“The future is very exciting”: Officeworks marks 25 years

Officeworks MD Sarah Hunter at the Family Fun Day in Richmond this week.

Officeworks celebrated the 25th anniversary of the opening of its first ever store in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond this week.

The retailer marked the occasion with a family fun day for customers at its Richmond store and a lunch for team members who have been with Officeworks or the broader Wesfarmers/Coles Myer businesses for more than 25 years.

It also sponsored a class of 25 students with The Smith Family and donated 25 literacy packs to classrooms with Australian Literacy & Numeracy Foundation.

“I’m so proud to be part of this exciting journey and to work with a team that is so engaged and passionate about our brand,” said Sarah Hunter, Officeworks’ managing director, who took over from longtime Officeworks CEO Mark Ward in January.

“Making a positive difference and connecting with our team, our customers and the communities where we live and work, has and will continue to be a part of our DNA,” she said in a statement.

From overhead projectors to 3D printing

Officeworks was established by the Coles Myer Group in 1994, with the original goal of opening 50 stores in Australia. Twenty-five years later, there are 167 stores across the country, a significant online business and growing B2B channel.

The retailer’s offering has also evolved over the past two decades. In 1994, the first Officeworks store opened with around 50 team members and 4500 products. The store’s best sellers were typewriters and overhead projectors.

The retailer now employs more than 8000 people and offers more than 40,000 products across office supplies, tech, furniture and print and copy services, including 3D printing. It has also expanded into new categories, such as art and education. Today, copy paper, laptops and PCs and student supplies are some of its highest sellers.

In March, the company acquired national tech services business Geeks2U and opened a massive 6500sqm store in Mentone, Victoria, which showcases both the breadth and depth of its product range and services.

Last month, Officeworks publicly announced its new parental leave policy, Growing Families, which offers longer paid leave to primary and secondary carers and extends support to more people, such as those going through adoption, IVF or surrogacy.

According to Hunter, this is just the beginning of big changes at Officeworks.

“The future at Officeworks is very exciting and the opportunity to build on the existing success of the Officeworks team is something I’m very much looking forward to,” she said.

“There’s so much on the cards in the coming year that will continue to help make bigger things happen for our team, our customers and our communities.”

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