The perennial office supply chain has been slowly phasing out its brick and mortar interests worldwide in favor of a business to business model.
This article is based on corporate postings and accredited media reports. Linked information within this article is attributed to the following outlets: Wikipedia.org, ScrapeHero.com, BusinessChief.com, RetailDive.com, FraminghamSource.com, CommunityImpact.com, and EmporiaGazette.com.
Wikipedia features a comprehensive overview of the Staples office supply chain, which was founded in 1986: Staples Inc. is an American retail company headquartered in Framingham, Massachusetts, that offers products & services designed to support working and learning... In 2014, in the wake of increasing competition from e-commerce market, Staples began to close some of its locations. In 2015, Staples announced its intent to acquire Office Depot and OfficeMax. However, the purchase was blocked under antitrust grounds due to the consolidation that would result. After the failed acquisition, Staples began to refocus its operations to downplay its brick-and-mortar outlets, and place more prominence on its B2B supply business.
According to ScrapeHero.com: There are 1,029 Staples locations in the United States as of July 27, 2022. The state with the most number of Staples locations in the US is California, with 140 locations, which is 13% of all Staples locations in America.
However, throughout a storied history of mergers and buy-outs, as also featured on the chain’s dedicated Wikipedia page, Staples made a strategic move last year that is expected to impact U.S. operations.
Further excerpted from Wikipedia: In 2021, Staples divested its branches in Germany, Portugal, the Benelux, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Great Britain and Poland, resulting in the brand's disappearance from most of Europe. The Staples brand will continue to be used in the Benelux.
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Individual Staples locations have been closing in the U.S. since 2015 at a hastened pace, and are continuing to shutter following its European divestiture.
Per BusinessChief.com’s “Staples to Close 140 Stores,” in 2020 Staples announced the closure of nearly 140 U.S. locations due to competition from online retailers. Today, in 2022, that competition has substantially increased, which has led to the company’s new focus on business to business affairs as opposed to their brick and mortar operations.
RetailDive.com features the following chart, in its March, 2022 piece titled “After Nearly 2 Decades of Decline, What’s Next For Office Supplies Stores?” comparing Staples‘ recent performance to that of its closest competitors, Office Depot and Office Max:
Recent shutterings for 2022 include Emporia, Kansas in May (EmporiaGazette.com), the June closure of its Framingham, Massachusetts location (FraminghamSource.com), an Austin, Texas location closed on August 5 (CommunityImpact.com), and others expected by analysts to permanently close in like ratios to the closings since 2015.
Staples is in fine financial condition — and remains the country’s top office supply company in terms of location count and revenue — but with its new focus on business to business supplies and increasing competition from e-Commerce, the entity’s operational model is slowly shifting away from brick and mortar.
Europe at this time has seen the permanent shutterings of most Staple’s locations, and though the U.S. shift is expected to continue, the retailer will only selectively close its brick and mortar locations on these shores; Staples is not said to be closing all U.S. locations.
Nonetheless, I will report new closings here, on NewsBreak, when formal company announcements are made.
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