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Newly minted Office Max CEO Sam K. Duncan realized soon after he arrived at the country's No. 3 office supplies retailer that the $9 billion company needed a logistics turnaround not only to catch new market opportunities but to make up for opportunities lost.
Despite average compound annual growth of better than 3 percent in the $323 billion office products market, Office Max's 1 percent consolidated return on sales lagged competitors Staples (8 percent return) and Office Depot (4 percent). Duncan's review of the chain store's performance blamed poor execution, and concluded new management could meet the challenge with a new series of goals in 2006.
The company is joining several "big box" retailers that are …