Trying to Get the Point of Office Depot’s Big Announcement

Posted on by Tim Parry

Every now and then some eye-opening press releases come across my desk. I got one last night from Office Depot via BusinessWire.com’s RSS feed that, at the time, seemed pretty interesting.

The office supplies merchant announced it was teaming up with Google to check in-store stock from their mobile devices. Great, I’m thinking, especially since a study released last week by the e-tailing group showed merchants aren’t doing a great job with that.

I figured this was something that integrated Google and the OfficeDepot.com websites and mobile sites and couldn’t find anything on Office Depot’s site that reflected the new initiative. So I checked the release and the only instruction was to go to Google.

That’s when I found out two things:

  1. Google’s been doing this “In Stock, Nearby” initiative for about eight months, and demonstrated its ability nearly a year ago, so it’s not like Office Depot is an early adopter of the technology.
  2. Office Depot is already doing an excellent job with in-stock items on its ecommerce and mcommerce sites (at least for users with Android-based phones, like me).

So I have to ask: Did Office Depot sign up for “X” number of press releases to issue through BusinessWire, and now they’re acting like they allocated too much money toward their flexible spending? Good for Office Depot, I guess, for branching into another channel.

Of course, I couldn’t find any Papermate Mechanical Pencils in stock, nearby, in Bridgeport, CT. But if I could, in my case, I’m not driving an hour away to West hartford, CT, to get them.

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