It’s been a tough few weeks for retailers. On the heels of RadioShack’s recent announcement that it is shuttering 1,100 of its stores, Staples has announced that it is closing more than 200 of its retail outlets.
"Staples Inc., the largest U.S. office-supplies chain, will close as many as 12 percent of its North American stores and cut as much as $500 million in costs as online competition continues to hurt sales," Bloomberg reports.
Says the story, "Staples shuttered 42 stores in North America last year, ending 2013 with 1,846 in the region. The plan announced today calls for as many as 225 [store] closings."
The Bloomberg story also notes, "Fourth-quarter sales at stores open at least a year fell 7 percent, while sales from Staples.com gained 10 percent, the company said today."
Said Staples CEO Ron Sargent in a statement, "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.”
Bloomberg says that Staples’ shares on the stock market on Thursday, March 6, 2014, fell 15 percent to $11.35 at the close in New York for the biggest one-day decline since May 18, 2011. The stock has slid 29 percent this year, compared with a 1.6 percent gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index."