Staples to Shutter 255 Office-Supply Stores Across North America

staplesStaples – the largest office-supply chain in the United States – reports that it’ll be closing 255 stores North America by 2015, posting declines in profits and revenue for its fourth quarter.

“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,” Chairman and Chief Executive Ron Sargent said.

Staples said it’s looking to generate annual savings of $500 million by the end of 2015, with cuts coming throughout the company, from supply chain to “labor optimization.”

For its fourth quarter, North American sales (excluding sales) fell 7 percent due to a 6 percent, and a there was 1 percent decline in average order size compared with the same quarter a year ago. European sales declined 1 percent in the fourth quarter. Revenue for the fourth quarter was $5.87 billion, down 10.6 percent versus fourth-quarter 2012. Fourth-quarter operating income was $388 million, resulting in earnings of 33 cents per share, a 28 percent drop versus fourth-quarter 2012.

Last month, office-supplies chain Office Depot also said it expected sales to decline 2014, even after its November merger with office-supplies chain OfficeMax. 

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