Office Depot's E-Commerce Evolution

Office Depot's E-Commerce Evolution

In Lee (Western Illinois University, USA)
Copyright: © 2005 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/jcec.2005040103
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Office Depot Inc., founded in 1986, is currently known as one of the leaders in the office supplies industry. Office Depot’s distribution channels include stores, direct mail, contract delivery, and electronic commerce. In the mid-1990s, three major office supplies retailers (Office Depot, Staples, and Office Max) dominated the office supplies market. The entry barriers to the new entrants were extremely high due to the three retailers’ extensive distribution networks and physical stores. The competition among these retailers was also fierce in cities where all three stores existed. In 1997, Office Depot first introduced B2B e-commerce for larger corporate customers and realized that OfficeMax had already launched B2C e-commerce for the general public. In 1997, the executive committee of Office Depot worked with retail analysts and concluded that a full-scale move to e-commerce was an opportunity it must seize. To maintain the lead in the e-retailing race, Office Depot quickly launched B2C e-commerce in January of 1998. This case study investigates critical factors managers should take into consideration in adopting new e-commerce strategies and technologies that will leverage corporate resources.

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