In the two and a half years since its faltering performance led to the resignation of CEO Bruce Nelson, big box multichannel retailer Office Depot has struggled to regain its footing. But in an interview with Catalog Success Editor in Chief Paul Miller during last week’s National Retail Federation convention in New York, current president, North American Retail, Chuck Rubin said he believes the company is carving out a solid niche for itself alongside not only its two top rivals, Staples and OfficeMax, but also other multichannel retail powerhouses like Target, Wal-Mart and even Costco.
Catalog Success: How do your different marketing channels work in conjunction with one another?
Rubin: We have three unique divisions; the business solutions division includes our catalog and Web site channels. It’s a core component of our business in North America. And our Web site and catalog are not only marketing vehicles; they’re true selling vehicles. The catalog, which has evolved to become more solutions oriented, helps make these channels work together.
Catalog Success: What is your business solutions division’s primary target audience?
Rubin: The division’s customers range from small home office operators to large companies, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. This is particularly evident in the [breadth of] our Web site, which is the second or third largest e-commerce site behind Amazon and Dell. The site and catalog answer customer questions, but they’re truly commerce oriented.
Catalog Success: Where is there the biggest room for improvement at Office Depot?
Rubin: We just redesigned our site so customers don’t need to make as many clicks. Our changes are more evolutionary than revolutionary.
Catalog Success: With such formidable rivals as Staples and Office Max, what’s your secret to staying ahead of the competition?
Rubin: We compete with a lot of other marketers like Target, Wal-Mart, and Costco We stay in touch with customers and know what they want.