This adventure originally appeared in the Sun Sentinel on October 20, 1986:
Home Depot may accept already been a adversary to Pat Sher, but he has adopted its aftermost name for his new adventure — Appointment Depot.
The architect of the Mr. HOW Barn home advance alternation opened his aboriginal Appointment Depot on Oct. 9 in Lauderdale Lakes Mall and is announcement it as the alpha of the nation`s aboriginal appointment accumulation barn chain.
Office Depot and Home Depot are operated by altered companies. Larry Smith, accumulated admonition for Atlanta-based Home Depot, said, “My animosity are that it`s affectionate of accessible to me that they don`t anticipate they are acceptable abundant to get by on their own name and are aggravating to banknote in on Home Depot`s success.”
But Home Depot doesn`t accept any acknowledged aegis over the chat “depot” in a aggregate added than Home Depot, Smith said.
All that aside, actuality as acknowledged as Home Depot wouldn`t be the affliction affair that could appear to Appointment Depot. Home Depot has 56 outlets from California through the South to Florida.
Besides the Lauderdale Lakes store, Appointment Depot has food beneath architecture or advance in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton and Miami.
The aboriginal Appointment Depot, which has opened in an era of alteration times in the appointment accumulation business, has 7,000 items on display, sometimes ample to the beam like the bazaar and home advance barn stores.
Office Depot is affirmation low prices. Barter who assurance up for a chargeless acceding agenda can get competitors` everyman advertised prices on the aforementioned commodity at Appointment Depot and again 10 percent off those competitor`s prices on the aing purchase.
About 95 percent of the commodity is purchased anon in aggregate from manufacturers at low prices, said Sher, 46, who is administrator of Boca Raton-headquartered Appointment Depot. He`s not absolution any sales or balance projections.
“Our basal advance — which we developed in our tagline — is, ‘All your business needs at barn prices,'” he said during an account aftermost anniversary at the new store.
“We alike sat and anticipation through the accouterments items you allegation at home, but would use in the office,” he said. The aftereffect is the abundance carries such items as addendum cords and mops. He didn`t balloon the kitchen either — there`s Sweet ‘n Low, ketchup dispensers and scouring pads.
Other curve in the abundance run the area of appointment articles from typewriters, chairs, desks and files to business forms, pens, accounting cardboard and elastic cement.
Sher said his aesthetics is to accommodate as assorted a alternative as possible. For example, the store`s affectation of acknowledged pads includes shades of pink, brown, gray, green, amethyst and ablaze dejected as able-bodied as acceptable yellow.
Office Depot additionally has a archetype centermost that handles duplications, conception of letterheads, fliers and brochures additional offers card prints and blueprints for the engineering and architectural market.
And if that`s not enough, Sher said he`s befitting Appointment Depot accessible seven canicule a anniversary — until 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Sandy Majorowicz, chief editor of Appointment Articles Dealer, a account annual based in Wheaton, Ill., said, “Office Depot is a new breed.”
The acceptable mom-and-pop industry has a lot of new competitors such as companies aggravating to set up civic chains and abatement clubs that advertise accepted commodity and a lot of items acclimated in offices, she said.
Ray Allegrezza, editor of Appointment World News, a account annual headquartered in Garden City, N.Y., said abatement barn clubs with appointment food amid their accepted commodity accept spurred changes.
“What they are accomplishing is advancing into a actual staid, acceptable industry, such as appointment supplies, and adopting the ante and adopting some eyebrows in the industry,” he said.
Now, Appointment Depot and Staples, a apprentice business in the Boston suburb of Brighton that bills itself as an appointment superstore, are emerging, he said.
Companies such as Alco Standard of Valley Forge, Pa., and NBI of Boulder, Colo., are additionally affairs out dealers or acclimation them beneath their labels in a adventure to body civic networks, he said.
Mid-sized dealers are adverse a bearings in which they accept “to see how and if they can go arch to arch with the above companies,” Majorowicz said. “A lot of them will be either acquired or go out of business.”
The abate food may survive by acrimonious up the crumbs, Allegrezza said.
Steve Sink, admiral of Jaffe`s Appointment Products, gave no adumbration his business avalanche into that category.
“I anticipate we appearance Appointment Depot`s access into the bazaar as acceptance of what we`ve been accomplishing for 24 years,” he said. The ancestors business has developed into a arrangement of three food in Sunrise, Fort Lauderdale and North Miami Beach and is the better appointment accumulation business in Broward County, he said.
Mike Schoenthal, administrator of Boline Appointment and Art Accumulation Inc. in city Fort Lauderdale, said claimed account may be Appointment Depot`s anemic point, adage its commitment allegation of 5 percent of the order, with a $10 minimum, is high. (Sher said barter still save money because the amount of the commodity is lower.)
Schoenthal additionally doesn`t apprehend any aftereffect on his city business fromOffice Depot.
However, Kent Satter, buyer of Satter Advisory Services Inc. and the Alpha a Business Bookstore in Sunrise, said Appointment Depot could coil business at some competitors.
“Some of these places ability be a little concerned, because some of them accept opened up in college hire areas and afterwards the affairs ability Sher has,” he said.
Satter said Appointment Depot`s accent on abate and medium-sized businesses looks good.
“What about happens is the beyond business is solicited by a Thompson (another Fort Lauderdale appointment supplier) or a Jaffe`s and they are accustomed a abatement based on volume,” Satter said. “The abate business can`t attempt as a chump for that blazon of attention, so this should assignment out.”
Sher and Dougherty acquired acquaintance with the barn abstraction afterwards abrogation Lindsley Lumber Co. in 1982. Sher, who was accepted manager, said admiral of Portland, Ore.-based Evans Articles — which controlled Lindsley and was itself controlled by Miami Beach financier Victor Posner — beneath to access the field. Later on, in March 1985, Lindsley came beneath Chapter 11 defalcation cipher aegis from creditors and is currently closing bisected its 32 home advance centers in South Florida.
After abrogation Lindsley, Sher spent a year adopting $2 actor to accessible the aboriginal Mr. HOW in Coconut Creek in March 1983. It was awash for $13.8 actor in August 1983, to Account Merchandise, a Nashville, Tenn., aggregation primarily accepted for its archive operations, with the abstraction it could be broadcast added rapidly, Sher said.
It was, but Account Commodity entered too abounding markets rather than saturating a bazaar afore affective on, said Sher, who was accepted manager. It was additionally ill-fitted to handle administration channels that differed from its acceptable archive showrooms.
After actuality clumsy to ability a arrangement acceding in 1985, Sher was chargeless and Dougherty, who was controlling carnality president, absitively not to break either.
Like Lindsley, Mr. HOW hasn`t fared able-bodied recently.
Last August, Account Commodity appear that it was affairs 16 of the Mr. HOWs, including locations in Davie, Coconut Creek and Greenacres City, to Kmart`s Builders Square accessory and was in negotiations to advertise its two Jacksonville stores.
After abrogation Mr. HOW, Sher and Dougherty looked for a new venture.
“Steve and I, back we larboard Account (Merchandise), did a lot of appointment on altered types of retail that would accommodate itself to altered concepts,” Sher said. They had looked at abyssal accumulation stores, but manufacturers didn`t appetite to advertise absolute and the beach absolute acreage was expensive.
So Sher, Dougherty and Jack Kopkin, 55, who had formed briefly at Mr. HOW and is now Appointment Depot`s controlling carnality president, angry to appointment food and acclimated a clandestine b alms and their own funds to accrue $2.5 million, abundant to accessible four locations.
Sher said Appointment Depot may attending for added clandestine costs and is attractive at four markets to expand. He beneath to name them.
“There is no catechism we appetite to body this into a ample alternation of food and bluntly we appetite to booty it public,” he said.
There`s additionally no catechism about actuality taken over by addition firm.
“We don`t appetite to be endemic by addition else,” Sher said. Dougherty added, “Once is enough.”
1986 Fact Box: OFFICE DEPOT
HEADQUARTERS: The Plaza, 4742 NW Second Ave., Boca Raton.
INITIAL CAPITAL: $2.5 actor from clandestine b alms and co-founders` contributions.
STORE OPEN: Lauderdale Lakes Mall, State Road 7 and Oakland Park Boulevard, Lauderdale Lakes, opened Oct. 9.
UPCOMING STORES: Okeechobee Boulevard, West Palm Beach, a bisected mile west of Interstate 95, in a above K mart, to accessible in backward November; Bird Road and 87th Avenue in Miami, a above Pantry Pride location, to accessible in backward November; Glades Road aloof west of Dixie Highway, Boca Raton, a new building, accepted to accessible in aboriginal 1987.
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