NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- One of my favorite television shows, "The Office" on NBC, goes off the air tonight following a nine-year run. Nine years is a pretty long time to be on the air.However, as a fan of the show, I want to say it's ending on a high note. But this wouldn't be accurate. The numbers don't currently support the statement. Besides, when bad boss Steve Carrel left in season seven, I knew it wasn't going to end well.
While it can be argued that consumer spending and poor business climate have hurt these office retailers, to be perfectly honest it seems a stretch to suggest the economic slowdown is the only reason they've struggled. They are today's Blockbuster Video. The fact they still exist is a wonder. New retail/ecommerce concepts from eBay (EBAY) and, more notably, Amazon (AMZN) changed the game for them. Office Depot and OfficeMax have not played well since. It wasn't just the traditional book stores that were endangered when Amazon caught steam. Circuit City and Media Play were killed off as soon as Amazon decided to expand and enter the realm of electronics. Today even Best Buy (BBBY), which has been a dominant name in retail, is hanging on for dear life. But as Best Buy tries to price-match Amazon, the company is suffering from eroding margins and poor comps.