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Company > OfficeMax: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

OfficeMax: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Published: Feb 05, 2023

Inside This Article


    OfficeMax is a well-known office supplies retailer that has been serving businesses since its establishment. In this blog article, we will delve into the company's business model, conduct a SWOT analysis to evaluate its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, and explore its competitors in the year 2023. By examining these aspects, we can gain valuable insights into OfficeMax's position in the market and its potential for growth and success in the coming years.

    What You Will Learn:

    • Who owns OfficeMax and the background of the company's ownership.
    • The mission statement of OfficeMax and how it guides their business operations.
    • How OfficeMax generates revenue and the different sources of their income.
    • An explanation of the OfficeMax Business Model Canvas and how it relates to their overall strategy.
    • The major competitors of OfficeMax and the market landscape they operate in.
    • A comprehensive SWOT analysis of OfficeMax, including their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

    Who owns OfficeMax?

    Background on OfficeMax

    OfficeMax is a well-known office supplies retailer that has been serving customers for several decades. Established in 1988, the company has grown to become one of the largest office supply chains in the United States, offering a wide range of products and services to consumers and businesses alike.

    Ownership History

    Over the years, OfficeMax has undergone several ownership changes, leading to its current ownership structure. Here's a brief overview of the major owners and key milestones in the company's ownership history:

    1. Initial Founders

    OfficeMax was originally founded by Michael Feuer and Bob Hurwitz in 1988. They started the company with the vision of providing affordable office supplies to businesses and individuals. As the company gained popularity and expanded its operations, it attracted the attention of larger players in the industry.

    2. Acquisition by Boise Cascade Corporation

    In 1991, OfficeMax was acquired by Boise Cascade Corporation, a well-established paper and office supplies company. This acquisition helped OfficeMax to further strengthen its position in the market and expand its product offerings.

    3. Merger with Office Depot

    In 2013, OfficeMax went through a significant ownership change when it merged with Office Depot, another prominent office supplies retailer. The merger was aimed at creating a stronger competitor in the industry and maximizing operational efficiencies. The combined entity was named Office Depot, Inc., and the OfficeMax brand continued to operate under this new ownership structure.

    4. Acquisition by Sycamore Partners

    In 2016, Office Depot, Inc. faced financial challenges and decided to sell its European business unit. As a result, the company received a significant cash infusion from the sale, which was used to reduce debt and invest in the core operations. During this time, Sycamore Partners, a private equity firm, acquired a 9.9% stake in Office Depot, Inc. Sycamore Partners' investment played a crucial role in stabilizing the company's financial position.

    5. Current Ownership Structure

    As of now, Office Depot, Inc. remains the owner of OfficeMax, along with its other retail brands. Despite the ownership changes and challenges faced by the company, OfficeMax continues to operate as a distinct brand, catering to the office supplies needs of millions of customers across the United States.


    OfficeMax has experienced various ownership changes throughout its history, starting from its founders to its current ownership by Office Depot, Inc. The company's ability to adapt to market conditions and leverage strategic partnerships has helped it maintain its position as a leading office supplies retailer. Despite the changes in ownership, OfficeMax remains a trusted destination for customers seeking quality office products and services.

    What is the mission statement of OfficeMax?

    The Mission Statement of OfficeMax: Empowering Success in the Workplace

    OfficeMax, a leading office supplies retailer, has a clear and concise mission statement that reflects its commitment to empowering success in the workplace. The mission statement of OfficeMax is to provide customers with everything they need to achieve their professional goals and create productive work environments.

    Commitment to Customers

    OfficeMax places a strong emphasis on the needs and satisfaction of its customers. The mission statement reflects the company's commitment to providing a wide range of high-quality products and services that meet the unique requirements of businesses and individuals. By offering a comprehensive selection of office supplies, furniture, technology solutions, and printing services, OfficeMax seeks to ensure that customers have access to the tools and resources necessary for their success.

    Creating Productive Work Environments

    A significant aspect of OfficeMax's mission is its dedication to creating productive work environments. The company recognizes that a well-equipped and organized workspace plays a crucial role in fostering efficiency, collaboration, and innovation. To support this objective, OfficeMax offers expert advice, ergonomic solutions, and customizable furniture options to help businesses optimize their workspace layout and design.

    Empowering Success

    OfficeMax's mission statement goes beyond simply providing products and services. It underlines the company's commitment to empowering success among its customers. Whether through offering cost-effective solutions, personalized recommendations, or educational resources, OfficeMax aims to enable individuals and businesses to reach their full potential. By understanding and anticipating the evolving needs of its customers, OfficeMax strives to be a trusted partner in their journey towards success.


    In summary, OfficeMax's mission statement embodies its dedication to customer satisfaction, creating productive work environments, and empowering success. By providing a diverse range of products, services, and expertise, OfficeMax aims to support businesses and individuals in achieving their professional goals. With a clear focus on meeting customer needs and fostering productivity, OfficeMax sets itself apart as a reliable and valuable resource in the world of office supplies and solutions.

    How does OfficeMax make money?

    Retail sales

    One of the primary ways OfficeMax generates revenue is through its retail sales. OfficeMax operates brick-and-mortar stores across the country, offering a wide range of office supplies, technology products, furniture, and printing services. Customers can visit these stores to purchase items directly, contributing to the company's revenue stream. OfficeMax strategically positions its stores in high-traffic areas and caters to both individual consumers and businesses, ensuring a steady influx of customers.


    In addition to physical stores, OfficeMax has a strong online presence that contributes significantly to its revenue. The company operates an e-commerce website where customers can browse and purchase products conveniently from the comfort of their homes or offices. OfficeMax has invested in creating a user-friendly online platform, ensuring a seamless shopping experience for its customers. This digital channel not only expands the company's reach but also allows OfficeMax to tap into the growing trend of online shopping, thereby boosting its revenue potential.

    Business-to-business sales

    OfficeMax also generates a substantial portion of its revenue through business-to-business (B2B) sales. The company has a dedicated team that focuses on serving the needs of corporate clients, ranging from small businesses to large enterprises. OfficeMax offers tailored solutions, such as bulk purchasing options, volume discounts, and specialized account management services, to attract and retain B2B customers. This segment of the business is particularly lucrative as it involves larger-scale transactions and long-term partnerships, contributing significantly to OfficeMax's overall revenue.

    Printing and document services

    Another revenue-generating aspect of OfficeMax's business model is its printing and document services. OfficeMax provides customers with professional printing services for various needs, including business cards, flyers, brochures, and presentations. Additionally, the company offers document services such as copying, scanning, and faxing. These services cater to individuals, businesses, and organizations that require high-quality printing and document solutions but may not have the necessary equipment or expertise in-house. By offering these services, OfficeMax taps into a niche market and adds an additional revenue stream to its business.

    Rewards program and partnerships

    OfficeMax has a customer loyalty program called "MaxPerks," which further contributes to its revenue. The program offers various benefits and rewards to its members, such as discounts, exclusive offers, and free shipping. By incentivizing customers to join and actively participate in the program, OfficeMax can increase customer retention and drive repeat purchases. Additionally, OfficeMax forms partnerships with other businesses, such as credit card companies or office supply manufacturers, to offer co-branded products or exclusive promotions. These partnerships not only generate additional revenue but also enhance the overall value proposition for OfficeMax customers.

    OfficeMax Business Model Canvas Explained

    What is a Business Model Canvas?

    A Business Model Canvas is a strategic management tool that provides a visual representation of a company's business model. It allows businesses to analyze and communicate their business model by breaking it down into nine key building blocks. These blocks include customer segments, value propositions, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key resources, key activities, key partnerships, and cost structure.

    OfficeMax's Customer Segments

    OfficeMax primarily targets small and medium-sized businesses, as well as individual consumers. By focusing on these customer segments, OfficeMax is able to provide a wide range of office supplies and services tailored to meet the needs of various businesses and individuals.

    OfficeMax's Value Propositions

    OfficeMax offers a comprehensive selection of office supplies, technology products, furniture, and printing services. Their value proposition lies in providing high-quality products at competitive prices, ensuring customer satisfaction through excellent customer service, and offering convenient online and offline shopping experiences.

    OfficeMax's Channels

    OfficeMax utilizes a multi-channel approach to reach its customers. They have brick-and-mortar retail stores located in strategic locations, allowing customers to physically browse and purchase products. Additionally, OfficeMax has a robust e-commerce platform where customers can conveniently shop online. Their channels also include partnerships with other retailers to expand their reach.

    OfficeMax's Customer Relationships

    OfficeMax aims to build long-term relationships with its customers by providing personalized and attentive customer service. They offer various customer support channels, including phone support, online chat, and email, ensuring that customers can easily reach out for assistance or inquiries.

    OfficeMax's Revenue Streams

    OfficeMax generates revenue through the sale of office supplies, technology products, furniture, and printing services. They also offer business services such as technology solutions, managed print services, and workspace design consultation, which contribute to their overall revenue streams.

    OfficeMax's Key Resources

    OfficeMax's key resources include their extensive inventory of office supplies and products, their physical retail stores, their e-commerce platform, their distribution network, and their strong relationships with suppliers. These resources enable OfficeMax to meet customer demands efficiently and effectively.

    OfficeMax's Key Activities

    OfficeMax's key activities involve sourcing and managing their inventory, managing their retail stores and e-commerce platform, providing customer support, and executing marketing and advertising campaigns. These activities are essential for OfficeMax to maintain and grow its customer base and revenue streams.

    OfficeMax's Key Partnerships

    OfficeMax has established partnerships with various suppliers and manufacturers to ensure a wide range of high-quality products for their customers. Additionally, they have partnerships with other retailers to expand their reach and increase brand visibility.

    OfficeMax's Cost Structure

    OfficeMax's cost structure primarily consists of the cost of goods sold, operational expenses such as employee salaries and rent for their retail stores, marketing and advertising expenses, technology investments, and customer support costs. By effectively managing these costs, OfficeMax can maintain competitive pricing while ensuring profitability.

    Which companies are the competitors of OfficeMax?

    Major Competitors

    OfficeMax faces stiff competition in the office supplies industry. Some of its major competitors include:

    1. Staples: Staples is one of the largest office supply retailers in the world and is a direct competitor to OfficeMax. With a wide range of products and services, Staples offers a similar shopping experience to OfficeMax, targeting both individual customers and businesses.

    2. Office Depot: Office Depot is another significant competitor of OfficeMax. The two companies have similar offerings, including office supplies, furniture, technology products, and printing services. Office Depot and OfficeMax even merged in 2013 but continue to operate as separate brands.

    3. Amazon Business: As the e-commerce giant, Amazon has entered the office supplies market with its Amazon Business platform. Offering a vast selection of products, competitive prices, and convenient online shopping, Amazon Business poses a significant threat to traditional brick-and-mortar retailers like OfficeMax.

    Smaller Competitors

    In addition to the major players, OfficeMax also faces competition from smaller companies that specialize in specific segments of the office supplies market. These include:

    1. Quill: Quill is an online office supply retailer that primarily serves small and medium-sized businesses. Offering a wide range of products, competitive pricing, and personalized customer service, Quill competes with OfficeMax in the online space.

    2. W.B. Mason: W.B. Mason is a privately held office supply company that focuses on serving businesses in the Northeastern United States. With a strong regional presence, W.B. Mason competes with OfficeMax by offering personalized service and next-day delivery options.

    3. The Office Group: The Office Group is a UK-based office supplies company that provides a range of products, including stationery, furniture, and technology solutions. Although primarily operating in the United Kingdom, The Office Group competes with OfficeMax in the global market through its online presence.

    In a highly competitive industry, OfficeMax faces challenges from both major players and niche competitors. However, with its extensive product selection, physical store presence, and online platform, OfficeMax continues to strive for market leadership and customer satisfaction.

    OfficeMax SWOT Analysis


    1. Wide range of products: OfficeMax offers a wide variety of products including office supplies, furniture, technology products, and printing services. This allows them to cater to the diverse needs of businesses and individuals, making it a one-stop shop for all office-related needs.

    2. Strong brand recognition: OfficeMax is a well-established brand with a long history in the office supplies industry. Their brand is recognized for reliability, quality, and affordability, which helps to attract and retain customers.

    3. Extensive retail network: With numerous retail locations across the country, OfficeMax has a strong physical presence that allows customers to conveniently access their products and services. This retail network also serves as a platform for enhancing customer engagement and generating additional sales.


    1. Limited online presence: While OfficeMax has a significant retail presence, their online platform and e-commerce capabilities are relatively underdeveloped compared to some of their competitors. This can limit their ability to reach and serve customers who prefer to shop online.

    2. Lack of differentiation: In a highly competitive market, OfficeMax struggles to differentiate itself from other office supplies retailers. They often offer similar products and services at comparable prices, making it challenging to attract customers based on unique value propositions.

    3. Dependence on suppliers: OfficeMax heavily relies on suppliers for its product inventory. Any disruptions in the supply chain, such as delays or quality issues, can adversely impact their ability to meet customer demands and maintain a consistent product offering.


    1. E-commerce growth: The growing trend of online shopping presents an opportunity for OfficeMax to invest in and improve their online platform. By enhancing their e-commerce capabilities, they can reach a wider customer base and provide a seamless shopping experience.

    2. Expansion into new markets: OfficeMax can explore opportunities to expand into new geographical markets or target new customer segments. By identifying underserved areas or niche markets, they can tap into new revenue streams and increase their market share.

    3. Focus on sustainability: With increasing awareness about environmental concerns, OfficeMax can differentiate itself by emphasizing sustainability in its operations. By offering eco-friendly products, implementing green initiatives, and promoting recycling programs, they can attract environmentally conscious customers and strengthen their brand image.


    1. Intense competition: The office supplies industry is highly competitive, with numerous players vying for market share. Competitors such as Staples and Amazon pose a significant threat to OfficeMax's customer base and profitability.

    2. Economic downturns: OfficeMax's business is vulnerable to economic fluctuations. During economic downturns, companies and individuals often reduce their spending on office supplies, which can directly impact OfficeMax's sales and revenue.

    3. Technological advancements: Rapid advancements in technology can disrupt the demand for traditional office supplies. As more businesses transition to paperless operations and rely on digital solutions, there may be a decreased need for certain products offered by OfficeMax.


    By leveraging their strengths, addressing weaknesses, capitalizing on opportunities, and mitigating threats, OfficeMax can position itself for sustained growth and success in the highly competitive office supplies industry. Conducting regular SWOT analyses will enable them to adapt to changing market dynamics, make informed strategic decisions, and stay ahead of the competition.

    Key Takeaways

    • OfficeMax is owned by Office Depot, as the two companies merged in 2013 to form Office Depot, Inc.
    • The mission statement of OfficeMax is to provide customers with innovative office products and solutions that help them work better.
    • OfficeMax primarily generates revenue through the sale of office supplies, furniture, technology products, and printing services.
    • The OfficeMax business model is based on providing a wide range of office products and services under one roof, catering to the needs of businesses of all sizes.
    • Major competitors of OfficeMax include Staples, Amazon Business, and Walmart, as they all operate in the office supplies and business solutions market.
    • In a SWOT analysis, OfficeMax's strengths lie in its broad product range and strong brand recognition, while its weaknesses include the intense competition and the need to adapt to the growing trend of online shopping. Opportunities for OfficeMax include expanding into new markets and offering more digital solutions, while threats include economic downturns and the rise of e-commerce.


    In conclusion, OfficeMax is owned by Office Depot, Inc., which acquired the company in 2013. The mission statement of OfficeMax is to provide customers with high-quality office products and services at competitive prices. The company generates revenue through the sale of office supplies, technology products, furniture, and business services.

    Through the OfficeMax Business Model Canvas, we can understand the key elements that contribute to their success. This includes their value proposition of offering a wide range of products and services, their customer segments that include both individual consumers and businesses, their distribution channels that involve both physical stores and online platforms, and their customer relationships that focus on providing excellent customer service.

    As for competitors, OfficeMax faces tough competition from companies such as Staples, Amazon, and Walmart. These companies have a strong presence in the office supplies industry and offer similar products and services to customers.

    Lastly, conducting a SWOT analysis on OfficeMax allows us to identify its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Some of its strengths include a wide product selection and a strong brand presence. Weaknesses may include the need for improved online presence and potential supply chain issues. Opportunities lie in expanding their product offerings and reaching untapped markets. Threats include intense competition and changing consumer preferences.

    Overall, OfficeMax continues to be a prominent player in the office supplies industry, providing customers with a wide range of products and services to meet their office needs.

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