It’s official. OfficeMax has signed on the dotted line and will open its first Juneau store at the Nugget Mall in early 2012.
The office supply store will occupy 17,000 square feet near Nugget Alaskan Outfitter. It will carry office supplies, technology products, furniture and print and document services. Around 25 associates are expected to be employed there.
“We’re excited to be the first national office supply retailer to serve Juneau residents and businesses with our breadth and depth of office products, technology and services,” OfficeMax Vice President and Managing Director Dan Zettle said in a media alert. “Alaska’s state capital is a vibrant city with growing businesses, and we look forward to being a part of this community and offering our support.”
Zettle oversees OfficeMax’s Alaska stores, which include two in Anchorage and another in Fairbanks.
OfficeMax Public Relations Manager Nicole Miller said Juneau was selected as a store location because it will allow them to expand on the customer base they’ve already built in the state.
“Certainly the state capital is a natural extension of our desire to serve businesses and customers throughout the state,” she said. “We’re very excited. We see this as away to serve more Southeast residents and we’re confident they’ll find this as a new, attractive office service option.”
Miller said a number of Southeast customers, including businesses, already tap into OfficeMax products and services from its Anchorage stores. She said local contract business customers already use its “Retail Connect” program.
Nugget Mall is managed by and partnered with Loveless/Tollefson Properties of Redmond, Wash. Ted Tollefson said this is a deal that’s taken almost a year of work to secure. He said the company has worked hard on this because the area needed such a supplier.
“It was a need that needed to be filled,” Tollefson said.
He said such a deal couldn’t be secured without the prospect of Petco also coming on board. Petco hasn’t signed a lease yet but Tollefson said he expects it to happen in the near future.
“We’re hoping to have additional shop tenants follow with the draw that these two stores will bring,” he said,
His company started out by talking with Staples. He said OfficeMax then came along and offered a better deal.
He anticipates the addition will bring traffic to the mall, saying, “So it can’t hurt. It can only help.”
Whenever a national retailer enters the market, a concern automatically goes toward the smaller or independent shops. What this will mean for those in Juneau remains to be seen.
Capital Office no longer sells office supplies but deals with commercial furniture systems. Owner Ted Quinn said he’s not afraid of the new store but may have to make some adjustments to combat any competition.
“In my opinion, it will have some effect on us. It has to when dealing with any large corporation,” he said. “We may have to tinker with the model we were using.”
Juneau’s Capital Office was the only branch of the statewide store that dealt in office supplies, and stopped doing so in July, Quinn said. He said this decision was made even before OfficeMax was a certainty so that had no bearing on it.
Office Plus in Juneau deals in office supplies but a manager was not in the office for comment on Tuesday.
• Contact reporter Jonathan Grass at 523-2276 or at email@example.com.