1996 Retailer of the Year

For immediate release: 10/10/96

Contact: Margie Yu

Public Affairs Assistant

(323) 343-3047


Los Angeles, California -- October 10, 1996 -- On Wednesday,
November 6
, 1996, the Institute of Retail Management and the
School of Business and Economics at California State University,
Los Angeles will honor David I. Fuente, chairman and chief
executive officer of Office Depot, Inc., at its 15th annual
Retailer of the Year Award Luncheon
. The gala event, which
is considered to be one of the retail industry's most significant
annual event, will begin at 11:30 a.m. at the Westin-Bonaventure
in downtown Los Angeles. Proceeds from this event will
support the educational activities of the Institute and provide
college scholarships for Los Angeles inner-city high school students.

Since 1982 the Institute has recognized leading executives for
dedicated and outstanding contributions to American retailing.
Fuente joins a prestigious group of past honorees that includes
William S. "Bill" Davila, The Vons Companies; Jack H.
Brown, Stater Brothers Markets; Wilfred C. Stroud, Strouds; Edward
L. Butterworth, Fedco, Inc.; John V. Shields, Trader Joe's Company;
and Roger M. Laverty III, Smart & Final, Inc.

David I. Fuente heads Office Depot, the largest chain of
office products superstores in North America. Fuente, who holds
a master of science degree from Purdue University, joined Office
Depot in 1987. Under his direction, the office supply chain has
grown from fewer than a dozen locations to more than 500 stores
throughout the United States and Canada, with annual sales in
1995 of more than $5 billion. Office Depot is now listed on the
New York Stock Exchange and has opened stores in Columbia, Israel,
Mexico and Poland. There are also new stores scheduled to open
in France and Thailand this year.

In addition, Fuente is an active member of his community. He
is on the executive advisory boards for Purdue University, Florida
Atlantic University and the University of Florida. He is on the
boards of directors for both the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Arts
and the International Museum of Cartoon Art in Boca Raton, Florida.

His accomplishments have been recognized by the American Jewish
Committee's Institute of Human Relations Award and the Silver
Medallion Brotherhood Award from the National Conference of Christian
and Jews. In 1994, Fuente was recipient of the Excalibur Award
from the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel and was named Specialty
Discounter of the Year by Discount Stores News magazine.
In 1995, he received the Torch of Freedom Award from the Anti-Defamation
League and an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Purdue University.

Founded in 1980 by CSLA Marketing Professor Bernard Codner,
the Institute of Retail Management launched the West Coast's first
retailing major for business students and initiated a retailing
certificate program. In 1991, the Institute created the College
Incentive Program (CIP), designed to motivate Los Angeles inner-city
high school students to finish high school, enroll in college
and prepare for business and professional careers. Initially
limited to Fremont High School, the CIP has been expanded to include
five others. The program, funded by the U.S. Department of Labor,
is administered jointly by the Institute, the Los Angeles Unified
School District, the Private Industry Council of Los Angeles and
the Community Development Department, City of Los Angeles. It
also receives strong support from the retail industry. The CIP
is recognized as one of the nation's finest programs for inner-city

The School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Cal State L.A. is
the University's largest academic school with nearly 4,000 undergraduate
and graduate majors. The SBE offers three baccalaureates and
five master's degree programs and has been accredited by the prestigious
American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) for
more than 30 years. Twelve bureaus, centers and institutes, including
the Institute of Retail Management, administered by the School
provide vital services to local and national businesses, matching
the expertise of talented faculty and students with diverse community

For more information about the luncheon or reservations, call
the CSLA Institute of Retail Management at (323) 343-2970.

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