Office Depot opens “store of the future” in Royal Palm Beach

Office Depot formally re-opened its newly redesigned store near Royal Palm Beach on Thursday, bringing the company’s sleeker and more business-friendly format to Palm Beach County.

The Boca Raton-based retailer announced earlier this year that it was testing a plan to make its retail locations smaller and better organized. The company’s first “Store of the Future” concept was rolled out in May at the chain’s Margate store in Broward County. Office Depot officials have said the format will be in place in 24 stores by the end of the year, with 100 stores targeted for 2017.

Thursday’s relaunch of the company’s store near the southwest corner of Southern Boulevard and State Road 7 marks the first “Store of the Future” in Palm Beach County.

Unlike the Office Depot’s larger warehouse-like locations, the State Road 7 store was designed to have a more welcoming feel.

Soft lighting, sleek signs and highly trained customer service representatives greet customers as they walk through the doors.

The new format was created with business customers in mind, said District Manager Paul Adams, who attended a ribbon cutting ceremony at the store on Thursday. Adams said the changes, which center on customer service, have been well received by both business owners and everyday shoppers.

“There are a lot of things you can buy online,” Adams said. “But you can’t get someone to give you real knowledge. That is what differentiates us.”

In addition to the new look, the State Road 7 location features an on-site “small business concierge” to help customers figure out what they need to run and grow their companies. Employees receive enhanced training in order to better answer customers’ questions, Adams said.

“A lot of people are starting a new business, but they don’t know now to get it kicked off,” Adams said. “We have people who are specifically trained for businesses.”

The store offers in-store technology services, including same-day smartphone repairs and laptop tuneups and fixes. The furniture section features commercial grade items and flexible work stations, and the computer section offers and an exclusive line of professional HP laptops.

There is also a full-service copy center with services that extend beyond what is offered at other stores, Adams said.

Despite the emphasis on business shoppers, customers can still find home office and school supply items, including bookbags, three ring binders, and pencils.

On Thursday, a steady stream of shoppers made their way into the store to take advantage of deals and giveaways centered around the re-opening. A group of business leaders from the Western Business Alliance also gathered at the store for the official ribbon cutting.

As part of the store’s opening, The Office Depot Foundation donated boxes of school supplies and sackpacks to three local nonprofit organizations — the Boys and Girls Club of Palm Beach County, the City of Greenacres and Communities in Schools Palm Beach County. Each organization also received a $100 office Depot gift card.

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