On Monday, big box retailer Office Depot announced a new partnership with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, allowing small and medium businesses to sell beyond the U.S., and giving Alibaba a way to encroach on Amazon’s business-to-business goals.
As part of the deal, Office Depot will direct business customers to a co-branded e-commerce site on Alibaba.com where they will be able to purchase items across categories, even outside of office supplies. Businesses will receive access to Alibaba’s global network of over 150,000 suppliers which can help find more products or find other manufacturers. Office Depot shares grew by 11 percent Monday morning following the announcement.
The partnership helps Office Depot stay relevant among business as Amazon tiptoes further into Office Depot’s domain with Amazon Business Prime which, last fall, added perks like same-day and one-day shipping of office supplies to U.S. businesses. Currently Office Depot offers next day delivery in the U.S.