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Exclusive: OfficeMax Details Latest Private Brand Plans

This week, OfficeMax announced it would expand its private label line of writing products by 75 percent. The changes come nine months after a refresh to its premium brands, TUL and DiVOGA.

Kim Feil, OfficeMax’s executive vice president and chief marketing and strategy officer, said the expansion of OfficeMax products is part of a larger strategy this year.

“Expanding our OfficeMax private brand lines is part of our 2013 strategic roadmap to bring new and innovative products to our customers,” Feil said in an exclusive interview with PLBuyer. “We’re continually looking to add new, innovative products and refresh existing products within our private brand portfolio, while bringing additional value to our customers.”

Feil said that the value-added propositions for private label were important to OfficeMax, whether that was functionality, performance or style. But she said the key focus for value-added products remained in its premium lines.

“We place great emphasis on our premium brands, such as TUL, DiVOGA and [In] Place, to deliver the highest level of functionality, design and quality to our customers at a great value,” she said. “Under these brands, we strive to bring exclusively new and industry-leading innovation to the market, providing differentiation on the shelf, and providing our customers with high-quality and high-style alternatives.”

The updated line covered pens, mechanical pencils, highlighters and permanent markers. Feil mentioned in the initial release that the company had listened to customers’ desires for value alternatives; on Tuesday she said that customer feedback was a part of the refresh process for the line.

“We surveyed our customers across a variety of touch points to understand their attitudes, opinions and usage of writing products, as well as other supplies, in order to help us bring products to market that truly satisfy consumer needs,” she said. “We also tapped into industry research to aid with the development of product functionality and design.”

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