Can anyone tell the difference between Office Depot and Office Max?

The names are similar. They’re both laid out basically the same. They stock the same stuff in each. They both have a red color pattern running through the store. Neither of them have a catch phrase or a branded slogan that readily jumps to mind.
There are multiple locations of each here in town and, for the life of me, I can’t remember which one is which. Heck, even if I’m inside the very building I have a difficult time figuring it out. I even shop at both often enough to figure out that one sells cardboard boxes for 89 cents and the other sells the same ones for 1.99 but I can’t remember which one does what!

I have to assume this is intentional on both companies’ parts and I have no idea why they’d want to confuse their customers like that. There’s simply no way I could walk into a McDonald’s and be at all confused that I was in Wendy’s or Burger King or even Taco Bell.

what the heck’s going on here? Anyone else get these two confused?

I thought Office Max was yellow? Now, Staples is red. And I get all 3 confused all the time! I know there’s an office store in this one plaza in Cuyahoga Falls…no idea which store it is, tho :slight_smile:

Frankly, I get Home Depot and Lowes confused as well. Yes, one is orange and one is blue. But if I’m just walking up and down the aisles and I see something, I wouldn’t be able to tell you later which store I was at unless I thought about it real hard.

To me they are interchangeable and I love office supplies. O how I love them.

I just call it Office Whatever or Office Thingie.

I’ll out myself and say that I work for one of those two in the corporate office and this is a common complaint. We have people who, when approached for a customer survey on the way out of the store, can’t say which store they just left. We have customers that write checks out to our competitor while standing in our store. We once got a cute letter from a child asking us to sell one of our recently closed stores to ESPN so they could put a store there - aside from the obvious, the main problem was that the closed store was actually one of our competitor’s stores.

Really, I can name a million differences but that’s because I’m in the middle of the storm. For the average consumer, there’s really very little difference.

Oh, and no, it’s not intentional to confuse customers. We really do try to differentiate ourselves, but it’s a lot harder than it sounds. People just don’t pay attention.

As a customer I can say I don’t pay attention because I usually don’t really care which of the two stores I’m walking into. Office Depot & Office Max sound similar and sell such similar products they could be the same company for all I care.

But if your name is totally different, like Staples, then it is stands out better. I still don’t necessarily care if I’m walking into a Staples or an Office Whatever - but the store name registers in my subconscience better.

I always confuse Office Depot and Office Max. I just say take me to Office whatever it is two blocks away.

May I suggest one of them choose blue?

For some reason the only place around here that seems to stock the particular style of little pocket day planner I like is Office Max. I suppose all the kids these days are using some kind of electronic gizmo instead of a little black book with pages made out of paper.

We only have Office Depot around here. The Office Maxes closed a few years ago. Staples is across the highway from the Office Depot I go to and more expensive. Found that out when I went to Staples after OD once didn’t have all the inks for my stupid printer which takes 6 color cartridges.

Can you name a few, in the interest of ignorance fighting?

To me the difference is very clear: Office Depot has very little variety of product, and Office Max has clueless help & difficult POS systems that take 10 minutes to check out a 2-item order.

No wait, I think I got that backwards …
Or did I?

Staples also has an awesome gimmick with their Easy buttons that you can buy (or, if you prefer, the facil button)

I don’t think we have Office Max around here, but I don’t really bother to differentiate between Staples and Office Depot. They are similar enough that it doesn’t matter to me.

I do know that Office Max carries the brand of pens that I like to use (TUL). But apart from that, if I were standing inside one, I couldn’t tell you which store I was in.

Here Office Max is in the same shopping center as our grocery, while Office Depot is far away, near where Costco used to be, in the land of the furniture stores. Our local version was bigger and more warehousy than Office Max. Staples moved to the new cclassy shopping center though I must confess that I thought Office Depot was there until I went there to buy a Christmas present.

I use both to check out products. Then I go online and buy the product from Amazon or someplace else because it’s cheaper. I will buy from one of the stores if they are having a special price for something I’ve had my eye on for a while, providing it’s cheaper than online.

And I never buy from one of these stores. I’ve caught them out a couple of time with bait and switch tactics, or hidden surcharges, and despite confronting the store manager, they don’t give a damn.

I don’t frequent any of the stores, but Staples is pretty cool because their name is on the stadium of my favorite basketball team, the Lakers (as well as the Clippers junior varsity team).

It is actually very easy to tell them apart.

Office Max is the one that made getting a rebate a huge hassle that was not resolved until I sent a letter to my state’s Attorney General.

Office Depot is the one that sends me a coupon for $15 dollars off a $50 purchase or some such thing every month, but then in the fine print excludes anything that I might actually want to buy.

I hope this makes it easy for everyone to remember which is which.