Office Depot Small Business Index Reveals Split Sentiment Regarding Future of the Economy in 2011

BOCA RATON, Fla.--()--Office Depot (NYSE:ODP), a leading global provider of office supplies and services, today announced the results of its latest Office Depot Small Business Index – a monthly survey commissioned to gauge the economic trends of small businesses in America.

For the most part, the overall economic outlook among small-and medium-sized businesses is mixed. Notably, only about half of the respondents in the latest Office Depot Small Business Index anticipate that the overall economy will improve, with most forecasting an inflationary environment and rising interest rates.

In fact, only half (51 percent) of the small businesses who have recently applied for financing for their business indicated that their bank loan was approved. However, slightly more small businesses (65 percent) indicate that they expect both their company’s sales and profits to increase in the next six months.

Additionally, the survey revealed that most small businesses (particularly companies with 20 to 99 employees) find the idea of having access to an expert providing tips on how to “better organize and file” appealing, as 70 percent of respondents wish that their current workspace was more organized.

“The result of this survey shows that Office Depot has a real opportunity to help small businesses become more organized and efficient in the New Year, as this is a key issue that currently hinders them from focusing on their core business,” said Neil Austrian, Interim Chairman and CEO for Office Depot.

With research revealing that 72 percent of small business owners think interest rates will rise this year, and recognizing that the start of the New Year means additional expenses for businesses that can make cash flow management challenging, Office Depot is currently offering a six-month, zero interest financing offer available on all new and existing Office Depot Business Credit Card accounts. Through the program, cardholders will receive no interest for six months if paid in full on all qualifying purchases of $299 or more made in an Office Depot store between January 1, 2011 and February 26, 2011.

To learn more about the small business products and services available at Office Depot, please visit your local Office Depot retail store location or www.officedepot.com. To become a fan of Office Depot on Facebook and receive exclusive content, offers and more, please visit www.facebook.com/officedepot. To follow Office Depot on Twitter, please visit www.twitter.com/officedepot.

Survey Methodology/Sample Qualifications

Interviews are conducted via the Internet among a nationally representative sample of Small and Medium Sized Businesses. The December wave of interviewing was conducted from December 8th, 2010 to December 15th, 2010 among a total of 1,001 small and medium sized businesses. Interviewing will be conducted on a monthly basis in order to track shifts that occur over time.

About Office Depot

Every day, Office Depot is Taking Care of Business for millions of customers around the globe. For the local corner store as well as Fortune 500 companies, Office Depot provides products and services to its customers through 1,600 worldwide retail stores, a dedicated sales force, top-rated catalogs and a $4.1 billion e-commerce operation. Office Depot has annual sales of approximately $12.1 billion, and employs about 41,000 associates around the world. The Company provides more office products and services to more customers in more countries than any other company, and currently sells to customers directly or through affiliates in 53 countries.

Office Depot’s common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ODP. Additional press information can be found at: http://mediarelations.officedepot.com and http://socialpress.officedepot.com.

Contacts

Office Depot
Jason Shockley, 561-438-0037
Jason.Shockley@officedepot.com

Contacts

Office Depot
Jason Shockley, 561-438-0037
Jason.Shockley@officedepot.com