As most assuredly everyone knows by now, OfficeMax and Office Depot announced a merger this past week that is expected to close by the end of 2013. While this move creates one less competitor in the marketplace, it also creates opportunities for their customers.
Here is Mattern’s take on the merger:
- A more competitive market with lower pricing. If you haven’t priced your office supplies recently (which you should do at least once a year) then now is an excellent time to do so. After any type of merger, the merged companies are highly focused in retaining existing market share and will be aggressive in trying to keep current customers of both entities satisfied. If you are currently a Staples customer, then now is also a great time to shop. Staples, like Office Max/Office Depot will be desperate to maintain market share and will be very aggressive maintaining your business.
- Expect Staples to be hyper- aggressive in the first six months of 2014 once the merger closes to take advantage of post merger mistakes by Office Max/Office Depot.
- Less bricks and mortar for the merged companies. If retail locations are of importance to you, there will be less stores for you to chose from for the Office Max/Office Depot customers due to the plans to close and consolidate locations.
- Your strategy if you are a current customer. A pushback now to either vendor can reap some benefits. If you are an OfficeMax/Depot player, avoid a long-term commitment until the service aspect shakes out.
- If you are not a customer of either organization, now can be a great time to shop your office supplies. If you go with Office Max/Office Depot make sure your contract covers you from a performance and service aspect.