The rise of online retail has made it more difficult for stores like Staples and Office Depot to get customers to walk through the physical doors of its locations. The pair tried to merge this year to help their businesses but the proposed deal was rejected. The latter then announced that it would slice 300 of its stores off so that it could save $250 million in expenses by 2018. One way Office Depot is hoping to boost foot traffic is through a new partnership.
The retailer will offer FedEx at its more than 1,500 U.S. retail locations instead of UPS. FedEx had already been offered at the OfficeMax locations it owns after the two entities merged in 2013. That relationship, in place since 2009, will now be expanded, the Wall Street Journal reports.
“We have seen an increase in the use of FedEx shipping services and solutions in our OfficeMax retail stores, and look forward to rolling them out to our entire chain early next month,” Office Depot merchandising executive Ron Lalla stated.
This shift is part of Office Depot’s plan to offer more products and services than just those that are office-related, as announced by CEO Roland Smith during the second-quarter earnings call earlier this month. Staples, by the way, offers UPS to its customers.
Its competition is getting tougher, as Amazon is eager to give delivery businesses a run for their money. As the Washington Post notes, the company’s sudden introduction of a 40-plane freight-delivery fleet, the unveiling last year of “an Amazon-branded fleet of 4,000 trucking trailers to shuttle its wares,” the opening of a slew of Amazon fulfillment centers across the country, and its consistent push toward finding a way to make drone delivery happen.