Difference Between OfficeMax, Office Depot Detected with Sensitive Device 

A professor at Tennessee State University says she has invented a device that is so sensitive it can actually tell the difference between OfficeMax and Office Depot stores.
A professor at Tennessee State University says she has invented a device that is so sensitive it can actually tell the difference between OfficeMax and Office Depot stores.

This major breakthrough in the new field of “retail cognition” was announced Tuesday at a midday news conference attended by members of local and national media, representatives from both office supply chains and Gov. Phil Bredesen.

Professor Elizabeth Plemmons, who has taught business at TSU since 1989, says that her invention, the Office Depot-OfficeMax Articulator (ODOMA), measures subtle waves emanating from retail locations to make its determination.

“This invention will help consumers solve one of the mysteries of modern retailing: what is the difference between OfficeMax and Office Depot?” Bredesen said in his opening remarks with a beaming Plemmons at his side. “I can’t keep the stores straight, I can’t keep their locations straight, I don’t know which one of them uses ‘Taking Care of Business’ as its slogan, although I always liked that song,” the governor added.

One analyst predicted that in five years, the ODOMA device will be as common in cars of business people as navigational devices are today.

“One huge market for these will be people who work at Office Depot and OfficeMax,” says William Basta of UBS Brokerage in New York. “Both of these businesses have a huge problem with their employees showing up for work at the competitor’s store because they can’t remember at which one they work. This will end that confusion completely.”

A spokesman for the third major office supply chain, Staples, says that if ODOMA devices drive business to the two competitors whose names begin with “Office,” then Staples may change its name to benefit.

“We can’t rule anything out,” the Staples spokeswoman, Mavis Popper, says. “Office Staples has a nice ring to it, and it would put us on a level footing of confusion with the others.”

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