Waukegan-based OfficePlus expands name, product lines
By Long Hwa-shu Special to The News-Sun October 26, 2012 6:50PM
North Chicago School District employees Susan Oglesby (left) of North Chicago and Diane Edmond of Zion along with Alderman Edith Newsome of Waukegan listen to Bob Dahlgren of Palatine describe the features of a Swingline shredder during an open house at Office Plus Solutions and Supply in Waukegan. | Thomas Delany Jr.~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 28, 2012 6:03AM
WAUKEGAN — Office Plus, a business products company with deep roots in Lake County, has freshened up its name to reflect its new directions and expanded product lines and services to better compete in an industry dominated by big boxes.
The company at 1428 Glen Flora Ave., which has been in the Trombino family for 57 years, is now called Office Plus Solutions & Supply. The expanded name aims to underline that it is no longer just a supplier of office products and equipment, which it has already gone past for some time.
The new thrust is to emphasize its expertise in offering solutions to office needs by helping clients to design and equip their offices, according to Donna Trombino, vice president.
“We are local with nationwide capability,” said Donna, whose husband, Robert, is the son of Theodora and Robert Trombino Sr., who founded the business in 1945 in a small 1,200-square-foot Waukegan storefront on Washington Street. By contrast, the company today occupies 14,000 square feet on Glen Flora.
After 54 years, Robert Jr. has retired. The privately owned business is now run by his wife and her stepson, Wesley, who is president.
Pointing to the company’s new focus, Donna stressed its experienced staff and expanded product lines.
“We have a team of people with an average of 15 years of experience. Three have been with us 25 years. They have strong knowledge of office needs,” she said of her staff of 27 people.
“We’re a solution service company. With the best possible customer service we offer in the industry, we can compete with the big boxes,” she added, pointing out the company will deliver, set up and service the products it sells.
To pare down overhead, Office Plus, however, has closed its retail store. Nevertheless, customers can still place their orders at the company or online and pick up their goods on Glen Flora, where the company maintains a warehouse.
To better serve its clients, the company has expanded its selection to 40,000 products of top brands, from paper and pens to office machines to furniture. To meet the rising demand of green products, it is offering recycled and recyclable products like rechargeable batteries, remanufactured ink and toners, rewriteable CDs, DVDs and flash drives.
In addition, it carries cleaning supplies and even snack items like nuts, chips, candy bars, soups, soft and energy drinks and bottled water. To underline its broadening offering, the company has adopted the slogan: “Office Plus is where it all adds up.”
Office Plus also has given its support to Waukegan in various ways, including donating 5¼ acres on Glen Flora at Western Avenue to a Head Start school.
“We’re always in support of Waukegan. We’ve done many things quietly, behind the scenes, without publicity,” said Robert Trombino Jr.