The two companies today announced a joint program to help small and mid-sized businesses buy and sell products worldwide.

Alibaba Group and Office Depot Inc. are out to turn millions of small and mid-sized businesses into international ecommerce players.


John Caplan, head of North America B2B, Alibaba Group

“If you’re a business in Detroit, we want to help you reach customers in Los Angeles, or New York or Miami, reach customers in Mexico City or Toronto, or frankly, anywhere in the world,” John Caplan, head of North America B2B for Alibaba Group, says in a video accompanying today’s launch of Alibaba’s and Office Depot’s new international business services program.

Adds Gerry Smith, CEO of Office Depot: “We’ll provide the stability, products, services and capabilities small and medium businesses haven’t seen before.”

The two companies say their joint program will operate in multiple parts:

  • Making Office Depot’s catalog of office supplies and related products available to the millions of buyers from more than 200 countries on, Alibaba’s B2B ecommerce site;
  • Combining the sales and support teams of both Alibaba and Office Depot to help SMBs connect with new suppliers as well as expand their customer reach;
  • Helping North American small and mid-sized businesses to sell to customers worldwide through;
  • Over the longer term, making Office Depot’s distribution, fulfillment and delivery resources available—including 9 million square feet of space in distribution and fulfillment centers and a delivery network of more than 1,000 trucks—to suppliers on to help them reach U.S. customers.

Gerry Smith, CEO, Office Depot Inc.

The joint program has launched a co-branded section of—“Office Depot on”—to provide U.S.-based SMBs with personalized access to Alibaba’s global network of more than 150,000 suppliers. The co-branded section will also provide to buyers on “exclusive” product promotions from as well as in-store promotions available at Office Depot’s network of about 1,350 Office Depot and OfficeMax retail locations.

Office Depot and Alibaba say that their combined resources drive more than 450 million visits annually to website, mobile and physical store locations.

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