From advantageous membership programs to customer incentive programs and business ventures, office supply stores pursue their goal to provide you with all necessary components that ensure successful completion of your work. Following the demand of reliable and effective office supply, a number of such stores have grown essentially to have their own niche on the market. Currently there exist a variety of office supply stores worldwide, the most prominent of them being Staples, Inc., Office Depot, OfficeMax and more.
With more than 1,600 stores worldwide, Staples, Inc. is recognized as one of the largest office supply store chains in the world, whose technologies and services are available in the United States, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the United Kingdom. The first store of the company was established in Brighton in 1986. Since then Staples, Inc. has grown significantly to become the #1 office supply company in the United States and one of the world's largest office supply stores. In addition to the retail outlets, Staples offers office products via the Internet and direct sales operations, like subsidiary Quill Corporation. The company's retail chain also provides copying services and document management.
In March 2005 Staples, Inc., Giant Food LLC and Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. launched a joint program, according to which the latter agreed to have a Staples branded stores that will offer home office products, ink cartridges, photo paper and technology products among others. In addition to business machines and office supplies, Staples also sells custom business cards, custom stamps, copy and print center for faxing, photocopying service and UPS shipping center available during all store hours. Among those enjoying the great popularity are office shoe shops, offering top quality footwear.
The major rival of Staples, Inc. and one of the world's most widely reputed office supply stores; Office Depot operated nearly 1,000 stores in 23 countries worldwide as of 2005. It also features e-commerce operations and catalog, catering for both large corporate clients and the general public. Office Depot was established in 1986 in Lauderdale Lakes, Florida, and some years later it has managed to expand to the West Coast region by purchasing the competitor Office Club. By the year 1993, Office Club was operating more than 350 office supply stores in Canada and the United States.
In 1996 two companies: Office Depot and Staples made an attempt to merge, but the merger was refused by the Federal Trade Commission. In search of new opportunities the company started to expand to a number of overseas countries. In 1998 it merged with the company Viking Office Products and launched its public web-site.
Established in 1987 and headquartered in Illinois, OfficeMax is the third largest office supply retailer in the nation after Staples and Office Depot, offering a variety of technologies and services to its customers. In 2003 the company was acquired by Boise Cascade and has faced a number of changes since then, notably re-branding of its print and copy centers from CopyMax to OfficeMax Print & Document Services.
Currently OfficeMax boasts more than 900 locations in the United States and nearly 40 locations in Puerto Rico and Mexico, in addition to its online catalogue available in the United States and Canada.