Comment October 2016

Final word

A couple of things in the media regarding Amazon Business caught my eye in the days prior to penning this comment. Firstly, court documents from the Staples/Office Depot trial earlier this year confirmed that Amazon Business is well and truly gunning for Staples and Grainger in the B2B supplies space – but I guess we kind of knew that already, didn’t we?

But a second piece of news shows just how high Jeff Bezos is aiming. He has only gone and lured the US government’s top procurement officer to take on the newly-created role of Global Chief, Public Sector at Amazon Business. 

That is some coup and, to me, is a sign that Amazon Business is there or thereabouts with its suite of procurement tools and services needed to handle sophisticated federal government customers – and, therefore, private sector enterprise customers too.

If that’s the case, isn’t it ironic that Amazon not being able to compete in the near term against Staples and Office Depot with large customers was a key reason why the merger was overruled?

Anyway, I can guarantee that is the last comment I will make on this page about the Staples/Office Depot transaction. Just how can I be so confident about that statement? Well, over the past couple of years, I’ve talked a lot about the need to change, and now it’s my turn. I will be leaving OPI later this month after more than eight memorable years to begin a new chapter in my career.

Wishing you all the best,

Andy Braithwaite, Editor-at-large