OFFICEMAX AND JUSCO ANNOUNCE JAPANESE JOINT VENTURE
TOKYO, Dec. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- OfficeMax, Inc. (NYSE: OMX), the Cleveland, Ohio based office products superstore chain, and JUSCO Co., LTD. (Tokyo: JUSCO), the Tokyo-based international retail chain, today announced that they have entered into a joint venture agreement to form OfficeMax JAPAN CO., LTD, a Japanese corporation, to operate OfficeMax superstores in Japan. This announcement was made today by Michael Feuer, OfficeMax's Chairman and CEO, and Takuya Okada, JUSCO's Chairman and CEO, at a signing ceremony and press conference held in Tokyo.
Mr. Feuer stated that initially OfficeMax will own a 19% interest in the new venture and, under the terms of the agreement, has the ability to increase its ownership stake in the future up to 50%. The parties have also agreed to cooperatively explore additional Asian joint venture possibilities outside of Japan where JUSCO already has a presence. "Japan, with a population of over 125 million people, has the potential to support approximately 200 OfficeMax superstores," said Mr. Feuer. "We are extremely pleased to be entering Japan with a premier global retailer like JUSCO, whose knowledge of the Asian market and vast retailing and real estate experience will enable OfficeMax to capitalize on this significant new growth opportunity." OfficeMax JAPAN CO., LTD anticipates opening its first new superstores in Tokyo in late 1997.
"We are delighted to partner with OfficeMax which in just eight years has grown to be one of the largest operators of office products superstores in the United States with over 550 superstores," said Mr. Okada. "OfficeMax with its retailing expertise in the office products industry will bring a new dimension to the distribution of office products in Japan, similar to what took place in the United States during the 1980's, which ultimately benefits the customer through lower retail prices." Mr. Okada added that OfficeMax's vast assortment of merchandise offered in its superstores represents a breadth and depth of merchandise not typically available from traditional office products retailers and mass merchandisers.
A typical OfficeMax superstores features over 7,000 stock-keeping units of quality, in-stock name-brand and private label merchandise, ranging from office supplies, business machines and electronics, computers and software to office furniture. OfficeMax superstores also include FurnitureMax and CopyMax, store-within-a-store retailing modules devoted exclusively to office furniture and "print-for-pay" services, respectively. Mr. Feuer also said that operations in Japan will eventually include a delivery center that will support OfficeMax JAPAN's online catalog business as well as its state-of-the-art online electronic ordering kiosk, both of which will enable customers to order over 20,000 office supplies and other products for next-day delivery.
JUSCO, one of the most prominent retail companies in Japan, arose out of the business combinations of three Japanese retail chains in 1969, one of which traces its origins back to 1758. JUSCO is the core of an international retailing business conglomerate composed of 153 domestic and foreign companies with consolidated revenues totaling US$20 billion. JUSCO's operations include approximately 300 superstores that provide food products, apparel and all types of items for daily life. JUSCO also operates various specialty stores, such as Cox, Claire's, Talbots, Laura Ashley and Aeon Forest, which operates the Body Shop stores under license. Last year, JUSCO launched a joint venture similar to OfficeMax JAPAN with The Sports Authority, Inc. (NYSE: TSA), a leading U.S. sporting goods superstore operator.
OfficeMax today operates in over 200 markets in 46 states, Puerto Rico and Mexico and plans to open an additional 125 to 150 stores next year in the United States. The Company also operates OfficeMax OnLine on the Internet at http://www.officemax.com, which enables consumers to buy a wide assortment of OfficeMax merchandise using their personal computers.
This release contains forward-looking statements which are subject to risk and uncertainties. OfficeMax's quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended July 27, 1996, contains additional discussion about these factors which could cause results to differ from Management's expectations.
SOURCE OfficeMax, Inc.
/CONTACT: Investor Relations, Juris Pagrabs, Divisional Vice President, of OfficeMax, 216-295-6698, or Tom Tsuruta, Senior Vice President, of JUSCO, 212-821-9104/
/OfficeMax's press releases available through Company News On-Call by fax, 800-758-5804, ext. 633350, or at http://www.prnewswire.com/
(OMX JUSCO TSA)
CO: OfficeMax, Inc.; JUSCO Co. LTD. ST: Ohio IN: REA SU: JVN
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