Office Depot to Close 17 Call Centers in Reorganization

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Office Depot Inc., Delray Beach, FL, announced a yearlong plan yesterday to close 17 of its call centers and expand seven others in a reorganization of its customer service operations.

The company plans to invest $22 million in technology upgrades for its seven remaining call centers.

When complete, the upgrades will enable Office Depot's remaining call centers to handle outbound telemarketing in addition to the inbound customer service calls that the centers currently receive. Office Depot also plans to install computer telephone integration systems, which give call center agents information regarding consumers who call the company's customer service centers.

The call centers that will receive upgrades are located in Cincinnati; Delray Beach, FL; Fremont, CA; Norcross, GA; Signal Hill, CA; Torrance, CA; and Westampton, NJ.

Office Depot's call centers employ approximately 1,400 agents. Under the reorganization, the overall number of agents employed by Office Depot call centers will remain about the same.

The company expects to pay $2 million during the fourth quarter to cover employee severance and asset disposal. Office Depot expects to pay $4 million during the 12-month period following the start of the fourth quarter to cover employee transition expenses.

The call centers that will be closed during the next 12 months are located in Charlotte, NC; Chicago; Colorado Springs, CO; Dallas; Dayton, OH; Denver; Detroit; Grand Rapids, MI; Houston; Lawrenceville, GA; Minneapolis; New Orleans; Orlando, FL; Phoenix; Sacramento, CA; San Diego; and Seattle.

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