On Monday, office supplies retailer Office Depot Inc. (NASDAQ: ODP) announced that it will be partnering with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) to create an online store to expand the reach of both companies with small businesses.
The goal of this collaboration is to empower U.S. small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to grow by tapping into the global business to business (B2B) e-commerce marketplace, which was most recently valued at $23.9 trillion by the U.S. International Trade Commission.
This collaboration will leverage the companies’ respective strengths to serve U.S. SMBs, including Office Depot’s deep relationships with more than 10 million U.S. business customers and approximately 1,350 Office Depot and OfficeMax retail locations. Alibaba will bring its global network of over 150,000 suppliers, a vast catalog of product listings and manufacturing capabilities, and an end-to-end technology platform that provides SMBs with a range of tools and services to grow their businesses.
Gerry Smith, CEO of Office Depot, commented:
As a trusted partner to millions of businesses, our customers tell us they want more choice in the market and need an expanded set of products and services to help their businesses grow. We believe our collaboration with Alibaba.com is exactly what they are asking for. Leveraging Office Depot’s trusted brand, local presence, and national supply chain distribution network with Alibaba’s global supplier network and well-known capabilities in serving SMBs, U.S. businesses can now access a wide array of products and services through Office Depot and Alibaba.com’s collaboration, which will empower them to compete and thrive. Through this initial phase of work together with Alibaba.com, we intend to grow our collaboration in ways that will drive even greater value and choice for our current and future customers.
Shares of Office Depot were last seen up about 2% at $3.63 on Monday, in a 52-week range of $2.00 to $3.82. The stock has a consensus price target of $3.67.
Alibaba traded up about 1.5% at $186.58 per share. The 52-week range is $129.77 to $211.70, and the consensus price target is $204.71.