By Karen Hutchinson-Talaski
HERMISTON Despite a slow start, Office Max has opened its doors and Hermiston has proved once again it doesn't fit the mold of a typical Office Max town.
Office Max manager Justin Huff says he is amazed that despite careful planning for certain merchandise and the hours employees should work due to what are usual peak hours for Office Max stores, Hermiston has defied the norm.
Huff said Hermiston-area customers have surprised him by coming in for items atypical of a lot of Office Max customers. This, however, will give him a chance to tailor his inventory to Hermiston's particular needs.
Befitting Hermiston's uniqueness, the new store does not fit the typical big box concept. Huff says the store has more of a boutique-look to it.
"Office Max is trying to get into a warmer, smaller business atmosphere," he said.
In keeping with that warmer atmosphere, the store offers free coffee, with a place to sit and visit before shopping. Shelves are still filled with the typical items a person would find in an office supply store file folders, ink cartridges, pens and pencils, computers, and the like. There is also a print and document center called Impress which does a number of different printing jobs from making copies to binding and finishing, engraving and business cards. Customers can have customized checks and forms made at Impress, as well as other personalized items.
Office Max is employing 17 to 18 associates. Most are local people. Huff says the employees worked hard to get the store open.
Store hours are Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Huff plans a grand opening celebration sometime in the early part of December.