Office Depot may close 10 of its 52 branches in Israel and is seeking rent reductions at other locations, saying they were losing money.
Tzachi Fishbein, the president of Office Depot's Israel operation, told TheMarker that the branches may be saved if an agreement to reduce rents is struck with the landlords at the unprofitable locations.
Fishbein expressed frustration over high rents that he said his company, which is a division of Hamashbir department stores, pays at shopping malls, particularly at malls owned by the Azrieli group.
He called rental rates of 20% to 30% of sales inappropriate, and said they should not exceed 8%.
For its part, the Azrieli group said it does not comment on its relationship with its tenants.
Fishbein said he also had an verbal agreement from Office Depot in the United States, where the worldwide chain is based, to stop charging royalty fees to the Israeli franchisee.
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