September 17, 2001, 12:00 AM

Office Depot upgrades eight international Viking sites

Office Depot has upgraded Viking Office Products web sites in Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The sites feature advanced search, faster navigation, easier shopping and personal customization.

Office Depot Inc., which has made a long-term commitment to international trade via its web sites, has upgraded Viking Office Products sites in eight countries. Viking is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Delray Beach, FL-based Office Depot.

Viking has revamped sites in Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The new sites feature advanced search technology, faster site navigation, easier shopping and personal customization. Office Depot also says the sites are more informative to help customers make better buying decisions. Features of the site also mirror Viking`s printed catalogs in the form of prices and special offers.

Personalized customer enhancements include: customized shopping lists, updated monthly web site pricing and the opportunity to receive personalized e-mail notification on products purchased most frequently.

Viking will serve its web customers through its existing mail order infrastructure including merchandising, warehousing and distribution.

Bruce Nelson, Office Depot CEO, said, "Over the past two years we have been successful in launching eight new Viking international web sites. Our goal is to offer customers the most comprehensive web sites in our industry worldwide. Through our relentless pursuit of new cutting-edge functionality, we plan to further our industry leadership and continue to offer our customers the most compelling shopping experience on the web. As we look ahead, we plan to continue to grow our worldwide e-commerce business through new and innovative sales initiatives in existing countries, as well as the development of new web sites around the world."

Later this month, the Company will launch its eighth international Viking web site in Austria and plans to launch a ninth new site in Switzerland early next year.

All web sites allow customers to enter catalog orders online and feature the Supplies QuickFind service, which helps customers identify the correct supplies for their business machines. The sites also offer real-time inventory

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