Office Depot, Inc. was founded in 1986 and opened its first store in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Office Depot went public with a listing on the NASDAQ in 1988. By the end of 1990 Office Depot had already grown to almost 200 stores with sales topping $626million. That same year, Office Depot announced its merger with The Office Club, Inc., becoming the largest office products retailer in North America.
The growth strategy in the years to follow was realised by many acquisitions: H.Q. Office International, Inc., which included the Great Canadian Office Supplies Warehouse chain in western Canada, Wilson Stationery & Printing Company and Eastman Office Products Corporation. Sales soon exceeded $5billion, with more than 500 retail stores in the US. Office Depot also opened new retail stores in Israel and Colombia under international licensing agreements.
Between 1995 and 1998, the company opened stores in Poland, Hungary and Thailand under international licensing agreements and in Mexico, France and Japan under joint venture agreements. Later, the Company acquired the interests of its joint venture partners in both France and Japan.
In 1998, Office Depot merged with Viking Office Products, a public company based in The Netherlands and the world's leading direct mail marketer of office supplies. The addition of Viking to the Office Depot organisation not only vastly expanded Office Depot's international presence (primarily in Europe), but also made the company the leading provider of office products and services in the world.
That same year, Office Depot launched the first of a number of new websites, www.officedepot.com, which established the company as the industry's technology leader, expanded its domestic e-commerce capabilities, and ultimately extended the range of products and services Office Depot could offer its customers.
The following year, the company launched its first European eCommerce site, www.viking-direct.co.uk, in the U.K. By 2005, the Company had over 30 international websites. Worldwide eCommerce sales in 2004 totalled $3.1billion, almost a quarter of overall revenue.
The following years Office Depot continued to expand through acquisitions, mergers and partnerships in Europe, the Middle East and the Asia Pacific region. In 2006 Office Depot celebrated its 20th anniversary, employing more than 50,000 associates, with sales hitting the $15billion mark.
In 2011 Steve Schmidt was named President International, with responsibilities for all Office Depot operations outside North America. Two years later, Roland C. Smith was appointed as CEO of Office Depot Inc, following the merger of Office Depot and OfficeMax, to create an even stronger, more efficient provider of business products, services and solutions for every kind of workplace.
In 2015, Office Depot announced a proposed acquisition by Staples. In May 2016, this acquisition was ultimately prevented by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the US.
In September 2016, Office Depot reached an agreement with the AURELIUS Group for them to acquire the European operations of Office Depot. This transaction closed on 1 January 2017.