American office supplies retailer
An OfficeMax store in Toledo, Ohio
Company typeSubsidiary
FoundedApril 1, 1988; 36 years ago (1988-04-01)
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
FounderBob Hurwitz
Michael Feuer
Number of locations
941 (2021)
Area served
United States
Mexico (since 1996)
New Zealand
ProductsOffice supplies
ParentKmart (1991–1995)
Boise Cascade (2003–2004)
Office Depot (2013–present)

OfficeMax is an American office supplies retailer founded in 1988. As an independent chain, it was the third-largest office supply retailer in the United States. Following a 2013 merger, it is currently a brand and subsidiary of Office Depot.[1]

The first OfficeMax store, located in Mayfield Heights, Ohio.
OfficeMax in Mexico City
An OfficeMax in Ann Arbor, Michigan.


OfficeMax was founded in Cleveland on April 1, 1988, by Bob Hurwitz and Michael Feuer. Hurwitz served as executive chairman and chief executive officer, and Feuer was the president and chief operating officer. On July 5, 1988, OfficeMax opened its first retail store in the Golden Gate Shopping Center in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. Hurwitz left the company in 1993 and Feuer became the chairman and chief executive officer.[2]

OfficeMax grew by acquisition with Office World first in November 1990, with Office World executive and Montgomery Ward becoming minority shareholders.[3] In 1990, Office Square stores were purchased from Kmart, in exchange for a 22% equity stake.[4] In 1991, Kmart increased its stake in OfficeMax to 92%.[5] In January 1992, OfficeMax acquired five sites from Highland Superstores in Boston. OW Office Warehouse, a Virginia-based regional chain, was acquired on June 30, 1992.[6] The company then acquired BizMart, its largest acquisition (104 stores) to date, in 1993 from Intelligent Electronics.[7] On August 16, 1993, OfficeMax joined Kmart and most of the other Kmart-owned banners in the "largest power center" Kmart operated in Utica, Michigan.[8] OfficeMax acquired a 19% stake in Corporate Express, a contract stationer.[9] In May 1994, Kmart put a plan in front of its stockholders to sell 20% to 30% of each of its specialty store subsidiaries shares on the open market to pay down debt and fund future expansion of the subsidiaries.[10] Kmart's shareholders turn down the proposal at their June 3 annual meeting.[11] In November 1994, FurnitureMax store within a store concept begins testing in the Cleveland market.[12] In 1995, Kmart sold off 51% of OfficeMax shares, spinning off the company and became a NYSE-(OMX) publicly traded corporation, based in Shaker Heights, Ohio.[13]

Public corporation

In 1995, OfficeMax became one of a handful of companies doing business through internetMCI.[14] Around this time Kmart sold the remaining 25% of the OfficeMax shares it held.[15] On July 14, 1996, a new kiosk program called BatteryMax was test launched in two Phoenix stores. BatteryMax were operated by Batteries for Everything.

OfficeMax also filed lawsuits for infringement for use of the "Max" name against Med Max and Circuit City for CarMax, its used car business.[16] For the next few years OfficeMax and its rivals, Staples and Office Depot, continued to open new stores, saturating the market segment.

OfficeMax developed regional delivery centers, and invested in its super-regional PowerMax distribution centers in Las Vegas, Nevada, Hazleton, Pennsylvania, and Birmingham, Alabama after litigation began with previous logistics and shipping provider.[17]

A small sized store concept, OfficeMax PDQ, test was launched in Woodmere, Ohio, in late June 1998.[18] By 2001, the chain operated 960 stores.[19] That year, OfficeMax began closing underperforming stores in some neighborhoods and in regions where it did not have a strong presence.[20] In 2003, OfficeMax was acquired by Boise Cascade Corporation for $1.3 billion.[21] The following year, the combined company split into two: its wood and paper operations were acquired by Madison Dearborn Partners, and the remaining company adopted the OfficeMax name.[22]

In December 2012, OfficeMax operated 941 stores in 47 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Mexico; that year, net sales were $6.9 billion, down from $8.3 billion in 2008.[23]

Merger with Office Depot

It was announced on February 20, 2013, that OfficeMax and Office Depot would combine in an all-stock deal, creating the largest U.S. office-supplies chain.[24] However, as of May 2, 2013, a lawsuit filed by a stockholder, Hollander v. OfficeMax Inc et al., U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, No. 13-3330 was filed to block the merger, which would pay all OfficeMax shareholders 2.69 shares of Office Depot in exchange for a single share in OfficeMax. Eric Hollander said in a statement "OfficeMax, if properly exposed to the market for corporate control, would bring a price materially in excess of the amount offered in the proposed transaction..."[25] Office Depot said on May 5, 2013, that it would hold a special meeting with shareholders after the staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission finished reviewing documents relating to its merger with OfficeMax.

The merger with Office Depot closed on November 5, 2013.[26] On December 10, Office Depot, Inc. announced that it had chosen Boca Raton, Florida for its global headquarters post-merger, closing the OfficeMax headquarters in Naperville, Illinois.[27]

Following the merger, the two chains integrated, though many retain the OfficeMax name. Some have since closed, while others rebranded as Office Depot following renovations.[28] The first OfficeMax closed permanently on May 16, 2015.[29]

New Zealand branch closures

On 26 August 2020, OfficeMax announced that it would be closing all 14 of its New Zealand branches and shift operations online in response to growing online usage and the COVID-19 pandemic in New Zealand.[30][31]

See also



  1. ^ Marcia Heroux Pounds (11 December 2013). "Office Depot picks Boca Raton HQ over Chicago-area". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  2. ^ Arlene Fine "OfficeMax ... in the beginning". Cleveland Jewish News. 18 Nov, 2011.
  3. ^ Laura Liebeck "OfficeMax, Office World to merge into one chain - Shakeout in office supply segment looms" . Discount Store News. 18 Feb, 2011.
  4. ^ Laura Liebeck (December 17, 1990). "K Mart support to spur OfficeMax expansion – office supply warehouse stores – K Mart's Fresh New Face". Discount Store News. Archived from the original on May 29, 2006. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
  5. ^ "Kmart ups OfficeMax stake" . Discount Store News. 18 Feb, 2011.
  6. ^ Laura Liebeck "OfficeMax moves headquarters; acquisitions help expansion" . Discount Store News. 18 Feb, 2011.
  7. ^ "OfficeMax acquires BizMart; 3 major superstores remain" . Discount Store News. 18 Feb, 2011.
  8. ^ "Kmart opens largest power center - multistore Kmart complex opens in Utica, Mich" . Discount Store News. 18 Feb, 2011.
  9. ^ "Sports Authority OfficeMax shares on the block; Kmart spin-offs could raise $700M" . Discount Store News. 18 Feb, 2011.
  10. ^ "Kmart reveals details of specialty chain stock sale". Discount Store News. May 16, 1994. Archived from the original on July 8, 2012. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  11. ^ Laura Liebeck "Super K opening lifts sagging Kmart spirits; board fails to resolve spin-off question - Super Kmart Center, Michigan". Discount Store News. 18 Feb, 2011.
  12. ^ Andreoli, Teresa (June 5, 1995). "Furniture: the next mass superstore star". Discount Store News. Archived from the original on February 7, 2011. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  13. ^ Laura Liebeck "Deja vu: Kmart to remake itself; spin-offs will shift focus to core discount stores". Discount Store News. 18 Feb, 2011.
  14. ^ Halverson, Richard (April 3, 1995). "Mass market goes on line; Service Merchandise, OfficeMax tap cybersales – retailing on computer networks". Discount Store News. Archived from the original on December 24, 2005. Retrieved January 6, 2018.
  15. ^ Jim Silver "Kmart to Sell OfficeMax Stake, Raising About $347.9 Million". Journal Record, The (Oklahoma City). 18 Feb, 2011.
  16. ^ "Circuit City Stores, Inc. v. OfficeMax, Inc., 949 F. Supp. 409 (E.D. Va. 1996)". Justia Law. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  17. ^ "OfficeMax reveals plans at shareholders meeting". Discount Store News. Archived from the original on September 11, 2011. Retrieved January 6, 2018.
  18. ^ Mike Troy "OfficeMax unveils new prototypes". Discount Store News. 18 Feb, 2011.
  19. ^ "OfficeMax opens 23,500 sf store in Cottage Grove". GlobeSt. Retrieved 2023-08-19.
  20. ^ "OfficeMax plans nationwide closings, including city store". The Oklahoman. Retrieved 2023-08-19.
  21. ^ "OfficeMax to get $129 mln from Boise Cascade's IPO", Feb. 12, 2013.
  22. ^ Henderson, Nell (2004-07-27). "Boise Cascade Quits Forest Industry, Will Focus on Office Supplies". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286.
  23. ^ "OfficeMax 2012 Annual Report". Office Depot Inc. Archived from the original on 9 January 2016. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  24. ^ "Office Depot, OfficeMax to Merge to Compete With Staples". Bloomberg. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
  25. ^ Baynes, Terry (May 2, 2013). "OfficeMax investor sues to block merger with Office Depot". Reuters. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
  26. ^ "Office Depot and OfficeMax Complete Merger". MarketWatch. November 5, 2013. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  27. ^ "Office Depot moving OfficeMax HQ from Naperville to FL". WLS-TV. December 10, 2013.
  28. ^ Ewoldt, John. "Twin Cities' Office Depot/Office Max store closings start to leak out". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2023-08-19.
  29. ^ Dorn, Sara (2015-12-04). "Fresh Thyme to open in 2016 in Mayfield Heights". cleveland. Retrieved 2023-08-19.
  30. ^ Shaw, Aimee (26 August 2020). "OfficeMax set to shut down its retail stores". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  31. ^ Foxcroft, Debrin (26 August 2020). "OfficeMax closing its shops in New Zealand". Stuff. Retrieved 26 August 2020.

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