Staples Will Keep Closing Stores, Nobody Is Surprised

Image courtesy of (soul_motor)

Earlier this year, Staples announced plans to close 225 underperforming store due to poor performance. Almost six months later, the office supply retailer hasn’t managed to turn things around, mostly because consumers are looking elsewhere for most of the things they would buy at Staples. Especially electronics. Turning things around will be a difficult task, since the chain plans aggressive discounts to lure customers back in.

One of the most aggressive of those discounts is their price-matching plan, which is Staples’ plan to get some electronics business back from other big-box retailers and Amazon. Notably, the only website they will match is Amazon. For this back-to-school season, Staples is doing a 110% price match: matching prices, then discounting 10%.

Will it work? Maybe. Reuters reports that the company’s overall sales continue to fall, and were down 6% in the second quarter of 2014. Sales of electronics were down even more in the last quarter, and

Aggressive discounts like the 110% price match may get customers in the doors, but will they come back to buy items that can’t be matched to sales elsewhere? Will they at least show up to buy some ink cartridges and resume paper?

Competitors Office Depot and OfficeMax merged last year to better compete against Staples, and they report that revenues are down as well. Will paperless offices and online ordering doom the big-box office supply store chains? We’ll find out in the coming years.

Staples closing 140 stores this year amid poor sales [Reuters]

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