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The closings will be complete by mid-2015

RadioShack isn't the only retailer closing stores this week. According to CNN, Staples announced that it would close hundreds of members of its own chain.
Staples plans to close 225 stores in North America by mid-2015, which equates to about 12 percent of its North American stores total.
Staples is looking to save about $500 million annually with these most recent closings and some other avenues to reduce costs.
Staples has seen weak sales recently, leading to the latest round of store closings. The retailer closed 40 stores in North America back in 2013 as well.
What's hurting Staples' sales is increased competition from online retailers like Amazon, where users can simply jump online to buy what they want and typically get the item for a cheaper price than brick-and-mortars (and even free shipping at times).

[SOURCE: ctpost]

Staples also has steeper competition with other brick-and-mortars, such as Office Depot, which bought Office Max for $1.2 billion a year ago. Combining these two chains offers more locations to choose from. 

In Staples' latest quarterly earnings report, online sales grew 10 percent compared to a year ago, but in-store sales fell 7 percent. 

Earlier this week, RadioShack announced that it is closing 1,100 stores across the U.S. due to a harsh holiday season with deeper cuts than expected. These 1,100 stores represent about a fifth of its total, with about 4,000 stores remaining once the closings are complete. 
The drop in holiday sales for 2013 left RadioShack with a loss of $400 million USD for that year. 

Source: CNN

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Growing Economy?
By Nutzo on 3/7/2014 4:18:25 PM , Rating: 5
Just another example of how fantastically great our growing economy is.

It’s so wonderful that nobody will ever need to work again, and we can all explorer our passions like painting or pushing up daisies…

RE: Growing Economy?
By retrospooty on 3/7/2014 5:04:43 PM , Rating: 4
Relax and just breath. It's all going to be fine. Retailers losing business to e-tailers isn't a sign of a bad economy, its a sign of customers using a more convenient method to buy goods online. Much of this is

RE: Growing Economy?
By RU482 on 3/7/2014 7:32:51 PM , Rating: 2
yeah, no kidding. I used to shop at stores like best buy, sears, staples, ect all the time. And HATED IT. Then amazon came along and made shopping easy.

/Give them the "that was easy" button

RE: Growing Economy?
By Mitch101 on 3/7/2014 9:20:28 PM , Rating: 2
Shame in the summer/fall the dollar back to school items every week are impossible to beat.

Doesn't seem to be a list of the 225 stores they are closing. Being they have 1846 stores I can imagine cutting 225 underperformers is a good thing for them.

225 by the end of 2015 . The company would not elaborate on the number of jobs being cut in the latest round of closings, nor the locations of stores that will close. It has 1,846 stores in North America and Canada

RE: Growing Economy?
By GulWestfale on 3/8/2014 8:21:51 AM , Rating: 3
i'm pretty sure canada is in north america. it's actually the largest part of north america. really.

RE: Growing Economy?
By Mitch101 on 3/8/2014 10:34:24 AM , Rating: 2
LOL True that's a cut and paste from another article. I was looking to see if anyone had the list of store closings. I have a feeling many of these will be the smaller shops and those that have bad locations near office depot/office max like by my work which is sad because I would go there at lunch to double down (Deal at Lunch location, Deal when I drive home)

RE: Growing Economy?
By wordsworm on 3/8/2014 1:45:18 PM , Rating: 2
Does Mexico count as NA?

RE: Growing Economy?
By ipay on 3/8/2014 9:30:33 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, but Staples is a store for people who work.


RE: Growing Economy?
By Reclaimer77 on 3/8/14, Rating: 0
RE: Growing Economy?
By captainBOB on 3/9/2014 1:30:49 AM , Rating: 2
Except Staples already has a strong and highly competitive online presence.

Which might be why they're downsizing? Why keep a bunch of laggards afloat when all the money is coming from the e-tail business?

I'm not even gonna get into the rest of that post, except to say you should use a more recent source than 2011 for consumer spending.

RE: Growing Economy?
By retrospooty on 3/9/2014 9:49:28 AM , Rating: 2
"To say this has NOTHING to do with our horrible economy is just being an Obama apologist"

Why you gotta bring him into this? The economy is improving as it naturally does, in spite of his efforts. Every signgle thing that happens isnt due to one man. A huge part of Staples is their B to B , and that is virtually 100% online now. As for the consumer side, have you ever been in one? Usually you see 6-10 people standing around with nothing to do asking everyone "can I help you can I help you". They are overstaffed and many stores are under used and it has nothing to do with the economy. That train wrecked 6 years ago, its on the upswing today, pretty solidly.

RE: Growing Economy?
By FITCamaro on 3/10/2014 9:22:39 AM , Rating: 4
So because people are falling off unemployment which makes unemployment numbers fall means the economy is improving? Between Obamacare and higher taxes, not to mention the constant uncertainty of what is going to happen next in the way of illegal executive orders, businesses are just bracing for the storm and hoping to weather through it.

Most brick and mortar stores are underperforming because people buy things tax free online. Prices these days have largely normalized between online and in stores. It's the lack of sales tax that really saves people money. That is going to change as more and more states implement laws to enforce people paying the sales tax. Me and my fiance are already planning to drop Amazon Prime since in a year and a half, we'll be paying sales tax anyway. And with coupons and such, a lot of the stuff we buy can be found for the same price locally.

And for the record, yes I put my Amazon purchases into my taxes this year to pay the use tax as I'm legally obligated to.

RE: Growing Economy?
By retrospooty on 3/10/2014 12:17:20 PM , Rating: 2
You guys are funny. No the economy is improving because its improving. Sales are improving, stock levels are balancing, orders and futures are looking better and better. If you cant see what every economist on earth sees that its been improving slowly for several years now you are just not paying attention. Every single economic indicator shows it is improving, not just unemployment. Don't go all reclaimer and jump all over me and say I am praising Obama - I am not... The job he has done sickens me to the core and I am ashamed I voted for him in 08. But in spite of the crappy job he has done, the economy is improving. It probably would have happened alot faster with better leadership for sure, but it is getting there.

Back to topic, this move at Staples is a smart move by Staples as the world moved toward online business. They are closing underperforming stores. They had way too many as it was even before online got big.

RE: Growing Economy?
By Just Tom on 3/13/2014 8:40:55 PM , Rating: 2
So you shop Amazon to avoid sales tax and then claim those purchases and pay the use tax. Why would Amazon charging sales tax change the equation? While I am not aware of every state's tax law I do not know of any where sales tax does not equal use tax.

RE: Growing Economy?
By GotThumbs on 3/10/2014 12:04:36 PM , Rating: 3
It's also a way to cut the number of employees...especially with Feds pushing for higher minimum wage for low skilled labor.

This is just the beginning.

The next move is Feds dictating that companies cannot lay off people and must keep current wages.

Read/watch Atlas shrugged to see how this might work in real life. seems far fetched, but maybe not as much as it used to be.

~Best wishes keeping what you earned.

RE: Growing Economy?
By inperfectdarkness on 3/10/2014 3:49:54 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. The 21st century is all about personalized shopping--and online will always have a bigger and wider stock selection than any brick & mortar store.

Hourly salesperson jobs are going away...and being replaced by website designer, programmer, and shipping handler jobs.

Nothing to see here. Move along, folks.

RE: Growing Economy?
By tayb on 3/7/2014 5:11:06 PM , Rating: 2
A bad retailer making bad decisions and failing against superior competition isn't a sign of the economic apocalypse. It's a sign of a relatively free market picking winners and losers.

RE: Growing Economy?
By atechfan on 3/7/2014 5:14:43 PM , Rating: 2
Staples is not a bad retailer and they are not failing. They are just moving a lot of their business online.

RE: Growing Economy?
By retrospooty on 3/7/2014 5:41:07 PM , Rating: 1
Yup, they actually have a great online process and a great B to B portal.

RE: Growing Economy?
By elleehswon on 3/7/2014 7:17:49 PM , Rating: 2
This is, more or less, exactly what's happening. lots of expansion on the .com side of the house. lots of investment in IT infrastructure too.

RE: Growing Economy?
By illonexxx on 3/9/2014 3:25:03 PM , Rating: 2
Wrong. If you read it says Staples own online sales grew 10% while instore sales fell 7%.

The market has changed, or does the closing of Block Buster stores also signify to you America's decline?

RE: Growing Economy?
By BRB29 on 3/10/2014 7:37:23 AM , Rating: 2
Just another example of how fantastically great our growing economy is

I don't think you've ever shopped at staples, office depot or radioshack. Their prices are ridiculous. Why even waste your time getting there and carrying that stuff home when you can go on amazon and get it for half the price. With amazon prime's free 2 day shipping, it makes online shopping more attractive.

Those online merchants create plenty of jobs too.

RE: Growing Economy?
By evabcar on 3/10/2014 10:27:59 AM , Rating: 2
staples does price match and they have free delivery as well

By Solandri on 3/7/2014 4:10:30 PM , Rating: 2
What's hurting Staples' sales is increased competition from online retailers like Amazon, where users can simply jump online to buy what they want and typically get the item for a cheaper price than brick-and-mortars (and even free shipping at times).

Except that Staples itself has a pretty good online store, with free next-day delivery for most products in most locations.

My guess would be the root of their problems is having a higher base price and forcing customers to play games with sales, coupons, and rewards programs in order to get a decent price. With, you get the low price without the games. In other words, if a store wants to structure its pricing so it can make a big profit off the lazy/uncaring shopper, it's going to lose sales to people who put some effort into their shopping. And apparently it loses more than it gains. If you think about it, all those coupons and rewards programs are just shell games - they don't improve the country's productivity. Just give the same low but competitive price to everyone without the games and hassle, and you'll do better.

While online stores like Amazon have been experiencing the fastest growth, plenty of brick and mortar stores are doing just fine and posted increased sales from 2011-2012. (2012-2013 figures aren't out yet.) I think this is a lot more complex than simply "online > brick and mortar".

By retrospooty on 3/7/2014 5:02:10 PM , Rating: 2
"Except that Staples itself has a pretty good online store, with free next-day delivery for most products in most locations"

Exactly... Staples is a huge player in office supplies for small and medium businesses, as well as some large ones too... But like most companies, where they used to send someone to Staples to get whatever good they need, they now just go to and place an order. Simple easy, and plenty fast. You rarely have an office supply emergency where you need something today as long as you pay attention to stock. 1-2 days deleivery is just fine and no-one has to go to a store that may or may not have the particulars in stock.

I bet most of Staples lost business goes to and isnt lost at all, less retail = less cost. .

By amanojaku on 3/7/2014 5:10:36 PM , Rating: 2
That list of retailers isn't a good example. 18% of them are showing negative sales growth. 33% are showing decreased b&m sales. Of the 82% that are seeing increased sales, 20% are seeing decreased b&m sales, meaning customers are switching to online purchases. The rest are in industries where people usually don't buy online (restaurants, groceries, pharmacies, etc...)

By MadMan007 on 3/8/2014 9:17:03 AM , Rating: 2
It's also kind of hard to compete against a company like Amazon which doesn't care about profits, only revenue, and is happy with near-zero margins and near-zero or negative profits.

Time to focus on core buisness
By drwho9437 on 3/8/2014 11:02:10 AM , Rating: 2
Staples and Office Depot are office supply stores. They need to focus on the office not iPads. They probably make a lot of profit on ink and gadgets but people are going to buy those online. They are less likely to buy paper, pens, office chairs, back to school items, filing folders, etc online. Can you? Yes. But when the true cost of shipping is in the price most of the advantage of online vanishes for heavy items like boxes of paper. Can staples pay the rent with just that part of the market? If they play their cards right it seems possible. There weren't any ink jet printers or iPads when I went to Staples for the first time. Go look at the operating procedure from the dot matrix era.

RE: Time to focus on core buisness
By jardows on 3/10/2014 11:37:42 AM , Rating: 2
I went to Staples last time to buy staples. It just seemed appropriate! Think that's the only thing I've purchased there in the last few years!

Lots of stores try to be too much, and run into competing against companies that are better at doing everything, but not as good at specializing. Staples could do well even with their local stores if they are the "go to" place for specialized equipment. If they try to be (just like Office Depot) a generic seller no different than the office and electronics section of Wal-Mart, they will continue to fail.

help was on the way
By DocScience on 3/8/2014 6:56:35 PM , Rating: 4
One would have thought that this administration's policies of increased taxes, increased energy costs, increased entitlement costs, and the threat of increased personnel costs from increasing the minimum wage and increased regulatory costs could have convinced Staples and their small business customers to grow instead of shrink.

Own the stagnation America. You voted for the war on business. Twice

actually, you're mistaken here
By elleehswon on 3/7/2014 7:20:35 PM , Rating: 1
Staples also has steeper competition with other brick-and-mortars, such as Office Depot, which bought Office Max for $1.2 billion a year ago. Combining these two chains offers more locations to choose from.

combining those two chains means that neither office max, or office depot will have their shit together for the next 2 years while they integrate. That is quite a benefit to staples. because of this, they can't focus on growth as much.

My Take
By Signothorn on 3/8/2014 1:58:58 PM , Rating: 1
I worked for ODP for 13 years and Staples for about a year. The problem is both companies are struggling with identity and neither know how to grow themselves out of this mess, so they are cutting costs instead. The traffic drivers to their stores has traditionally been small business, loss leading tech items and destination items, like ink & toner.

At the store level, Amazon and other online distributors have taken a big chunk out of the office supply side, which is highly profitable. Walmart and Target have also stepped up their back to school sales efforts and taken a huge chunk out of the biggest season for office suppliers. They attempt to compensate by bringing in new tech items and change to even more of a services company than they were before, the tech items being rail thin margins and services like warranties and computer repairs are about 50% margin. When they can't even sell a PC, they can't sell those services, and software during tax season used to drive a ton of traffic into stores, now people download it and neither ODP or SPLS have found a way to replace those traffic drivers without alienating their base and corporate identity.

Both companies have made significant cuts in staffing and managers, which was necessary, but have done little for morale. Their store experience for the customers is often miserable at best, with too few employees covering the floor with too much floor space for them to cover with oversized store footprints.

Staples customer service program (VIBE) is so complicated and confusing that even store managers don't understand it, so they make up their own interpretation to hit the conversion rates they are graded on to get their DM's off their back. ODP's customer service program tries to make every store in every market run exactly the same and do things like freight at the same time, regardless of when your store is busy.

tl;dr Version: There is a lack of true leadership at the top of both companies, with priorities and overall direction changing nearly by the week, because neither company really knows how to grow their business with small businesses not growing. The ODP and OMX merger was not about adding locations to choose from, it was about the ability to save money by closing locations and merging distribution centers and corporate expenses. Longer term, the only way any office supplier brick and mortar will survive is if Amazon is taxed equally to brick and mortar locations and small businesses start growing again.

"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner
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