Staples to shut 225 stores as online competition hurts sales
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.
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