I've been in this industry for over 2 decades and I still am. I have never run across a company that buys supplies from either walmart or Amazon. Yes walmart picks up some back to school sales, but that's not where the money is in the office supply business. It's on the the commercial side. If ODP. OMX and SPLS could exit the brick & mortar model completely, tomorrow, they would do it. In the future you're going to see a lot less store and smaller stores at that. The 35,000 to 45,000 square foot model is dead and everyone knows it. This is part of the reason SPLS bought CEXP... they just paid too darn much for it. The directors of these companies should have recognized this years ago, but they didn't.....and that's why SPLS shareholders got spanked this week.
As for the idea merging any two of the big three companies: why would any one of them merge with another company that is loaded up with stores.
That said... I sort of like OMX chances in the future...they have the least number of stores to close and a pretty good commercial division...yes in previous posts have admitted to being short OMX, but I did cover some time back. I do remain short SPLS from Jan 2011 and see no reason to cover at this time.