OfficeMax's Grand & Toy is among the first casualties of the merger of OfficeMax and Office Depot. All 19 Canadian retail stores will be closed, although the business will continue online.
The office supply chain is an affiliate of Office Depot (NYSE: ODP) and will operate online and through its customer service centers.
Executives at the 132-year-old Grand & Toy made the decision to close the brick-and-mortar business after realizing a drop in foot traffic to its stores along with a surge in its e-commerce business. The company says retail walk-ins have become a rarity, accounting for only 3 percent of sales at stores in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia and Manitoba.
"Our customers overwhelmingly prefer an online experience. It offers more products, a constantly growing selection, and convenient door-to-door delivery," said general manager Simon Finch.
Approximately 160 employees of the 1,300 staff will be affected by the store closures. Office Depot will reassign or re-allocate as many employees as possible to other positions within the company.
Grand & Toy was launched in 1883 in Toronto by James Grand and his brother-in-law, Samuel Toy. It was acquired by Boise Office Solutions—now OfficeMax—in 1996.
Staples (NASDAQ: SPLS) and No. 2 rival Office Depot, which completed a $1.2 billion merger with OfficeMax in November, have been struggling to keep shoppers from turning to mass market merchants such as Walmart (NYSE: WMT) and online retailers like Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN). Last month, Staples said it will close up to 225 stores in the United States and Canada, about 12 percent of its North American outlets.
-See this Office Depot press release
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