Staples shutting down 225 stores in North America as online sales increase

By Daniel S Levine,

Office supply chain Staples announced this morning that it is closing 225 stores to reflect the growth in online sales.

In its fourth quarter earnings report, the chain said its sales dropped 10.6 percent from the same period last year to $5.87 billion. However, Staples said it saw sales on Staples.com climb 10 percent during the foruth quarter.

CEO and chairman Ron Sargent said that almost half of its total sales now are online, so closing 225 stores in North America is part of a plan set last year to change the company. “With nearly half of our sales generated online today, we’re meeting the changing needs of business customers and taking aggressive action to reduce costs and improve efficiency,” Sargent said.

Staples also said that it ended 2013 with 500,000 products available on Staples.com and was also able to achieve profitability in Europe.

The office supply business is now dominated by just two companies - Staples and Office Depot. In February 2013, Office Depot bought OfficeMax.

The announcement comes just days after RadioShack said it would close 1,100 of its stores. The electronics chain posted a $191.4 million net loss in the fourth quarter of 2013.

image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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