Office Depot Plans To Close 400 Stores By The End Of 2016

Office Depot and Staples are the country’s two largest remaining big-box office supplies chains, and earlier this year, Staples proposed to to acquire Office Depot. While the two companies wait for the Federal Trade Commission to bless the marriage or call off the engagement, Office Depot has announced plans to speed up its store closings, with a goal of shuttering 400 stores by the end of 2016.

This plan works whether the FTC approves the merger or not: 400 store closings is close to the number of stores that a combined Staples/Office Depot say that they would decide to close due to territory overlap or as part of a “retail store portfolio optimization” process. Office Depot, for its part, is still optimizing its own portfolio and finding cost savings in its 2013 acquisition of OfficeMax. Office Depot has about 1,800 stores right now, and has been closing fewer than 100 per year.

Staples and Office Depot were forced into the merger: the meddling relatives behind this arranged marriage are Starboard Value, who threatened to take over the board of the larger chain, Staples, as they did with Olive Garden’s parent company, Darden.

Office Depot picking up pace of store closures [Chain Store Age]