Office Depot is closing some of its locations and it could be a sign of things to come
Since 2020 and the global pandemic, retail shoppers have been bombarded by their favorite chain stores closing, reducing store locations, or ridiculously high price increases. America’s favorite retailers are struggling to keep customers in their stores and to keep their stores open as they are facing supply issues and price increases from every direction. It is a perfect storm of disaster for all concerned.
Superstores like Bed, Bath and Beyond, Kmart, and Sears have all struggled through the last number of years and announced several store closures this year. But this time, it is another firm favorite that is in financial trouble. It has been reported that Office Depot is preparing to close another unspecified number of stores. It looks like it might be time to shop elsewhere for your office supplies.
This month, a spokesperson for Office Depot confirmed that their location in Bozeman, Montana, would permanently shut its doors. While in September, it was reported that their branch in Sequim, Washington, was set to close as it was advertising going-out-of-business offers and sales, but Office Depot has not confirmed this. The branch in Montana will close for good on November 12, with a liquidation sale ongoing until then.
Even though they have started more store closures, Office Depot has yet to explain the reasons behind these store closures. In their recent financial reports, The ODP Corporation, which owns Office Depot, had decreased sales by 11% compared to last year. The reason for the decrease in sales was the closures of 71 stores nationwide.
This news of store closures is just the first of many for Office Depot over the last few years. During the pandemic, the first set of store closures commenced. These closures were part of a bigger long-term plan to restructure the company and realign its place in the market post-pandemic. No specific number was released, but by the end of 2021, 263 Office Depot branches had closed their doors for good.
Even though Office Depot, two years after its first set of closures, is still closing different branches across America, the overall US retail vacancy statistic has fallen by 6.1% in the latter half of 2022. This statistic is the lowest it’s been in over 15 years. Along with that good news, Morgan Stanley released a report showing more retail stores opening than closing in 2021. Both these pieces of information show a less volatile market which hopefully can continue, and a positive economic change might be coming.
With the holiday season fast approaching, retailers, including Office Depot, across America should get the much-needed boost it needs and start 2023 on a better footing than that of previous disaster years. With retailers emerging from issues like a global pandemic, thousands of store closures, war, hyperinflation, and general supply issues across the board, it is wonderful to see positive statistics re-emerge. This good news will give people hope that there will still be a high street to walk down and a physical shop to go into and enjoy.