Broward News

Office Depot Chooses Boca Raton as Official Headquarters

Boca Raton is now officially Office Depot central.

The Office Depot announced Tuesday that it has picked Boca as the new company headquarters, choosing it over Naperville, Illinois.

While the company has always been based in Boca, Office Depot recently merged with OfficeMax, which was based in Naperville.

The former head of the U.S. unit of supermarkets operator Delhaize Group, Roland Smith, was chosen to be Office Depot's new CEO in November. Smith then played a big role in deciding whether the company should be headquartered in Illinois or Florida.

On Tuesday, Smith released a statement saying that Boca Raton provides a better route to profitability for the company.

Smith and the company weighed specific options, such as the cost to operate out of each location, leasing prices, government incentives, expansion prospects, and, probably most important, tax implications.

The company asked both Florida and Illinois for tax breaks.

As for the 1,600 or so corporate employees of OfficeMax who work out of Naperville, the company says it will offer them jobs in Boca. Office Depot did not specify how many jobs would be available, however. Though the company says the Florida headquarters will provide "ample space to accommodate associates who will relocate from Illinois."

Office Depot and OfficeMax totaled $17 billion in sales last year. Altogether, they employ about 66,000.

There was no timetable given to when the move will take place.

"Office Depot Inc. will maintain a presence in Naperville throughout the headquarters' transition and accompanying integration activities," said company spokeswoman Karen Denning.

Denning made assurances that said the announcement does not affect OfficeMax retail stores, customer service centers, warehouses, or distribution centers.

"They will continue to operate on a business-as-usual basis," she said.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph