Delray Beach, FL–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – BUSINESS WIRE)–May 5, 2005–For the second consecutive year, Office Depot (NYSE:ODP), a leading global provider of office products and services, is hosting “Office Depot Small Business Month” to recognize the 25 million small business owners in the United States. Office Depot is extending the nationally recognized Small Business Week to a month-long event packed with special promotions and activities geared to the unique needs of today’s small businesses.
“Among our key goals is to help our small business customers deal with an ever-changing business landscape and manage their bottom line,” said Chuck Rubin, Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising/Marketing Officer at Office Depot. “From our focus on information protection products that address concerns about identity theft, to our credit card and loyalty program offers, we are providing the tools that help small businesses grow and succeed.”
According to Rubin, as part of Small Business Month, Office Depot is continuing in its commitment to Taking Care of Business by introducing a variety of initiatives focused on taking care of its customers. These include:
Office Depot Helps Educate Businesses on Information Protection
During Small Business Month, Office Depot is emphasizing the importance of information protection, providing resources, guidance and practical solutions to the growing problem of identity theft. Cathy Gordon, a leading expert on the proper handling and disposal of documents and Senior Writer and Analyst for the Consumer Media Group of CCH Tax and Accounting, joins the Office Depot Small Business Month campaign to help educate businesses on these important issues.
“It’s important to put into place good business practices when it comes to the safeguarding and timely destruction of records and information,” Gordon said. “Prevention is key to protecting personal and employee information from theft.”
In fact, businesses and employees will soon be faced with understanding the guidelines for proper disposal of consumer and employee information when new provisions of FACTA (Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act) become effective June 1, 2005. Highlighting this issue, a new survey on Information Protection commissioned by Office Depot and conducted by Harris Interactive(R), found that 97 percent of employed U.S. adults don’t know what businesses need to do about FACTA.
The Office Depot survey also revealed that many working adults are taking extreme caution to protect their identity and information. Two-thirds (67 percent) of employed U.S. adults shred credit card offers and/or convenience checks before putting them in the trash. Half of those surveyed (49 percent) say they shred confidential employee information before discarding. Further demonstrating concern over identity theft, more than one-third (37 percent) make a point of bringing mail directly to the post office for pick up instead of leaving mail unattended in their mailboxes.
Office Depot’s Information Protection survey results are available online at http://mediarelations.officedepot.cc/smallbusiness05/.
Office Depot’s Small Business Month Website
Office Depot has created a website http://www.officedepot.com/links/smallbusinessmonth for small business customers highlighting products, special promotions and resources for small business. For example, customers will find product deals on items such as shredders and security software as well as links to resources on Information Compromise and the Risk of Identity Theft, Facts for Business and Guidance for Business on FACTA.
Small Business Month Offers, Promotions and Programs from Office Depot
— “Shred it! Lock it! Store it!” is the theme for Office Depot’s cost-effective and low-tech security solutions for the high-tech issue of information protection. During Small Business Month, Office Depot is focusing on three tenets: “Shred it!” – to protect confidential documents from being stolen, “Lock it!” – to safeguard personal and company information through updated firewall software and locking file cabinets and “Store-it” – to back-up your valuable electronic data and safely store important documents.
— Promotions and Great Deals on Information Protection Products. Both online at http://www.officedepot.com and in its almost 1,000 stores across the country, Office Depot is featuring great deals to help small business owners be proactive about information protection. These include shredders, data protection, anti-virus and firewall software, self-seal security envelopes and even pens with special ink to prevent check fraud. Basic tools such as locking file cabinets and safes should also be an essential part of your business information protection policy.
Helping Business Customers Manage Their Bottom Line
In addition to information protection products and resources, Office Depot offers a choice of credit card and loyalty programs that best suit the needs of the small business — whether a customer is shopping for a large office, small business or a home office.
— Get up to 10% Back in Office Depot Advantage Rewards. Office Depot Advantage offers customers up to 10% back in Rewards – up to $200 a year on qualifying purchases made in-store, online, or by phone. You can use your Reward towards any Office Depot purchase. Plus, as part of our focus on information protection, Advantage Members who purchase an Office Depot brand steel file cabinet will receive Double Reward Credit from now until May 21. Membership is free and easy. Sign up today in any Office Depot store, by calling 1-800-GO-DEPOT or visit http://www.officedepot.com/advantage.
— Special Program for Office Depot Business Credit Card. With an Office Depot Business Credit Card, customers can get an extra credit line just for office supply purchases, helping businesses track expenses with detailed monthly statements. During Small Business Month, customers can apply for an Office Depot Business Credit Card account to get an introductory 0% APR on purchases for six months from date of account opening and save $20 after rebate on their first purchase of $100 or more made on their new Office Depot Business Credit account within 60 days of account opening. Small business customers should visit their local Office Depot store or http://www.officedepot.com for full account terms and conditions.
The “Official Small Business of NASCAR” To Be Unveiled During Office Depot Small Business Month
Victory lane is the next stop for one lucky small business owner soon to be crowned the first-ever “Official Small Business of NASCAR courtesy of Office Depot.” Close to 100,000 small businesses across the country entered for the chance to be featured on the race car driven by NASCAR’s newest superstar, Carl Edwards. The winner will be announced on May 7 during the Nextel Cup race held at Darlington Raceway.
Office Depot Joins the SBA to Celebrate Women in Business During 2005 National Small Business Week
Among its many Small Business Month activities, Office Depot recently partnered with HP and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to celebrate women in business as part of the recent SBA Expo ’05. The event recognized the fastest growing segment of the small and mid-size business industry: women-owned businesses. According to a recent survey, women own half of the 10.6 million privately held businesses, employ 9.8 million workers and generate more than $1 trillion in sales.
Six businesswomen were honored at this year’s event for the tremendous impact they made in their respective fields over the past year. The honorees included: Marilyn Carlson Nelson, chair of the National Women’s Business Council; Daisy Gallagher, Gallagher & Gallagher, Stroudsburg, Pa.; Edna Lopez, COMPA Industries, Albuquerque, N.M.; Doreen Marks, Otis Technology, Lyons Falls, N.Y.; Sylvia Medina, North Wind, Idaho Falls, Idaho; Jean Thiel, Belonger Corporation, West Bend, Wis.
About Office Depot
With annual sales approaching $14 billion, Office Depot provides more office products and services to more customers in more countries than any other company. Incorporated in 1986 and headquartered in Delray Beach, Florida, Office Depot conducts business in 23 countries and employs 47,000 people worldwide. The Company operates under the Office Depot(R), Viking Office Products(R), Viking Direct(R), Guilbert(R), and Tech Depot(R) brand names.
Office Depot is a leader in every distribution channel – from retail stores and contract delivery to catalogs and e-commerce. With $3.1 billion in online sales in FY’04, the Company is the world’s number three Internet retailer. As of March 26, 2005, Office Depot has 995 retail stores in North America in addition to a national business-to-business delivery network supported by 22 delivery centers and more than 60 local sales offices. Internationally, the Company conducts wholly-owned operations in 14 countries through 77 retail stores and 26 distribution centers, and operates 153 retail stores under joint venture and license arrangements in another seven countries.
The company’s common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ODP and is included in the S&P 500 Index.
Additional press information can be found at:http://mediarelations.officedepot.com.
About Harris Interactive(R)
Harris Interactive Inc. (http://www.harrisinteractive.com), the 15th largest and fastest-growing market research firm in the world, is a Rochester, N.Y.-based global research company that blends premier strategic consulting with innovative and efficient methods of investigation, analysis and application. Known for The Harris Poll(R) and for pioneering Internet-based research methods, Harris Interactive conducts proprietary and public research to help its clients achieve clear, material and enduring results.
Harris Interactive combines its intellectual capital, databases and technology to advance market leadership through U.S. offices and wholly owned subsidiaries: London-based HI Europe (http://www.hieurope.com), Paris-based Novatris (http://www.novatris.com), Tokyo-based Harris Interactive Japan, through newly acquired WirthlinWorldwide, a Reston, Virginia-based research and consultancy firm ranked 25th largest in the world, and through an independent global network of affiliate market research companies. EOE M/F/D/V
Harris Interactive(R) fielded the study on behalf of Office Depot from March 28-30, 2005 via its QuickQuery(SM) online omnibus, interviewing a nationwide sample of 1,962 employed U.S. adults aged 18 and over. Data were weighted to be representative of the total U.S. adult population on the basis of region, age within gender, education, household income, race/ethnicity, and propensity to be online. Though this online sample is not a probability sample, in theory, with a probability sample of this size, Harris Interactive estimates with 95 percent certainty that the results have a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points of what they would be if the entire population of U.S. employed adults had been polled with complete accuracy.
About CCH Tax and Accounting
CCH Tax and Accounting, based in Riverwoods, Ill., is a leading provider of tax, audit, and accounting information, software and services. It has served tax, accounting and business professionals and their clients since 1913.
Mindy Kramer, 561-438-4276
Farah Mehta, 212-614-4970