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Fast Company reports that Office Depot “is piloting its first-ever coworking space, neatly integrated into its Los Gatos, California, retail location. Yes, that means you can pull up to Office Depot and work alongside real office supplies. It sounds perfect for road warriors who are tired of working in their cars or, you know, anyone priced out of Staples’s coworking space.”

According to the story, “The coworking space comes as the company expands its Workonomy platform in a bid to be less reliant on retail revenue. In addition to the new coworking concept, Workonomy also includes services like DIY copying, printing, packing, and shipping as well as a new line of tech-support kiosks that will offer ‘direct, on-demand access to Office Depot’s technology experts,’ and whatever it takes to survive in the current retail landscape.”

Office Depot reportedly plans to expand the coworking concept to another 140 stores around the country in the coming year.
KC's View:
Perhaps it is just because the concept is new, but when I went on the Office Depot Los Gatos site, I found that it does a really lousy job of promoting this innovation - some nice pictures, but no apparent way to schedule usage time and no hint at the fees. Compare this to Staples, which is testing its concept in several Massachusetts stores and is very clear about fees and scheduling.

I don’t want to be too critical, though. I’m a big fan of the coworking concept - I’m particularly intrigued by WeWork and Industrious - and I think it makes a lot of sense for office supply retailers to venture into this space as they deal with erosion in bricks-and-mortar retailing. I just think that Office Depot needs to do a better job in marketing it, and trust that they’ll get better as it expands its services.