Office Depot on Tuesday unveiled a subscription service for small businesses dubbed BizBox, with monthly fees starting at $99.
But the "box" doesn’t so much contain paper clips and coffee pods as a suite of services including accounting, email marketing and CRM, payroll and HR, search marketing, asset management, social marketing, legal services, logo design, website creation and hosting and technical services, according to a company press release.
The BizBox platform builds on Office Depot’s acquisition last month of CompuCom Systems and reflects the company’s strategic transformation from a traditional office products retailer to a broader business services platform, the company said.
Both Staples and Office Depot are looking to their business supply operations to sustain growth in the aftermath of their failed merger last year. Each has unloaded overseas operations to focus on North America, and each is having to watch out for Amazon's growing efforts in the space, including a new Prime membership for businesses. Staples, since its acquisition by private equity firm Sycamore Partners, will spin off retail operations entirely.
Even before its CompuCom buy, Office Depot, despite its openness to maintaining consumer-facing retail operations, had already sharpened its focus on business sales. The company earlier this year announced the launch of the "Taking Care of Business" brand platform, aimed at business and retail consumers alike. New television and radio spots feature a return of the company’s use of the Bachman Turner Overdrive song "Taking Care of Business," which the company used in the 1990s. The brand reboot follows rival Staples' launch of a new campaign in May aimed at broadening that retailer's customer base.
"Office Depot has been a partner and resource for small business owners since 1986. We have the ability to reach nine million small business customers through our touch points around the country. Uniting this deep expertise with the world-class IT services of CompuCom will help solve customer problems in a way few others are doing right now," Office Depot CEO Gerry Smith said in a statement. "The BizBox platform is an essential element of our commitment to innovation. We are energized to expand a business ecosystem of services, products and technology that builds on our legacy of helping small business owners succeed in a modern economy."
CompuCom, founded in 1987, provides managed technology services, IT support services and technology consulting services for businesses large and small, and Office Depot is bringing its business offering, "Tech-Zone," within its stores nationwide. Office Depot last month said that revenue from the added services as well as increased foot traffic will improve its per-store profitability and that it expects to add some $1.1 billion of revenue and extract cost savings of over $40 million within two years.