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CAM00515[Bumped due to factual correction.]

Looking for a good tablet bargain? Check out your local Office Max or Office Depot store—it’s possible you might find one that’s going out of business. Offices Max and Depot merged this year, and my local Office Max store is closing. (Probably because it’s right down the street from an Office Depot.)

An employee at the store told me this closure was due to the merger. I have since been contacted by a representative of Office Depot who said that no closures have been announced and any closures are “part of the normal course of ongoing annual store evaluations.”

That being said, I find it hard to imagine they would want to keep two such stores open right next to each other in locations where that is the case—and if it’s a result of annual store evaluations, any redundant store closures would probably be happening right now. So check and see if there are any in your location.

Prices are marked at 30% off of the lowest sale price. As a result, I just snagged a 32 GB 2013 Google Nexus 7 for $170 rather than its $250 list. That’s the best bargain I’ve seen yet on them. Other tablets are on clearance, too. And e-readers, computers, cases, accessories, mouses, keyboards, candy bars, pretty much everything in the store is on markdown.

20131221_103902_HDRI probably shouldn’t have spent the money, but I’ve never seen a price on a recent tablet that good. And it could be a long time before I see one again.

Looking at the article linked above, Office Depot’s chief competitor Staples seems to be in trouble, with shares trading at only about a third of what they were last year. (ODP, on the other hand, is doing quite well, having seen its share prices rise 60% in 2013.) A Bank of America/Merrill Lynch analyst’s report was pretty negative on the whole office supply industry, though not enough of it was quoted to say why. Though it’s not too hard to guess that at least part of it could also be laid at the feet of Amazon—which would also be why Staples got rid of the Amazon package pickup lockers it had been trying out on an experimental basis.

Anyway, get on down there and find some good bargains. Employees of the store in Greenwood, IN said they would be open through January 24th.

Correction: Updated the article to reflect the ODP representative’s comments. Also, I had been misreading the article’s Staples stock prices for Office Depot’s in the story.

 
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