The retailer is facing increased threats from Internet-based rivals such as Amazon.com Inc., a challenge that spurred Office Depot Inc. to merge with OfficeMax Inc. 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 Corp. in New York, wrote in a note to clients today. She has the equivalent of a sell rating on the shares.
It’s hard to compete with Amazon when you have the weight of 1200 stores holding you down like an anchor. This move might ultimately be good for those that don’t mind being forced online and require no interaction with the supplier.
For those that need a more sophistication from their office supplier, my best advice is to seek out a local, independent dealer. They’ll take far better care of you and their prices aren’t any higher. You’ll wish you had done it sooner.