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Staples to Reduce North American Footprint

Plans call for 30 store closings, 30 store downsizings and relocations in fiscal 2012

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Staples Inc. (Framingham, Mass.) says it will close stores in North America and Europe and reduce its square footage while expanding it online and mobile capabilities. The changes are part of a strategic plan to better serve the needs of its customers and accelerate growth. “Our vision is to establish Staples as the single-source product authority for millions of businesses,” says Ron Sargent, Staples’ chairman and ceo. “We are building on the strengths that are the foundation of our success by focusing on five key priorities: accelerate growth in our online businesses; fully integrate retail and online; improve retail store productivity; restructure our International Operations; and return cash to stakeholders.”

On the retail front, the office products company plans to reduce its retail square footage in North America by approximately 15 percent by the end of fiscal year 2015. In addition, Staples is accelerating the closure of approximately 15 U.S. stores, which will result in a pre-tax cash charge of approximately $35 million during the fourth quarter of 2012. Staples now expects a total of approximately 30 net store closures and 30 store downsizings and relocations in North America during fiscal year 2012. Plans also call for closing 45 stores and several sub-scale delivery businesses in Europe by the end of fiscal year 2012.

Addressing its online business, Staples will increase investment in online and mobile capabilities and expand its assortment beyond office supplies. The company will combine its U.S. Retail and Staples.com businesses under the leadership of Demos Parneros. Joe Doody will continue to lead Staples’ North American Contract and Quill.com businesses, and will assume leadership of supply chain and customer service operations in North America. John Wilson has been appointed president of Staples Europe.

 

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