Office Depot To Close 300 More Stores, Expand “Store Of The Future” Pilot

Image courtesy of frankieleon

There will be 300 fewer Office Depot stores in the U.S. by the end of 2019 as part of the office supply chain’s attempt to cut costs and move on from its failed billion-dollar merger with Staples. 

The company announced in its second quarter financial filings on Tuesday that it will close 300 stores on top of the 400 it previously announced it would close by the end of 2016. 

As part of the company’s “retail optimization and store of the future plan,” Office Depot says it has realized over $100 million in ongoing benefits from closures that have taken place so far.

“Based on the success of this initiative, Office Depot is expanding this plan to include approximately 300 additional store closures over the next three years,” the company said in the filing.

So far in 2016, Office Depot has closed 42 stores, with another 25 stores slated to shutter by the end of the year.

Under the optimization plan, Office Depot expects to cut $250 million in costs by 2018. Those cuts are slated to take place through store closures, and a quarterly dividend program at $0.025 a share.

As the company looks to the future, it says it will focus on its “store of the future” format by expanding a pilot program to 24 stores by the end of 2016, with 100 stores targeted for the format by the end of 2017.

While Office Depot has been mum on the locations of these stores of the future, the company’s CEO said on an earnings call in May that the locations were about half the size of traditional stores and had “clear signage” inside.

Armed with that information, reporters in Florida believed they found one such store about a half-hour drive from Office Depot’s headquarters.

Photos of the store in Margate, FL, were posted by Office Depot’s head of e-commerce prior to the earnings call, but they were not specifically described as from a “store of the future.”

[via The Wall Street Journal]

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