Office Depot vs. Staples — Which is the Ultimate Office Supply Store?


Staples announced they’d start selling The Cube 3-D printers, with the first ones going on sale on Staples.com today. This makes Staples the first major U.S retailer to carry this new technology, which is expected to hit stores in June.

With Staples in the news because of this major announcement, we thought we’d put Staples head-to-head with rival Office Depot and see how the two major office supply companies match up.

The Contenders

OFFICE DEPOToffice depot logo
Founded: 1986
CEO: Neil R. Austrian
HQ: Boca Raton, FL
Locations: 1,641 (as of 2011)
Likes on Facebook: 356,513
Stock Price as of April 19, 2013: $3.80 per share, 52 week change 27.52%
Gross Profit: 3.25 billion
Number of Employees: 38,000
Offers Price Matching: Yes
STAPLESstaples logo
Founded: 1986
CEO: Ronald L. Sargent
HQ: Framingham, MA
Locations: 2,281 (as of 2010)
Likes on Facebook: 648,396
Stock Price as of April 19, 2013: $12.94 per share, 52 week change -15.37%
Gross Profit: 6.49 billion
Number of Employees: 50,020
Offers Price Matching: Yes

Round One: What They Sell

office depot logoOffice Depot sells a mega assortment of office supplies; everything from number two pencils to packs of pretzels, office furniture, computers, paper towels and plastic utensils. If you need a supply for your home office or your corporate cubical, Office Depot probably has it.
staples logoJust like Office Depot, Staples is a one-stop-shop for nearly any office need. Software, hardware, teaching supplies, office furniture and every item in between, you can buy it all at Staples.


Advantage: Tie

Round Two: Customer Rewards Program

office depot logoOffice Depot offers a free rewards program named Worklife Rewards. The program offers members 10 percent back on copy and print services as well as ink and toner. Additionally, there are times throughout the year where members can earn special rewards. For every ink or toner cartridge you recycle in the store, you will receive $2.00 back in rewards up to 10 cartridges per month.

There is no limit the amount of rewards you can earn and rewards are paid within 30 days after the end of the rewards period. Rewards are provided as an Office Depot Rewards Certificate. You must earn at least $10.00 in rewards to receive a reward certificate and the certificate is valid for 90 days. Coupons may be used in conjunction with a rewards certificate but purchases made with a rewards certificate do not earn rewards.
staples logoStaples member rewards program offers 5 percent back in rewards on everything and free shipping on orders placed through Staples.com. Rewards are issued monthly at staplesrewards.com, but only when the member earns a reward of $10.00 or greater.

If the $10.00 minimum has not been met for the month, the rewards balance will roll over to the next month. Staples offers special rewards events throughout the year, and just like Office Depot’s program, there is no limit to the rewards you can earn.

Members can also earn “Recycling Rewards” of $2.00 each on ink or toner if the member has spent at least $30.00 on ink or toner products at Staples over the last 180 days.


Advantage: Office Depot

Round Three: Employee satisfaction

office depot logoOf 840 Glassdoor employee reviews, 41 percent of employees said they would recommend Office Depot to a friend. Overall, Office Depot received 2.9 of 5 possible stars.
staples logoOf a total of 984 employee reviews posted on Glassdoor, 46 percent of employees said they would recommend Staples to a friend, giving the office supply store an average of a 3.0 star rating.


Advantage: Staples

Round Four: Apps

office depot logoThe Office Depot app allows you to scan UPC barcodes and add items to your cart, check out via the “in-app checkout” and get current ink-levels for most of your HP ePrint printers. And your shopping cart, account information and order history are synced across the Office Depot website and this app.
staples logoThe Staples app generates lists of your order history to make reordering simple. It also offers online redeemable rewards and current rewards balance information as well as alerting you to when your earned rewards are about to expire. You can search in-store inventory, read reviews and compare products.


Advantage: Staples

Final Round: Which Office Supply Store Reigns Supreme?

staples logoWe crown Staples as the ultimate office supply store. We think it’s great that Staples’ member rewards program offers 5 percent back in rewards on everything and free shipping on orders placed through Staples.com. We also like that the Staples app alerts you when your earned rewards are about to expire. Nice touch!