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ATLANTA, GA-Officials at OfficeMax, Inc. deny rumors from security analysts posted on Thomson First Call that the Cleveland, OH-based company is strongly considering closing its 23 stores in the Atlanta market.

A total 460,000 sf of vacant space is at stake. OfficeMax stores average 20,000 gross sf, according to its Web site.

Deutsche Banc’s Michael Baker and Dan Wewer claim the office supplies company will make the announcement during its earnings call today with securities analysts.

The analysts’ report claims, “We learned that the company may close all stores in the metro Atlanta area.” The report states, “We believe that the continued consolidation of the industry’s retail store base helps returns in the sector recover.”

OfficeMax, however, has a different view of its future here. Steve Baisden, the company’s manager of investor and public relations, tells GlobeSt.com, “Atlanta continues to be a good market for us.”

Baisden says, “There’s no basis in the comment that the analysts made.” He says, “We don’t have any plans to pull out of there (Atlanta) at all.”

Baisden says the company was not contacted for comment prior to the report’s release. OfficeMax opted not to let the rumor go unanswered because, Baisdan says, “we felt we should get our position on Atlanta on the record.”

Both Staples and Office Depot have a presence in the city and are OfficeMax’s top competitors nationwide. OfficeMax is currently the third leading office supplier among the three, according to industry rankings.

OfficeMax has 991 stores in 49 states, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

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