|Private limited company and subsidiary of Office Depot Europe|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Headquarters||Leicester, United Kingdom|
|Thomas Glatzel, Senior Vice President Direct|
|Products||Print supplies, paper and mailing, technology, furniture, and writing instruments|
|Owner||The Aurelius Group|
Number of employees
|Parent||Office Depot Europe (2016–present)|
Viking Direct, trading as Viking, is an office supply mail order catalogue company based in the United Kingdom and a subsidiary of Office Depot Europe. It is headquartered in Leicester, United Kingdom. Founded in 1960 in Los Angeles, California, Viking operates in over 11 countries worldwide and employs 1,300 people in the UK. The company is a mail order seller of office supplies to small and medium sized business.
Viking began in 1960 as a small office supply retailer located in Los Angeles, California. The store was opened on January 7, 1960, by Rolf Ostern. Ostern supplemented the retail operation with a catalogue, and this would become the primary marketing technique of the company. In 1969 Ostern changed the name of his store to Viking Office Supplies and moved to a new location.
By the mid-1970s, Viking had established itself as a West Coast mail-order retailer of discount office supplies to small and medium-sized businesses. At that time, the company began a geographic expansion.
On September 1, 1988, Viking was sold by its founders in a leveraged buyout to the VOP Acquisition Corporation. This company had been founded by Viking's management and the New York investment banking house of Dillon Read & Company, along with some of their affiliates, for the express purpose of purchasing Viking.
In December, 1989, VOP was merged into its subsidiary, Viking Office Products, in preparation for the company's initial public offering of stock. On March, 14, 1990, Viking offered stock to the public on the NASDAQ stock exchange, selling 2,300,000 shares at a price of $10.50 per share to raise $25 million.
The company made its first move overseas in September, 1990. At that time, Viking established a United Kingdom subsidiary, Viking Direct Limited, and opened a facility in Leicester, England. In making this move, Viking hoped to gain a toe-hold in the European Economic Community before the planned unification of that market. In a brief time, Viking Direct became the largest mail order marketer of office supplies in the United Kingdom.
The source of Viking's steady growth was its state-of-the-art database and catalogue customising technology.
Viking Direct sells print supplies, office supplies, paper and mailing, technology, furniture, and writing instruments.
- "Who are Viking". Viking Direct.
- "History of Viking Office Products". Funding Universe.
- "Office Deport our history". Office Depot.
- "Staples and Office Depot call off merger". CNN Money.
- "Office Depot agrees to sell European Business to Aurelius Group". Bloomsberg.
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