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Office Depot in new venture to sell business services

BY Marianne Wilson

Office Depot continues to emphasize its business services offerings as it seeks to evolve from a traditional office-supplies retailer to a broader business services provider.

The chain on Tuesday announced the launch of BizBox, a business services platform designed to provide start-ups and small business companies access to services needed to grow their businesses. The new venture, which will be offered through a subscription with monthly services starting at $99, builds upon Office Depot’s previously announced acquisition of CompuCom Systems.

The BizBox website will be enhanced with new features and services based on customer feedback and demand, according to Office Depot. It will also be introduced into retail stores.

“We have the ability to reach nine million small business customers through our touch points around the country,” said Gerry Smith, CEO, Office Depot. “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. The BizBox platform is an essential element of our commitment to innovation.”

BizBox members will have access to third-party experts who will help them with a range of services, from creating and designing websites to accounting, payroll and human resources functions to asset management and legal services. Other digital services, such as e-mail marketing and social marketing, will also be available.

According to a recent Office Depot study of 1,500 small business and start-up owners, nearly one-third of established businesses do not have a website, and over half do not do any kind of social marketing at all.

“We know from talking to them (small business owners and entrepreneurs) every day they feel pulled in a million directions, and often don’t know where to turn for support for all their needs,” said Kevin Moffitt, chief digital officer for Office Depot. “BizBox is a platform designed to help reduce some of the stress and barriers that prevent entrepreneurs from turning their ideas into reality, and is the first service of its kind backed by the business expertise of a multi-billion-dollar enterprise.”

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