US stationery chains OfficeMax and Office Depot have confirmed they are to merge their businesses. This would reduce competition yet create a stronger competitor for the Staples business.
Recent sales data out of the US indicates stationery retailers doing it tough. It’s a challenging marketplace. This from the Reuters report:
Office supply retailers, often seen as a barometer of economic health, have suffered as demand for their products fell after the recent U.S. recession. They also face strong competition from Amazon.com Inc and Wal-Mart Stores Inc in selling everything from pens and notebooks to furniture to government, businesses and individuals.
The stationery challengers newsagents face in stationery besides supermarkets, Big W, Australia Post and Officeworks is Staples. If / when Staples really lets loose in Australia we will face a fight unlike any seen so far.