Staples to Adjust Operations

Following the frustrating, unfulfilled merger with its smaller rival, Office Depot, Staples is shifting from its traditional retail culture to go after midmarket business clients.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the US office supplies giant plans to close about 50 retail stores in North America this year. Meanwhile, more stores will be closed over the next three years as leases expire across North America. It is said that five stores had been closed in the last quarter.

Interim Chief Executive Shira Goodman said,“We’re moving from a product focus to a customer focus. We’re moving from a retail culture to a delivery culture.”

The company hopes to use its retail stores to generate free cash flow, but doesn’t see retail as a key driver of earnings or sales growth. Due to the declining market as well as the increasing digital workplace, Staples’ existing stores reported a 5% decrease in sales in last quarter.

The company is also looking to export strategic alternatives for its European operations.

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