Apparel stores may be in the spotlight as the retail sector most likely to bring vacant space to the market after the holiday shopping season, but it seems they are not the only ones trying to make operations leaner and meaner. The New York Times reports that office supplies chain Staples announced plans to reduce its retail space in North America by 15 percent before the end of 2015. (It will also close 45 stores in Europe by the end of the current fiscal year).
Staples officials estimate that this will save the chain approximately $250 million annually, pre-tax.
At the end of fiscal 2011, Staples operated 1,917 stores in North America, including 1,583 in the U.S. and 334 in Canada. The closings will eliminate approximately 287 stores from that portfolio.
In the second quarter, Staples' same-store sales in North America fell 2 percent, due to lower shopper traffic; its same-store sales in Europe fell 9 percent.