SOURCE: The Bedford Report

The Bedford Report

September 06, 2011 08:16 ET

Shrinking Margins May Lead to Consolidation in the Office Supplies Sector

The Bedford Report Provides Equity Research on Office Depot & Staples

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Sep 6, 2011) - With the weak economy and high joblessness, important back to school shopping season has been softer than hoped for the Office Supplies industry. With consumers looking to save money on back to school items wherever they can, many are passing up on office supply stores to shop for deals at drugstores, dollar stores and even online. This had led industry heavyweights to argue that the Office supply sector is in need of consolidation. The Bedford Report examines the outlook for companies in the Office Supplies Industry and provides stock analysis on Office Depot, Inc. (NYSE: ODP) and Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS). Access to the full company reports can be found at:

Ron Sargent, Staples chairman and chief executive, firmly believes the office supply sector will consolidate as the three large chains become "two or less." Sargent called smaller rivals Office Depot and OfficeMax a "natural pairing." Sargent acknowledged the glut of office-supply stores in North America, but said there are still markets where Staples has no presence and wants to enter.

The Bedford Report releases investment research on the Office Supplies Industry so investors can stay ahead of the crowd and make the best investment decisions to maximize their returns. Take a few minutes to register with us free at and get exclusive access to our numerous analyst reports and industry newsletters.

Both Staples and Office Depot are trying to move from larger stores to smaller ones. Sargent said that Staples has hundreds of leases coming up for renewal in the coming years and Staples would be aggressive in either securing lower rents or moving larger stores to smaller locations, as its larger stores typically have several thousand square feet more than what is needed.

Office Depot is also shrinking chain-wide, with its new policy being convenience, and an attempt for the chain to regain its competitiveness in the industry.

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