December 10, 2012, 11:15 AM

Office Depot debuts one-hour, in-store pickup for online orders

Customers receive an e-mail when their orders are ready at stores.

Lead Photo

Office Depot Inc. announced today it has begun offering free, in-store pickup for online goods in an hour or less. The option is available for any products labeled “In Store Pickup Available” on OfficeDepot.com; available items vary by store.

“The holiday season is in full swing, and this is another way to enhance the shopping experience for Office Depot customers regardless of whether they choose to do so in-store or online,” says Mike Kirschner, senior vice president of e-commerce at Office Depot.

Customers who select “pick-up” in the checkout process then indicate their choice of a store. When the item is ready for retrieval, they receive an e-mail that reads, “Good News! Your order is ready for pickup,” with instructions for how to claim the purchase, Office Depot says. The pickup area for online orders in stores is in the Copy & Print Depot, the retailer says.

Customers need to bring their order confirmation, the credit card they used to pay and a valid I.D. If they do not pick up their orders within 48 hours, the goods are returned to inventory and their accounts are credited, Office Depot says. If an online order is made within two hours of the store’s closing time, the items will be available within one hour of opening the next day, the retailer says.

Several other retailers that operate bricks-and-mortar stores recently have introduced or enhanced in-store pickup options at online checkout, including Toys ‘R’ Us Inc., hhgregg Appliances Inc., Office Max Inc. and The Home Depot. Office Depot is upping the ante with its one-hour pickup promise, as rival Staples promises pickup within two hours of ordering and OfficeMax saying orders generally will be available the same day, if the product is in stock at the selected store.

Meanwhile, two-day shipping services provider ShopRunner announced last month it will now allow online shoppers to pick up online orders from 60 of its retailer clients at 100 stores in the Philadelphia area that are operated Toys ‘R’ Us, Olly Shoes or 7-Eleven. And Staples Inc. has joined the ranks of retailers letting Amazon.com Inc. use some of its stores to test the Amazon Lockers program for in-store pickup of purchases from Amazon.com.

Office Depot is No. 6 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide; Toys ‘R’ Us, No. 29; hhgregg, No. 442; Office Max, No. 12; Home Depot, No. 42; Staples, No. 2 and Amazon, No. 1.

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