. Retrieved 14 January 2016.  External link in |title= (help)
  20. ^ Kilgore, Tomi. "Office Depot names Gerry Smith as new CEO". MarketWatch. Retrieved 2017-01-30. 
  21. ^ Pounds, Marcia Heroux. "Office Depot names Lenovo executive Gerry Smith new CEO". Retrieved 2017-01-30. 
  22. ^ " 4,843,127 UVs for October 2011 | Compete". Retrieved 2011-11-29. 
  23. ^, Site Profile for, [6], Retrieved 2009-10-26.
  24. ^, "Office Depot - Buying Green, Being Green and Selling Green," [7], Retrieved 2010-07-27.
  25. ^, "Excel Dryer | Hand Dryers | Case Study: Office Depot," [8], Retrieved 2010-07-27.
  26. ^, "Office Depot Launches Green Product Line," [9], Retrieved 2010-07-27
  27. ^, "Office Depot receives LEED Gold Certification," [10], Retrieved 2010-07-27
  28. ^, "BSI British Standards recognizes environment champions in ISO 14001 Awards," [11], Retrieved 2010-07-27
  29. ^, "Office Depot Wins Environmental Leadership Award - Leader Profiles -," [12], Retrieved 2010-07-27
  30. ^, "Office Depot’s Florida HQ gets LEED-Gold certification," [13], Retrieved 2010-10-18
  31. ^ a b, "Business Civic Leadership Center - Earth Day 2010," [14], Retrieved 2010-07-27
  32. ^ "Buy Green Office Products and Supplies at Office Depot". 2011-11-17. Retrieved 2011-11-29. 
  33. ^, Power - NASCAR Partners, [15], Retrieved 2009-12-15.
  34. ^, Sponsors 2009, [16], Retrieved 2009-12-15.
  35. ^ "Tony Stewart loses Office Depot as primary sponsor". USA Today. Retrieved 29 May 2015. 
  36. ^ "Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation Partners With Office Depot - ARTISTdirect News". Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  37. ^ "MTV Style | Born This Way Foundation Sells Bravery Bracelets At Office Depot". 2012-07-16. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 

External links[edit]