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One, two, three, four, OfficeMax declares a stationery war

  • News
  • June 23, 2016
  • Sarah Dunn
One, two, three, four, OfficeMax declares a stationery war

When most people think of a fun corporate culture, office supplies isn’t the first industry that springs to mind, but OfficeMax is seeking to change that.

“We take our business seriously, we don’t take ourselves too seriously,” says OfficeMax managing director NZ and interim managing director Australia Kevin Obern.

The idea for the Post-it war came when OfficeMax took on some international consultants to help it understand the customer journey on its website. Obern says these consultants were digitally-savvy, trendy men, but he was fascinated to see that they used Post-it notes for all their mapping work.

“The meeting room was covered in Post-its.”

Post-it wars also have a distinguished history in the advertising industry. They raged through New York's Canal St district in May this year, with agencies including Havas Worldwide, Horizon Media, Cake Group, Biolumina, Harrison and Star and Getty Images all involved. Havas, arguably, finished the war with a single gigantic image of a mic-drop.
 


Post-its are a cornerstone product for OfficeMax, and the team is enjoying its “friendly rivalry” with Warehouse Stationery. Obern is suitably dismissive of the competitor’s Post-it art: “It’s not as good as ours.”

Last year, OfficeMax began an attempt at a global merger with Staples. This received permission from the Commerce Commission to go ahead on New Zealand, but was blocked by a US federal judge due to antitrust concerns. It fell over on May 16, 2016.

Obern says this has had no impact on OfficeMax’s New Zealand operations: “It was a distraction for us while the whole thing was underway, but we just kept running the business as usual.”

The company is currently engaged in promoting a new feature on its website which encourages more business from SMEs. Obern says at the smaller end, there’s always been a feeling that it’s all about a rewards programme, but in fact, ease of ordering and reliability of services trumps this. He’s not concerned about losing out on customer data as the company has excellent visibility of account holders and their companies.

New software which is soon to launch will enable OfficeMax to make sure its online offering is “absolutely relevant” to the business of those browsing. Its creation took 18 months. Like many businesses, Obern feels, OfficeMax had got into a pattern of not spending enough on its website and instead of constantly developing the site, it is now taking a single “giant leap forward”.

For a fairly traditional business, there’s a lot going on, Obern says.

“People look at us as being an office products business, but actually, we’re a lot more than that.”

​ ​

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Gun retail will change after the Christchurch shooting

  • Opinion
  • March 18, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Gun retail will change after the Christchurch shooting

In the wake of an appalling attack, public sentiment around guns sales has changed. NZ Retail and The Register editor and associate publisher Sarah Dunn considers how gun retailers can work with the community in this new environment.

Read more
 
 
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Protect against porch pirates: The Courier Box

Necessity is the mother of innovation, and this is certainly the case for The Courier Box designer and developer Joanna Steel.

 
 

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  • News
  • March 14, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
How did that happen: Customisable Products

According to the Forbes 2018 trend report consumers are increasingly searching for personalization of products, services, and experiences. From wallets, phone cases, apparel, pet accessories, plates, bedding, and even number plates, if it can be purchased, it can be monogrammed, personalized, and used as a display of our individualism.

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  • Satish Ranchhod
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  • News
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  • Radio New Zealand
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  • News
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  • Radio New Zealand
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