August 30, 2007, 12:00 AM

VistaPrint steps into stores with business printing services via OfficeMax terminals

VistaPrint, an online supplier of graphic design services and customized printed products for small businesses and consumers, is reaching for customers through stores in a new deal with retail chain OfficeMax.

VistaPrint Ltd. is moving into a new sales channel. The online supplier of graphic design services and customized printed products for small businesses and consumers is reaching into retail stores through a deal with office supply retail chain OfficeMax Inc.

Under the arrangement, OfficeMax customers will design and order business cards, brochures and other printed material through web-based terminals in all OfficeMax stores, which number nearly 1,000. The terminals and the web site that customers view will carry the OfficeMax ImPress brand that OfficeMax uses for printed material.

“Our customers have always been able to order business cards and stationery through OfficeMax ImPress, but the customer could only see selections in a catalog,” says Brian Norris, senior vice president for OfficeMax ImPress. “Early tests of the VistaPrint Retail Solution suggest that our customers like the application and are pleased with the quality and cost of the product.”

VistaPrint designed a web site for OfficeMax ImPress that streamlines the shopping process to take into account the fact that store customers don’t want to spend as much time navigating a site as does someone shopping from home or office. “We made it easier for them to get from end to end by limiting the number of choices,” says Mike Ewing, senior vice president, global partnerships for VistaPrint. For instance, store shoppers have only two shipping options: 7-day standard or 3-day premium.

VistaPrint will sell products to OfficeMax on a wholesale basis and OfficeMax will set the retail price accordingly. “OfficeMax completely controls the experience with the customer,” Ewing says. Allowing OfficeMax to set retail prices as competitive conditions warrant and creating a site with the OfficeMax ImPress look and feel also will allow VistaPrint to make the same service available to other retail chains, Ewing says.

VistaPrint trained a group of OfficeMax training managers on products and site usage. They will in turn train store personnel.

The rollout is expected to be completed during the fall.

billb@verticalwebmedia.com

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