retail news in context, analysis with attitude

As was speculated about yesterday here and elsewhere, Staples has announced that it wants to acquire/merge with Office Depot in a deal valued at $6.3 billion.

The Staples-Office Depot deal will create a retailer with $34 billion in annual revenue and 4,400 stores. It follows by two years the merger of Office Depot and Office Max, which was designed to help those two companies survive in a competitive climate where online retailers such as Amazon and big box stores like Walmart and Target are taking away sales and market share.

Ironically, the Federal Trade commission (FTC) vetoed a proposed Staples-Office Depot deal in 1997 for fear that it would reduce competition in the segment.

The New York Times reports that the deal "is expected to be closely evaluated by antitrust authorities, given that it will shrink the world of office supply retail specialists to a single chain ... But the two retailers will argue that since (the 1997 merger attempt) the business of selling office supplies has become significantly more competitive."
KC's View:
Kudos to MNB reader Jack DiSalvo, who when this story was first being speculated about, wrote me an email with the best possible description of what was happening...

Simple.  It’s dinosaurs mating.

The question is whether, in this particular case, life will find a way.