Staples and Office Depot Join Forces, But Will Their Merger Be 'Easy'?

Posted by Dale Buss on February 4, 2015 04:04 PM

You're no doubt familiar with the red "easy" button that Staples used as a branding device a few years ago? It might as well be a panic button, now that Staples is buying Office Depot, joining forces to avoid being overwhelmed by changes in the office products industry—and competition from online retailers.

"This is a transformational acquisition which enables Staples to provide more value to customers, and more effectively compete in a rapidly evolving competitive environment," stated Staples CEO Ron Sargent, about the $6.3 billion deal.

Mass market retailers such as Walmart and Target have been aggressively pursuing their business, while the loss of foot traffic at brick-and-mortar office supply stores has been steep. And although both Staples (America's biggest stationery seller) and Office Depot (which acquired OfficeMax in 2013) have mounted huge and highly credible efforts to capture as much online business as possible, Amazon is making a strong run at them.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: #JeSuisCharlie, Samsung, Tesco and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 8, 2015 09:14 AM

Je Suis Charlie


Charlie Hebdo continues publishing in wake of terror attack as #JeSuisCharlie nears 3 million Tweets in global protest.

Samsung reveals first annual profit fall in three years, as brand pivots at CES to embrace Internet of Things to recharge its growth.

Sony delays sale of PlayStation 4 in China as CEO speaks at CES to affirm strategy and hack more firmly linked to North Korea by FBI.

Cadillac to stage brand comeback during the Oscars, which is launching its own $5.5 million social media campaign.

Tesco's turnaround plan: halting store openings and slashing branded products.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Facebook, Tribune Co., Apple and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 1, 2013 09:15 AM

In the News

Facebook plans to block ads from broader set of "controversial" pages.

Tribune Co. acquires 19 TV stations to become biggest station operator.

Apple paid no UK corporation tax last year, report says as it applies for "iWatch" trademark in Japan.

Amazon quietly lays plans to sell high-end art.

Bank of America commits to "culture change" that will help in Chicago market.

CBS breaks summer ratings mold with success of Under the Dome.

Chobani undergoes another agency review as it fends off stiffening Greek-yogurt competition.

Cirque Du Soleil deals with death of performer in Las Vegas.

Coca-Cola and PureCircle seek regulatory approval for new stevia-based ingredient.Continue reading...


Sharing an Office: OfficeMax, Office Depot Announce Merger

Posted by Dale Buss on February 20, 2013 12:22 PM

One company announced the deal early, but the merger between Office Depot and OfficeMax has been a long time coming.

Office Depot jumped the gun by posting a draft press release about the deal on its web site early this morning; shortly after, the two companies confirmed that a deal was done. The still-to-be-approver merger will create an $18 billion global "office solutions" company whose combination is meant to help them survive the intensifying competition not only with archrival Staples but also with and other retailers that are increasingly peddling office supplies.

"In the past decade, with the growth of the internet, our industry has changed dramatically," Neil Austrian, CEO of Office Depot, said in a press release. "Combining our two companies will enhance our ability to serve customers around the world, offer new opportunities for our employees, make us a more attractive partner to our vendors, and increase stockholder value."Continue reading...


Staples Remover? OfficeMax and Office Depot Prepare Merger

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 19, 2013 09:58 AM

Retailers OfficeMax and Office Depot are close to becoming one entity, a source tells Reuters, in order to pose a more serious threat to competitors like Staples and Amazon. It isn’t a done deal just yet but the expected stock-for-stock merging could happen—or fall apart—this week.

The rumored merger has already set both retailers' stocks aflame, with Office Depot jumping 28 percent to $5.89 per share and OfficeMax surging 19 percent to $12.77 per share.  According to Bloomberg, the companies have been discussing a possible stock swap that would "create a single office supply retailer to compete with Staples."

While the two companies wouldn’t comment, “one of OfficeMax's top shareholders, Neuberger Berman, said it would support a merger with Office Depot depending on terms of the deal,” the Chicago Tribune reports.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Nike and Oakley Drop Pistorious, Tiffany vs Costco Heats Up

Posted by Shirley Brady on February 18, 2013 05:31 PM

Brands to Watch

Nike and Oakley drop paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorious following steroid allegations during girlfriend's murder investigation.

Costco CEO addresses Tiffany suit for alleged trademark infringement in all-company email (exclusive).

Starbucks expands India footprint to seven stores as company tests video chat drive-through ordering and expands Starbucks Evenings concept to Washington's Dulles airport.

Carnival cruiseship fire blamed on fuel line leak.

China vows to crack down on "malicious" trademark registrations.

Disney's Hong Kong Disneyland theme park finally turns a profit thanks to Toy Story attraction.

Amway quietly builds brands and racks up sales.

BP prepares to go to court over Gulf spill.Continue reading...

executive decision

The Dish on America's Meanest Brand

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 4, 2013 04:49 PM

As America’s economy climbs back from some brutal years, plenty of folks are still looking for work. No matter how desperate they are, though, there are a few companies that they might want to avoid. 

One of them is satellite TV provider Dish Network. It already has 26,000 employees, but the word is that not too many of them are happy. Last August, 24/7 Wall Street named it the Worst Company to Work for in America. Now that’s an accolade to put on your LinkedIn profile.

What makes it so bad? “Long hours, lack of paid holidays, and way too much mandatory overtime,” Bloomberg Businessweek reports. And it’s all because of one man: the 59-year-old legendary founder and chairman of Dish, Charlie Ergen, who maintains 53.2 percent of the company’s shares and 90.4 percent of the voting rights.

Ergen has never met a penny he didn't pinch. And while that sometimes means making shrewd business decisions, it also means making such choices as installing fingerprint scanners at the doors to company headquarters that are rigged to send emails directly to HR if an employee is late. The company only put in the scanners after Ergen noticed that the key/badge system was being circumvented by employees badging in for coworkers.

And the renowned cable-hater certainly has an eye for such detail.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Paper Cuts: Staples Closes Stores in Shift to E-tailing

Posted by Dale Buss on September 26, 2012 04:07 PM

For decades, pundits have been saying that the rise of the computer would vanquish paper to the trash shredder of history. But they haven't been right.

Maybe, that is, until now. Because the whole issue of the feasibility of paper products may have reached a tipping point with the news that Staples is realigning its retail and e-tail strategy in a massive rethinking of its business.

The company announced that it "will integrate its retail and online offering, increase investment in its online businesses, reorganize its operations, implement leadership changes, initiate a multi-year cost savings plan, and restructure its International Operations."

Specifically, it plans to slash its U.S. store footage by 15 percent and invest the savings in its e-tailing business. In addition to shrinking its U.S. retail footprint, it's closing 45 stores in Europe. It's also rebranding its Australian business "as it continues to move toward one global brand."Continue reading...

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