Backed by its parent, Aurelius Equity Opportunities, the office products merchant is investing millions to upgrade its B2B e-commerce sites.

Office Depot Europe—sold off by U.S.-based Office Depot Inc. more than a year ago—is investing heavily in business-to-business e-commerce.

 

E-commerce and self-service are more and more important for B2B customers.

The office supplies merchant, now owned by Grünwald, Germany-based Aurelius Equity Opportunities SE & Co., is spending 20 million euros (US$23.7 million) through the end of next year to “update and expand” its internet presence, Aurelius and Office Depot Europe said last week.

“E-commerce and self-service are more and more important for B2B customers,” Office Depot Europe said in a statement announcing the investment. “With this major investment, Office Depot is addressing this development.”

Headquartered in Venlo, Netherlands, Office Depot Europe operates in 13 countries through its two main brands, Office Depot and Viking, with retail stores in France and Sweden.

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The office supplies company has already begun relaunching its websites on the SAP Hybris e-commerce technology platform, starting out with its Viking brand websites in Germany, Austria, Ireland and the Netherlands. Those sites, launched over the past two years, have “already shown positive results, as revenues from online sales and customer satisfaction have risen significantly,” Office Depot Europe says.

The company attributes the improved performance to such things as improved site search and navigation, scalability to handle high volumes of orders, and responsive design to automatically adapt web content to any type of mobile, laptop and desktop device.

E-commerce officials of Office Depot Europe discussed the company’s e-commerce technology plans at the SAP Hybris Live conference in October, but did not go into details about their spending plans. They noted that the Office Depot branded sites will be designed to handle a higher degree of complexity to so that they can offer the company’s contract customers such features as contracted pricing and multiple levels of buyer-authorization.

Office Depot Europe operates e-commerce sites under its namesake brand in the following 13 countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

The company’s Viking brand operates e-commerce sites in the following 14 countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

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Office Depot Europe has its main warehouse in Grossostheim, Germany.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based, Office Depot Inc., No. 65 in the B2B E-Commerce 300, sold its European operations to Aurelius in September 2016, noting that the sale would free it up to focus more on its North American operations.

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