Can a revamped Office Depot compete with digital?
It’s been a tough couple of years for the brick-and-mortar office supply industry as the remaining big chains do their best to stay relevant with online juggernauts eating up market share. But Office Depot, one of the last office supply chains standing, is hoping to breathe new life into its physical retail presence.
Last week, Office Depot re-opened a location in Carson City, Nev. that it redesigned and is calling a “Store of the Future,” according to the Reno Gazette-Journal. On the same day, the chain opened another location in Palm Beach, Fla., according to the Palm Beach Post. Office Depot intends to implement the format in 24 stores by the end of 2016 and has a target of 100 stores in 2017.
The concept attempts to give shoppers an easier and more personalized experience, featuring new services alongside a sleeker look. Services available at the new concept include workplace design advice and IT help. These are intended to better serve the needs of customers with home offices.
There is no word on the depth of the skills or training of those giving the advice as part of Office Depot’s new service offerings. But the chain no doubt hopes that the promise of services will draw traffic, given the tendency of today’s shopper to forego office supply stores in favor of shopping online. And with Amazon rolling out IoT-enabled home office devices that auto-replenish CPG supplies, Office Depot is looking to differentiate on physical services rather than wrestle against Amazon’s online ecosystem.
As Office Depot tries to find creative ways to meet home office needs, it has simultaneously been attempting to court a younger customer. Beginning this school year, Office Depot partnered with Pocket Points, an app that awards students discounts at affiliated retailers if the keep their smartphones turned off during class.
- Office Depot marks 1st Nevada ‘Store of Future’ in Carson City – Reno Gazette-Journal
- Office Depot opens “store of the future” in Royal Palm Beach – Palm Beach Post
- This Is Probably Office Depot’s ‘Top-Secret Store Of The Future.’ – Consumerist
- Amazon takes the next step in CPG auto-replenishment – RetailWire
- Office Depot rewards students for mobile time-outs – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Can Office Depot’s store redesign that features enhanced services make the chain more competitive with its online competitors? How should Office Depot best promote its services to make the stores a destination?