OfficeMax targets women in new sales plan

Naperville, Ill. OfficeMax has laid out a plan for increasing its sales in coming years by offering more in-store services, targeting women and taking its goods beyond its own stores.

The retailer said it will now aim its marketing campaigns at women since its research shows 70% of office-supply shopping decisions are made by women.

In a call to investors on Thursday, OfficeMax said it aims to increase sales by a mid-single digit rate and to return to margin levels comparable to its peak in 2007. It will expand printing, shipping and document shredding services at its stores, and will now offer technology-related services, such as helping customers configure their new computers.

The retailer is also taking its branded and private-label products beyond its traditional superstores after learning that 90% of office supplies are not sold in office-supply stores. OfficeMax said its products will soon be available at drug stores, grocery stores, mass merchants and independent retailers. It has won a contract to sell office products in Food Lion stores, owned by Belgian retailer Delhaize Group.

Other plans include a better Web site to help tech-savvy corporate customers and a makeover for some U.S. stores as it aims to move away from the traditional warehouse format. It also plans to invest more in new technology at its call centers and training of store associates.

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