As part of its European expansion plans, Office Depot Inc. is rolling out Office Depot-branded web sites that are customized to meet the requirements of contract customers. It plans to establish such web sites in a number of European countries over the next year. The corporate sites will be in addition to the nine Office Depot-branded sites that are available now.
A separate corporate site will serve each country. The sites will feature customized content for corporate clients, including customized catalogs, unique SKUs based on a corporate customer’s needs, the ability for a corporate customer to define users and set their purchase limits, and the reporting of activity, such as what a corporate customer is spending its money on and how often it buys.
Office Depot launched the first such site, http://bsdnet.officedepot.co.uk, designed for contract customers in the U.K. at the end of May.
In addition, the company plans to open a web site serving Austria in August and undertake a major upgrade to its existing sites. It earlier announced it will launch a direct mail business and Internet site in Switzerland in late 2001 or early 2002.
The European web sites are part of Office Depot’s plans to penetrate more of Europe. International sales represent 13% of Office Depot’s sales and 20% of its profits. It also is the fastest growing segment of the company’s business. It began selling in the U.K. in 1990 and now does business in nine European countries.