OfficeMax To Close 19 Locations in Canada And Layoff 160 Employees

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OfficeMax To Close 19 Locations in Canada And Layoff 160 Employees

 user 2014-04-29 at 10:41:56 am Views: 204
  • #32006

    OfficeMax To Close 19 Locations in Canada And Layoff 160 Employees
    Grand & Toy office supply store to close its remaining 19 locations in Canada
    Business founded in 1882 rebranded last year with the OfficeMax name

    By Marc Weisblott,

    OfficeMax Grand & Toy announced on Thursday that it was getting out of the bricks-and-mortar business in response to the fact that only 3 per cent of its sales involved walk-ins to its remaining 19 locations across the country.

    The stores in Ontario, Alberta, B.C. and Manitoba will close over the next few months which will put more than 160 people out of work from its total of 1,300 employees who now predominantly serve customers through its website and other forms of direct order.
    Grand & Toy office supply store to close its remaining 19 locations in Canada

    Customers who frequented the stores to try out all the different types of ballpoint pens before finding the one of their dreams will now have to pursue that sampling opportunity elsewhere.

    Grand & Toy was founded as a stationery supply company in Toronto in 1882. The first storefront opened at 332 Bay St. in Toronto in 1926.

    The company was acquired by Cara Operations Ltd. in 1990 — after a decade in which personal computers started to become commonplace in offices and homes everywhere.

    A subsequent sale to Boise Cascade Office Products led to an link to the American office supplies chain OfficeMax in 2003.

    The effort to bring Grand & Toy into the digital age included converting several locations in 2011 to focus on small business owners — providing work stations, copy and print stations and shredding services.

    Naturally, the new stores also offered everything one would find in the supply room of a traditional office space, only there would be no getting away with taking the items home without paying for them first.

    Last year, the company officially changed its name to the mouthful OfficeMax Grand & Toy as the number of retail locations across Canada reduced in number from what was once a fixture in malls across the country.

    Staples, the larger-format office supply stores located across the country, is also slated to scale back its physical space in the near future.

    OfficeMax merged with Office Depot in the last year which led to the expectation of changes for the company, which owned over 2,200 stores in 57 countries, although the closures in Canada suggest that number will continue to shrink.

    The full announcement from OfficeMax Grand & Toy can be read below:

    OfficeMax Grand & Toy, an affiliate of global office products provider Office Depot, Inc., today announced that it will close all of its 19 retail stores. OfficeMax Grand & Toy will continue to service its business customers via the company’s advanced e-commerce website, award-winning customer service centres and direct sales representatives.

    “We are concentrating our efforts on ways to better serve our customers in response to their changing business needs,” said Simon Finch, general manager, OfficeMax Grand & Toy. Our customers overwhelmingly prefer an online experience because it offers more products, a constantly growing selection, and convenient door-to-door delivery.”

    Over the past several years, OfficeMax Grand & Toy has experienced tremendous growth in its online channel. In fact, only three percent of the company’s sales come from retail walk-ins. The 19 retail outlets, located in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia and Manitoba, will begin closing over the next few months. Approximately 160 employees, both full time and part time, will be impacted by the store closures.

    “We are working with management across the country to reassign or re-allocate as many employees as possible to other positions within the company,” Finch said. “These store closures are a response to a shift in the purchasing preferences of our business customers. OfficeMax Grand & Toy remains one of the largest business-to-business office products providers in Canada, and we will continue to engage and support our extensive business customer base across the country with an exceptional full service direct sales force.”

    “We are confident that this focused approach will help us enhance our customer experience and grow the business even further,” Finch said.

    OfficeMax Grand & Toy currently has more than 1,300 employees.