Viking Direct Enters Spanish E-Commerce and Catalog Market

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Viking Office Products Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Office Depot Inc., next year will enter Spain with its 12th international Web site since 1998.

The Delray Beach, FL, retailer will offer office products to meet the needs of small and medium-sized businesses in the Spanish market. The site at www.vikingdirect.sp will complement a new mail order business.

Scheduled for an early 2002 debut, the catalog will herald the way for a late-year launch of the Viking Web site. The site will share many features in common with its sibling sites worldwide. This includes quick ordering by stock number for catalog orders online and real-time tracking of inventory.

Both the e-commerce and catalog operations will share Viking's Spanish merchandising, distribution and warehousing infrastructure.

Spain will be Viking's 10th European market. The company has catalog and Web operations in Britain, Ireland, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Italy and the Netherlands. It also has a presence in Australia and Japan.

Founded in 1960, Viking was bought in 1998 by Office Depot, the world's No. 1 retailer of office merchandise.

Hiring for its Spanish foray has already begun. Local managers and employees are expected to staff new logistics and call centers planned to open by mid-2002. The logistics center will be located outside of Madrid, Spain's capital, and the call center in the country's northwest region.

Employees will speak both Espanol and Catalun languages.

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