What Is The History Of OfficeMax?

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OfficeMax, an iconic name in the American office supplies retail industry, has a rich history dating back to its inception in 1988. Known for its extensive range of products and services catering to the needs of businesses and individuals, OfficeMax has established itself as a key player in the sector. This article delves into the journey of OfficeMax, its evolution, its services, and its current standing following the significant merger with Office Depot in 2013.

The Early Days of OfficeMax

OfficeMax was founded in 1988 by Bob Hurwitz and Michael Feuer in Cleveland, Ohio. Their vision was to create a one-stop shop for office supplies, a concept that rapidly gained popularity. The company distinguished itself by offering a wide array of office products, including furniture, technology, and supplies, at competitive prices. This business model helped OfficeMax expand rapidly, and by the early 1990s, it had become a well-known name across the United States.

Expansion and Growth

The 1990s marked a period of significant growth for OfficeMax. The company expanded its reach by opening numerous stores nationwide. It wasn’t just the number of stores that increased; OfficeMax also diversified its product offerings. They introduced printing and document services, tech support, and even office space planning services. This expansion was not just limited to physical stores; OfficeMax also embraced the digital revolution by launching its e-commerce platform, which further solidified its market position.

The Merger with Office Depot

In 2013, a landmark event in the office supply retail industry occurred when OfficeMax merged with Office Depot, another giant in the sector. This merger was a strategic move to strengthen its market position against competitors like Staples and the rising challenge from online retailers. Post-merger, OfficeMax continued to operate as a distinct brand under the Office Depot, Inc. umbrella, benefiting from shared resources, a broader product range, and an expanded customer base.


Services and Products

Today, OfficeMax offers a comprehensive range of products that cater to all office needs. Their inventory includes basic office supplies like paper, pens, and printers to more complex items like ergonomic office furniture and advanced technology products. Additionally, OfficeMax provides various services, including print and document services, tech support, and business solutions, making it a versatile destination for business customers.

The Digital Transformation

In the digital age, OfficeMax has adapted by enhancing its online presence. Their website offers a user-friendly interface where customers can browse and purchase products, schedule services, and access business resources. This digital shift has allowed OfficeMax to reach a wider audience and offer convenience to its customers, a critical factor in today’s fast-paced business environment.

Community and Environmental Initiatives

OfficeMax has also been involved in community and environmental initiatives. The company has programs in place for recycling electronics and ink cartridges, reflecting its commitment to sustainability. They have also engaged in community programs, supporting local schools and businesses, and participating in various charitable activities.

Challenges and the Future

Like many retail chains, OfficeMax faces challenges, particularly from online retail giants and changing consumer behaviors. However, its commitment to diversification, customer service, and embracing digital transformation indicates a positive trajectory for the future. With a focus on innovation and adapting to market needs, OfficeMax is well-positioned to continue as a significant player in the office supplies retail industry.


OfficeMax, from its humble beginnings in 1988, has evolved into a key figure in the American office supplies landscape. The merger with Office Depot has further solidified its position, offering customers a wide range of products and services. As the retail world continues to evolve, OfficeMax’s adaptability and customer-centric approach will be pivotal in its ongoing success.