Staples, one of the big three office supply stores in the USA announced on March 6 that it will close 225 stores nationwide, due to falling shares and low fourth quarter results in 2013. Currently, Staples has 1,515 stores in the USA and 331 in Canada. Staples isn't alone in its struggle - competitor Office Depot is also seeing a decline in sales.
The decline in sales is attributed to two factors - consumers choosing big box stores like Wal-Mart and Target for their office supply needs and online shopping. It only makes sense. If shoppers are in Wal-Mart and Target buying everything from food, to clothing, to health and beauty items anyway, they can pick up office supplies there, too. Another huge factor in the decline of Staples sales (as well as any brick and mortar stores' sales) is Amazon.com.
Not only does Amazon have thousands of products in the Office Products and Electronics categories, but they offer two-day expedited shipping via the Prime Account. (At last count there were 16 million Amazon Prime customers.) Staples offers plenty of items on their website, but they can't compete with the world's largest marketplace when it comes to price, speed of delivery, and unparalleled customer service. And Amazon customers can order a variety of products in one shopping visit rather than visit different websites to accommodate their shopping needs.
According to Business Insider, "Staples' revenue fell 10.6 percent to $5.87 billion in the fourth quarter ended February 1, below the average analyst estimate of $5.97 billion." Staples currently has about 40 stores in the state of Georgia. No word yet on how many of the 225 stores closing are located in Georgia or the Metro Atlanta area.