Office Depot Losses Deepen

Filed Under (The Competition) by Don on 13-12-2007

Once again I read today that Office Depot reports greater losses than orginally expected and their stock took a double digit dive.  They actually blamed the housing crisis in California and Florida as the reason why they are loosing money.  What about the other forty-eight states?  OD points the finger at this as their excuse while four other fingers still point back to themselves.  Let’s be realistic people, the reason you’re loosing market share is because you have no focus, poor leadership and direction.  Apparently your CEO Steve Odland doesn’t have the vision and capacity to drive sales and improve earnings.  Your customer service is paltry at best and your competition is costing you precious market share.  Nothing personal Mr. Odland but you should let someone else take the helm if this is the best you can do.

Depot’s customer service is crippled and my latest survey shows they are charging customers retail and higher on 1658 products.  Depot isn’t alone in this practice of raping customers by charging more than retail for products.  My survey also showed Staples overcharging the public and contract customers on 1441 items.  I continue to remain hopeful that the buying public and the average user-chooser that places supply orders in most offices will figure out that while these guys may sell at cost perhaps a dozen or so products they more than make up for it by invoicing hundreds of items at M.S.R.P. or more.  Don’t give me that “business is business” crap either.  Sooner or later if you over charge your customers they will find out and your business will disappear forever. 

If the housing market is to blame then why has Staples and WB Mason’s business grown over ten percent this year?  It is obvious that Office Depot, Office Max and Corporate Express are struggling to understand the importance of relationships with not just its customers but it employees also.  They need to stop blaming external ‘things’ and start looking within and identify the real reasons they are loosing market share.  I hate to admit that Ron Sargent, CEO of Staples, has been successful at growing the Staples business.  His vision and directives are clear from the boardroom to the breakroom.

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