FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (AP) - Staples is speeding up the closure of about
15 of its U.S. stores and plans to close 45 stores and some delivery
businesses in Europe.
The office products company also says it will
invest more in its online and mobile efforts and will expand the product
assortment that it offers to its business customers.
Staples Inc. said Tuesday that these moves and
other actions are part of a strategic plan to better serve customers'
needs and accelerate growth.
Staples is trying to adapt to the evolving needs of
its customers. Last month the company reported that its second-quarter
net income fell as sales of computers, software, and basic office
supplies softened. Computer sales have been pressured by the
introduction to many offices of the computer tablet and other mobile
devices. Traffic is also down at Staples' stores and Europe continues to
be a weak spot.
The chain expects the U.S. store closings will
result in a charge of about $35 million in the fourth quarter. For
fiscal 2012, it anticipates about 30 U.S. store closings. Staples also
expects 30 stores will be scaled down and stores being relocated.
In Europe, the store closures are expected to occur
before the end of fiscal 2012. The company has also tapped John Wilson
to serve as president of Staples Europe. Wilson succeeds Rob Vale, who
The retailer says its U.S. retail and online
businesses will now be run by Demos Parneros. Joe Doody will continue to
lead the North American contract and Quill.com businesses, and will
assume leadership of supply chain and customer service operations in
Staples expects its actions to result in charges of
$145 million to $195 million by the end of fiscal 2012. It also
foresees a third-quarter goodwill impairment charge of $790 million to
$850 million within its European retail and catalog businesses.
The company says it is still looking into
additional operational and strategic opportunities for its European
operations, which includes the potential sale of its European printing
systems business. It anticipates taking a third-quarter charge of $15
million to $20 million as it classifies the European printing systems
business as discontinued operations.
The chain will also take a charge of $20 million by fiscal 2012's end as it rebrands its Australian business.
The Framingham, Mass., company anticipates annual savings of about $250 million by the end of fiscal 2015.
Staples's stock fell 55 cents, or 4.5 percent, to
close at $11.80 Tuesday. Its shares hit a 52-week low of $10.57 in late
August and peaked for the year at $16.93 in March.
The company has stores in 26 countries in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
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