Office Depot puts emphasis on business services in big store makeover

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Office Depot puts emphasis on business services in big store makeover

By Marianne Wilson - 01/30/2018
Office Depot debuted an updated store format that reflects the chain’s ongoing transformation from a traditional office supplies retailer to a services-led shopping experience with a broader business services platform.

The company on Tuesday unveiled the makeover of 14 stores, in the Austin, Texas market, that integrate services from the company’s recently launched BizBox platform, which offers end-to-end services to help small to mid-sized businesses start and grow their companies. The made-over stores include a flagship location that is signed “BizBox: Powered by Office Depot.”

BizBox is designed as a one-stop-shop that offers end-to-end services to help small- to mid-sized businesses start and grow their companies, including logo and website design, digital and social marketing, full-service copy and printing, finance and accounting services, payroll, HR, tech support and more.

The stores in the Austin market feature a suite of services for small business owners offered both online and in-store, along with flex workspaces in select locations. They also offer face-to-face, one-on-one consultative support to help local businesses thrive.

Going forward, Office Depot plans a phased approach to makeovers in its 1,400 stores across the country.

“Today is a key inflection point in the company’s transformation from a traditional office products retailer to a broader business services platform,” said Gerry Smith, CEO, Office Depot. “Helping small and medium-sized business customers is core to our identity, but the reality is that our customers’ needs have changed. BizBox reflects our continued commitment to an omnichannel experience that addresses the challenges small businesses are facing today.”

The Austin stores combine digital services with traditional office products, and feature a new look and feel. Key highlights include:

• Open floor plan with dedicated BizBox consulting hubs Business entrepreneurs will have access to BizBox professionals and experts on-site to help identify services suited to their unique needs, streamlining operations and freeing up valuable time to focus on innovation and growth.

• In-store networking: Open seating areas will encourage folks to connect and discuss ideas and solutions alongside BizBox professionals.

• Designated “Tech-Zone:” Professional tech support will be available in the designated zone to assist customers with everything from smartphone repairs to PC tune-ups and more.

As to the decision to test the new format in Austin, Office Depot said that as the ‘Silicon Hills’ of Texas, Austin has 5% more small to medium-sized businesses than similar markets, with an estimated 2,400 new tech businesses in 2017 alone.

“Our research shows that Austin is the right market for us to test this new omnichannel approach, and customers are already impressed with how many ways we can partner with them and offer such a variety of services and solutions,” said Kevin Moffitt, senior VP and chief retail officer for Office Depot.

The retailer’s new business services platform builds upon its 2017 acquisition of CompuCom Systems, a provider of IT services, products and solutions that enable the digital workplace for enterprise, small and midsize businesses, and strategic investment in Centriq Technology.