Can the Office Depot Inc (ODP) Retailers Survive?

Services

Want to know what the most crowded store in this space is? It’s the UPS Stores, formerly Mailboxes Etc. locations. Those stores are very small, they offer only two services – shipping and receipt of packages and mail – but they have dramatically increased UPS’ reach into the small business market.

Another word for services is logistics. And logistics is what small-to-medium sized businesses need more than anything else. They need help getting stuff in, getting stuff out, expanding their lines of business.

If these stores have a future, it’s in services, logistics, in doing for businesses what businesses find hard to do for themselves. Staples has made the first tentative steps in this direction. And the market has begun to notice – Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS) stock has been practically stable the last three months while the glow of the Office Depot Inc (NYSE:ODP) merger talk has died off, sending that stock down 13%.

There is plenty of time to speculate that one of these two stores gets it right, but right now Staples is the way to go.

The article Can the Office Retailers Survive? originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Dana Blankenhorn.

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