A few months ago, Staples (Bureau en Gros in Quebec) announced the closure of 10 percent of its stores.
This week, Canadian office supply chain Grand & Toy, which is a unit of Office Depot, bested Staples by announcing the closure of all of its Canadian stores. According to news sources, Grand & Toy receives as little as 3 percent of its business from walk-ins. It conducts the bulk of its business through online and catalog sales, or direct sales from a marketing representative.
Still, the closing of Grand & Toy feels like the end of an era. It’s the oldest Canadian office chain,founded in Toronto in 1882, run as a local, independent company for the next 108 years. A restaurant chain bought it in 1990 (I have no idea why), then OfficeMax bought the chain 6 years later. OfficeMax merged with Office Depot a few years ago.
Grand & Toy has increasingly moved away from retail as a sales channel, and has slowly closed stores since. Only 19 remained. Soon, they’ll be history.
Grand & Toy will continue, but 190 workers will lose their jobs. And consumers will have to get their fix of browsing office supplies by visiting other stores like Staples, Walmart, Target or their neighborhood Pharmaprix (Shoppers).
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