Sunday Morning – Do You Need a Ream of Copy Paper?
If you showed up for work this morning and the coffee was not only made already, but the pot was half-empty, then you know what happened …. again. Every year here's always one guy who doesn't get the clock change quite right and gets to work an hour earlier than usual. Then he gets all ticked off at himself for missing out on an extra hour's sleep that he could have taken advantage of. It happens everywhere.
It doesn't happen to me because I'm retired and I don't own an alarm clock anymore. (Sorry, just had to rub that one in.)
We keep an eye on commerce here, as you already know, because all of us go shopping frequently. We've reported on the distressed times for Sears, Borders Books, CompUSA (remember them?) and countless others over the years. One of the major retailers that we've been following is Office Depot, the office supply/computer chain that consistently runs second to Staples and has been suffering a lot lately because of more online shopping going on. Personally, I have been hoping that Office Depot hangs in there and turns it around because I like shopping there. They have gotten a lot of business from me over the past ten years or so.
On Friday the Federal Trade Commission announced that they have approved the proposed merger of Office Depot and OfficeMax, saying that it will not violate anti-trust laws or concerns. An article from Reuters goes on to say:
The news, which boosted shares of both companies, came more than eight months after Boca Raton, Fla.-based Office Depot proposed to buy Naperville-based OfficeMax. They said the $976 million all-stock deal would cut costs, consolidate stores, boost clout with suppliers and improve chances of fighting market leader Staples Inc and online and discount competitors.
The companies expect the deal to close on Tuesday.
The deal raised the ghost of a famous antitrust case involving an agreement to merge Staples with Office Depot. The FTC challenged the proposed combination in court in 1997, and it was scrapped after a judge ruled that it would lead to higher prices for shoppers.
But the retail landscape has changed drastically in the past 15 years since that decision, and both companies have been on the verge of bankruptcy for a few years now. Let's hope that this one works out. We need this kind of "bricks and mortar" shop out there.
Speaking of coffee (weren't we?), I need to get some more started, so I'll work on that while you get going with the equipment check. I'll see you back in the day room in a little while.
* * * * * * *