Officeworks eyeing larger stores

Mark Ward, CEO of leading Australian office supplies reseller Officeworks, says the company's stores may increase in size.

Mark Ward, CEO of leading Australian office supplies reseller Officeworks, says the company’s stores may increase in size.

While the global trend in the office supply superstore channel is for smaller (and fewer) stores, Ward has told the Australian press that there is scope for Officeworks to actually increase the size of its stores as it adds new products and services.

Officeworks’ average store size is 1,200 sq m (12,000 sq ft), with the largest location about 2,700 sq m. However, in an interview published in the Sydney Morning Herald, Ward said he is considering larger stores – between 3,000-4,000 sq m – to accommodate category expansion.

While the traditional office supplies market in Australia is estimated at A$11 billion (A$8.3 billion), the wider business supplies market is five times larger, including categories such as jan/san, office furniture, arts and crafts, tech products, copy and print and 3D printing. Ward even suggested Officeworks might sell drones in its stores.

In the SMH interview, Ward also revealed that the recent acquisition of UK DIY chain Homebase by Bunnings has led to a change at the office supply retailer within the Wesfarmers group.

Ward previously reported to Bunnings CEO John Gillam as part of a wider Wesfarmers home improvement and office supplies reporting structure. However, following the Homebase acquisition, Ward will now report directly to Wesfarmers CFO Terry Bowen.

Melbourne, Australia