The long-rumored merger of two major players in the office supplies business, Office Depot and OfficeMax, now appears to be moving forward after a premature release of the news of the merger, a retraction and then a reinstatement.
Office Depot had posted a news release that reported a $1.17 billion merger on its web site and then took that release down saying it was a mistakenly released draft. Bankers and corporate lawyers were still putting the finishing flourishes on the deal. Then the company posted an official release about a $1.2 billion deal.
The two office supply merchants are tying the knot as a matter of survival against competition ranging from Staples to Amazon.com.
What would such a merger mean for South Sound consumers? Certainly, its too early to tell, and the two companies aren’t talking about specifics.
The idea behind such mergers is often the reduction of redundant and competitive stores.
Taking a quick look at the two office suppliers’ geographic spread in Pierce, South King and Thurston counties, there appears to be little overlap except perhaps in Thurston County where the two office supply companies have a total of four stores.
OfficeMax has stores in the Lacey Market Place and in the Target Place Plaza. Office Depot stores are located at 1620 Cooper Point Road SW west of the Capital Auto Mall and at 602 Sleater Kinney Road SE in Lacey.
In Pierce County, OfficeMax has only a single store near the Tacoma Mall. Office Depot stores are located in Puyallup, Gig Harbor, Bonney Lake, Lakewood Towne Center and near Target between Union Avenue and Cedar Street in central Tacoma.
OfficeMax has a total of 10 stores in the Puget Sound area while Office Depot is much more prevalent. In South King County, for instance, Office Depot stores are located in Tukwila, Kent, Federal Way and Auburn while OfficeMax has a single store in Federal Way.