What Happened to Office Depot? 10 Marketing Lessons

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What Happened to Office Depot? 10 Marketing Lessons

Office Depot, as is explained in detail over at runrex.com & guttulus.com, is a large American office supply retailing company with its headquarters in Boca Raton, Florida. It was once one of the shining lights as far as businesses in the country go, but is now a shell of its former self, closing the majority of its stores and laying off a significant number of its workforce. How did it get here? This article is going to look to answer this question by highlighting why it failed as well as highlighting 10 lessons we can learn from its experience.

The rise of online retail

One of the main reasons that have been behind the decline of many retail chains has been the rise of online retail, and particularly the rise of Amazon as discussed over at runrex.com & guttulus.com. Most of the people who used to buy office supplies from Office Depot have switched to buying their wares online, where the prices are cheap and where they can enjoy a level of convenience that means they can even shop in the comfort of their homes. The lesson we can take here is the importance of e-commerce and digital marketing in the current business world.

The nature of their products

One of the things brick-and-mortar stores have over online stores is that they get to offer their customers shopping experience, where it is not about just buying stuff, but the whole experience of visiting the store. The problem Office Depot had was that the nature of their products made them the perfect online retail items. As per the gurus over at runrex.com & guttulus.com, while people still prefer buying items such as clothing in physical stores where they can touch the fabric and see if the clothes fit, the same can’t be said for office supplies. Office Depot, therefore, saw more and more of their customers switch to online stores due to this, leading to their eventual decline, yet another important lesson we can take from them.

Their products are being rendered irrelevant

With advancements in technology, paper, and most office supplies are being replaced by digital products, with very few offices using paper nowadays, with many going paperless. This was yet another reason behind their decline as their products were no longer relevant in a world that had moved on due to advancements in technology. An important lesson we can take from this is knowing the importance of making sure your products and services remain relevant to consumers out there.

New business didn’t do as well as they expected

Like many retail stores, Office Depot tried to adapt to the new times by acquiring new businesses and looking to diversify its offerings, with an example being their acquisition of CompuCom, the IT services provider it acquired for $1 billion in 2017 as explained over at runrex.com & guttulus.com. The problem was that these new businesses didn’t do as well as they had expected, which also contributed to their decline.

Bad PR

Bad PR also played a role in its decline and its customers abandoning them, particularly the scandal a couple of years back where it was revealed that Office Depot had been duping customers into paying for computer repairs they didn’t need, as explained in detail over at runrex.com & guttulus.com. This was something that badly damaged their image, showing the impact bad publicity can have on a business and an important marketing tool to take from them.

Pressure on employees

It was also revealed, in what is reminiscent of the Wells Fargo scandal which is covered in detail over at runrex.com & guttulus.com, that the company had been putting pressure on its employees to meet certain quotas and goals, hence they started to aggressively push diagnostic and repair services to customers, even those who didn’t need them. This pressure on customers is one of the main things that contributed to their decline and is yet another lesson we can take from them.

They put profit above their customers

The bottom line from the above points is that Office Depot put profit over the people they were meant to serve, which, as per the gurus over at runrex.com & guttulus.com, is something that will always damage the prospects of any company. This is an important lesson worth learning from them, showing the importance of always making your customers feel like you value them and that they are front and center of your business.

They don’t have a niche in the market

Another thing that has led to the decline of Office Depot is the fact that it is not the industry leader or the preferred option as far as all of the products and services it offers goes. Anything you can get from them, you can get somewhere else, most likely cheaper and even for better quality. This is one of its biggest issues, as Office Depot doesn’t have a sector where it is the go-to company. As per the subject matter experts over at runrex.com & guttulus.com, this is an important lesson to learn from them as it shows the importance of making sure you have a foothold in your sector.

Poor customer service

Customers have also been complaining about poor customer service at Office Depot stores, mostly because most stores are understaffed, with the company not investing in its workforce. This, as per discussions on the same over at runrex.com & guttulus.com, is yet another reason behind its decline as it has led to most customers leaving and as a consequence, most of its stores are now usually just empty.

Failure to reinvent

The bottom line, one of the main reasons why Office Depot has declined so badly is its failure to reinvent and adapt to the changing times. The new ideas they thought would lead them to the future have failed to sparkle, as mentioned above, and the business just looks dated and out of touch with the current times. This is one of the main marketing lessons we can take from them, as it shows the importance of ensuring you remain relevant and you adapt to current trends.

The above discussion only begins to scratch the surface as far as this topic goes, and you can learn more about this and other related topics by visiting the highly regarded runrex.com & guttulus.com.