Office Depot to challenge Staples in Glenwood market | PostIndependent.com
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Office Depot to challenge Staples in Glenwood market

Office Depot plans to open a store in the former Gart Sports in south Glenwood Springs, putting it in direct competition with industry leader Staples, located on the city’s west end.The move also adds to the challenge for smaller, locally owned stores such as Raymond’s Office Machines and Supplies, a Glenwood Springs business that’s nearly 50 years old.”It does make it rather tough for the small businesses to make it against those guys,” said Fred Andersen, service manager at Raymond’s.Peglen LP on Monday announced a long-term lease of 20,000 square feet of its property in the Roaring Fork Marketplace to Office Depot. Gart, now the Sports Authority, moved to Glenwood Meadows last November. Office Depot is scheduled to open this November.Tom Welt, a superintendent with ICE Builders of Anaheim, Calif., builds stores for Office Depot and is at the Glenwood location to oversee a substantial renovation.”We’re just really getting started,” he said Tuesday as he worked in a shell of a building stripped of walls to expose wiring, plumbing and heating and cooling systems.Welt said Office Depot had been looking at the site since last fall but it took time to work out issues with the landlord.Representatives with Pegasus Realty Corp., an affiliate of the property owners, did not return calls for comment Tuesday. Neither did representatives of Office Depot or Staples.Florida-based Office Depot is a Fortune 500 company with about 1,070 stores in North America. It sells to customers in 33 countries, and has annual sales of nearly $15 billion and about 50,000 employees worldwide.Staples, based in Massachusetts, is even bigger, with $16.1 billion in sales last year, 69,000 employees, and some 1,500 stores in the United States and Canada.”Staples alone already has hurt us tremendously,” Andersen said.He noted that one small office supply store in Glenwood, Top Drawer, already has closed down.Raymond’s always has focused on smaller businesses and home offices, which stores such as Staples also now serve in Glenwood, Andersen said. One problem with the bigger companies is that they don’t service the machines they sell, he said. He worries that if small office suppliers close down, there won’t be anyone left to do repairs locally.He said it’s hard for a small business to concentrate on doing repair work for customers because it often can cost more than just replacing the broken equipment.”It ends up in a landfill, and then they just go and get another one from the big-box,” he said.Rob Classen, owner of the Drawing Board, an architectural firm in Glenwood, said he doesn’t think Office Depot will have too much effect on local office supply prices, thanks to the competition already provided by Staples and Wal-Mart.”Most office supplies we buy are at Wal-Mart,” he said.Andersen said Wal-Mart offers mostly consumer-level office supplies, and doesn’t have the business-oriented selection offered by Staples.Classen said he often needs to go to Grand Junction to get architectural-specific office supplies not available at Staples, and Office Depot might offer a little more local variety.He believes stores such as Staples and Office Depot are coming to Glenwood to take advantage of the amount of development that has occurred locally.Andersen isn’t surprised by Office Depot’s arrival. “The (office supply) business itself is pretty lucrative, it really is,” he said. With Staples on the west end of the city, he sees the argument for another to open on the south side, closer to upvalley towns.”People will come down from upvalley to get a deal; I’ve seen it many times,” he said.Rodney Stout, manager of the Sam Goody music and entertainment retailer, said business at his store has been down 30 percent since Gart moved out of the adjacent location at the Roaring Fork Marketplace, so he’s looking forward to Office Depot’s arrival.Also, while the store gets most of its office supplies through Sam Goody, it will be nice to be able to go next door in an emergency, he said.”I’ve had to drive to Staples a couple of times already,” he said.The Roaring Fork Marketplace has a total of 240,000 square feet of space and is anchored by Wal-Mart and American Furniture Warehouse.Contact Dennis Webb: 945-8515, ext. 516dwebb@postindependent.com


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