The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Top News

March 6, 2014

Staples to close 225 stores as online competition hurts sales

WASHINGTON — 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.

The annual pretax savings, which the company expects to achieve by the end of 2015, will come from areas including the supply chain, sales force, marketing and information-technology services, in addition to the store closings, the Framingham, Mass.-based company said in a statement Thursday.

The retailer is facing increased threats from Internet-based rivals such as Amazon.com, a challenge that spurred Office Depot to merge with OfficeMax last year. Staples said sales in its fiscal first quarter will fall from a year earlier, the fifth straight quarterly decline, and profit will be as much as 22 cents a share, trailing analysts' 27-cent average estimate.

Staples' sales slowdown "reflects both tough industry conditions and underperformance" by the chain, Denise Chai, an analyst with Bank of America in New York, wrote in a note to clients Thursday.

Staples shuttered 42 stores in North America last year, ending 2013 with 1,846 in the region. The plan announced Thursday calls for as many as 225 closings. Kirk Saville, a spokesman for Staples, didn't immediately respond to voicemails and an email seeking comment on how many jobs will be eliminated by the cost-cutting plan.

"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," Chief Executive Officer Ron Sargent said in the statement.

Fourth-quarter sales at stores open at least a year fell 7 percent, while sales from Staples.com gained 10 percent, the company said Thursday.

Staples joins electronics retailer RadioShack Corp. in trying to overhaul its business by closing stores in the face of increasing competition from e-commerce rivals. RadioShack announced plans March 4 to close about a fifth of its stores after fourth-quarter sales trailed estimates.

Staples' fourth-quarter net income more than doubled to $212.4 million, or 33 cents a share, from $78.1 million, or 12 cents, a year earlier.

1
Text Only
Top News
  • Arizona's prolonged lethal injection is fourth in U.S. this year

    Arizona's execution of double-murderer Joseph Wood marked the fourth time this year that a state failed to dispatch a convict efficiently, according to the Constitution Project, a bipartisan legal group.3

    July 24, 2014

  • Technology plays key part in battling police brutality (with VIDEO)

    Allegations of police brutality are nothing new -- as long as there has been law enforcement, citizens have registered claims that some officers cross the line. But in the last few years, the claims of excessive force are being corroborated with new technology from cell phone cameras, police dash-cams and surveillance videos. 

    July 24, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Clinton Community School District 2013-2014 Wages

    Clinton Community School District 2013-2014 Wages

    July 24, 2014

  • techel.jpg Iowa man convicted of killing pregnant wife

    A jury convicted an Iowa man Thursday of killing his pregnant wife in 2012, rejecting his claims of innocence after the third trial in the case.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • RAGBRAI rider from Sioux City dies in Mason City

    A RAGBRAI participant from Sioux City has been found dead in his tent in Mason City in the second death during the weeklong bicycling event.

    July 24, 2014

  • Facebook continues moneymaking trend

    Facebook seems to have figured out - for now at least - the holy grail for all media right now: how to make money selling mobile ads.

    July 24, 2014

  • Deliberations resume at Iowa man's murder trial

    Jurors will be allowed to review the video, but not the transcript, of an Iowa man being interrogated as they consider whether he's guilty of murder in the death of his pregnant wife.

    July 24, 2014

  • Has the iPad lost its swag?

    The company reported this week that sales of its sleek, pricey tablet were down 19 percent from last quarter and 9 percent year-over-year.

    CEO Tim Cook tried to reassure investors that Apple's new partnership with IBM to sell its devices to IBM's corporate customers will help make iPads ubiquitous in the workplace.

    July 24, 2014

  • Health insurers owe Iowans nearly $1.8M in refunds

    The federal government says insurers owe Iowans nearly $1.8 million in refunds because of a provision in the Affordable Care Act.

    July 24, 2014

AP Video