Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Staples to close 225 stores by end of 2015

Staples has become the second major chain to announce the mass closing of stores this week, providing the latest evidence of how the retail landscape is being remade by shifts in American shopping habits.

The nation's largest office-supply company said Thursday that nearly half of its sales are now generated online, and it is working aggressively to cut costs and become more efficient. It aims to close more than 10 percent of its North American stores by the end of next year, up to 225 stores, as part of a plan to save about $500 million.

Staples Inc. would not elaborate on the number of jobs being cut, nor the locations of stores that will close. It has 1,846 stores in North America and Canada, the vast majority in the United States.

Staples chairman and CEO Ron Sargent said his company's stores have fallen short of expectations over the last three years, and the company launched a plan last year to "fundamentally reinvent" Staples.

Two days ago, RadioShack, which is fighting to update its image, announced plans to close up to 1,100 stores, about a fifth of its U.S. locations, after its losses widened during a dismal holiday season.

Online sales are affecting brick-and-mortar stores across the retail sector, whether the company is selling clothes, books or electronics.

Shoppers are buying online more, and they're also window shopping virtually, so they are making fewer store visits, said Bill Martin, cofounder of ShopperTrak, which tracks data at about 40,000 U.S. stores.

Tom Murphy Associated Press
Business Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
Stay Connected