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Staples Celebrates The Recovery With 225 Store Closures, Sales Plunge

Tyler Durden's picture


Nothing says global 'economic recovery' like a major retailer drastically missing revenue expectations, slashing earnings projections and announcing it will shutter 225 stores nationwide. Staples, the largest US office supplies retailer, hit the triple whammy and didn't blame it all on the weather as the CEO notes "our customers are using less office supplies." Or maybe there are just less office workers? Isolating Staples is a little unfair but as the largest (and most belwhether-ish), it is perhaps time to question the constant meme of escape velocity, improving fundamentals, and cleanest-dirty-shirt growth...


The results:

The company forecast earnings of 17-22 cents per share for the first quarter. Analysts on average were expecting 27 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.Staples' revenue fell 10.6 percent to $5.87 billion in the fourth quarter ended Feb. 1, below the average analyst estimate of $5.97 billion.


Excluding the impact of an extra week in the year-earlier quarter, sales declined 4 percent.


Same-store sales in North America, excluding sales through, fell 7 percent as Staples sold fewer business machines, technology accessories, office supplies and computers.


Revenue at the company's international division fell 13 percent, hurt by weakness in Europe and Australia.

But apart from that - it was great:

Staples Inc, the largest U.S. office supplies retailer, forecast another quarter of sales decline as it loses customers to mass market chains and e-retailers, and the company said it would close up to 225 stores in North America by 2015.


The closures represent up to 12 percent of the company's 1,846 stores in the United States and Canada.


"Our customers are using less office supplies...


Staples said it had initiated a multi-year cost reduction plan that was expected to generate annualized pretax cost savings of about $500 million by 2015.

So less Capex, fewer stores, less sales... time to announce a dividend hike and massive buyback program?

The stock is not 15 month lows... (-16% today)


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Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:01 | 4516891 Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day's picture

Lets not forget the 1100 RSH store closings....damn weather

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:03 | 4516903 wee-weed up
wee-weed up's picture

Obozo's wonderful economy!

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:10 | 4516945 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Seems it doesn't matter how clean the shirt is when the laundry is on fire.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:12 | 4516964 Chuck Norris
Chuck Norris's picture

The budget is tight for office supplies.

Whatever you do, though, never ask to see Chuck Norris' three hole punch.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:15 | 4516977 fonestar
fonestar's picture


Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:18 | 4516993 camaro68ss
camaro68ss's picture

"That was easy"

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:20 | 4517004 Obchelli
Obchelli's picture

Bullish BTFD All stocks I'm short jumped on news

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:38 | 4517093 TheRideNeverEnds
TheRideNeverEnds's picture

Indeed, supremely bullish news, new highs all around!  


Obamaphones for everyone! 

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 14:08 | 4517600 dontgoforit
dontgoforit's picture

Much of it is 'using less and less' office stuff.  I work in an office and buy from Staples (and others) - and our spend on office stuff for around 12,000 employees has been on a steady decline for the last 5 years.  The era of the iPhone, Ipad, paperless data files, etc.  Bound to happen.  The rest of it, the stinking economy stupid.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 14:47 | 4517855 Dollarmedes
Dollarmedes's picture

This whole thing is a farce. The statistics are being cooked in order to avoid the realization by the country at large that we never really recovered and things suck. In third-world banana republics, this is usually referred to as a "preference cascade."

The question is: what will be the event that cannot be denied? What is so monumentally fucked up that TPTB cannot sweep it under the rug? What stinky brussels sprout event cannot be covered up with the creamy pile of mashed potatoes USDJPY carry?


Chinese credit implosion, around mid-year?

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 15:15 | 4518029 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Staples real problem is that office supplies are not covered by SNAP/EBT cards.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:54 | 4517163 Four chan
Four chan's picture

shrinking is the new growth in the new amerika. print on.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 13:03 | 4517213 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Well, this is no surprise to me. Dragon Lady our new manager has told us all she will no longer fund any office supplies for the lab and if we care to use any we must bring them from home. So Staples has lost our contract. This is purely psychological in that this is such a tiny part of our budget the cost savings is minimal. However, it does promote in fighting which may expose some useful tactical info. God, I love my job.


Thu, 03/06/2014 - 14:10 | 4517611 dontgoforit
dontgoforit's picture

Next real change is going to be robotics - jobs will truly be hard to find then.

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 01:08 | 4520170 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Not if you're programming robots, repairing them or hiring people to do the jobs no robot can do. Robots aren't flexible thinking, aren't flexible in bodies either and the parts are incredibly expensive. The only payoff was mass-producing the same things for a very long time, very large inventory. Once demand for that inventory is gone (like in a recession or depression) there's no place for robots, there's more place for farmers & gardeners, a task very poorly matched to robots.

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 11:09 | 4521127 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Well said.

I have often wondered what the plan would be when no one could purchase the items produced by robots. The massive increase in efficiency does seem to have an unforeseen end point. One again, we revert to the beginning. What does that say about the entire pointless endeavor ?


Fri, 03/07/2014 - 17:20 | 4522876 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

I'm still fairly optimistic about technology & people, it's worked for the species so far, so as long as we ditch failed business plans of titans and instead learn to DIY the robot thing, we can adapt to markets & make more customized or modular items for lower cost. The problem now, however, is that those parts for actuators & the techniques for truly understanding future evolution of business markets & design for modular production is... beyond most people. Certainly the titans don't care & certainly the common public is too lacking in technical skill. The nearest accomplished is fab@home which is great but not amazing. It's a stepping stone but it can't end there. We'll need things more complex than layering sintered & melted molecules together and we'll need recycling & re-use of parts more clever than grinding/melting it all down to start over as raw feed to the machines.

It just takes too much energy.

I look at circuits & recycling, for example. A lot of gold & silver and even copper are wasted over time in design. All the metal's on the inside. Just imagine if the insulators were mere formable sheets stuck over exposed circuits, almost like a paint but something easily removed, rather than blocks of silicon you'd have to shatter & scrape. Just imagine if you could re-expose all the circuits, layer by layer, and just scrape them off to re-use?

Or if so many modular designs for circuits permitted replacing a clock signal & attaching them together like legos so rather than always having the most compressed format board, you would sacrifice surface area for the benefit of not scrapping the chips & boards at all as you upgrade?

This takes a bottom-up mentality for users & manufacturers, almost an origami-like design for how to assemble the chips in the first place, not something suited to a purely 2D endeavor of photo-resist etching & a culture of users that do not at all accept the buy-and-dispose approach.

That's a lot to ask for but if we can do it everything changes.

How technology evolves is going to have to take a lot of pointers from how nature evolves to be efficient. Proteins fold. DNA coils into strands. Living things consume other living things & directly manufacture their own new organelles, stem cells & put calcium into bones, teeth, etc., we don't need external factories.

Somewhere between is a bridge, or a few of them but it will take both inspiration & a cultural shift.

Sat, 03/08/2014 - 02:14 | 4524359 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Well, I thought optimism and MDB were mutually exclusive so I have now a reason to celebrate!

As one who worlds with numerous robots in my profession, I will say they have a place. Especially if there is a necessity for high throughput. However, I am continuously amazed at demands it makes on the individual for troubleshooting. When I had done manual extractions years ago, failures were easily diagnosed because the methods were fairly simple with relatively few steps in protocols. Now, though throughput is larger, more possibility of error introduced. Tolerances are in the millimeter for accurate pipeting so calibration of the various planes of the robotic arm is critical. Manual pipeting has no need of this. Timing is another issue so incubation of samples must be coordinated. Therefore, if an error occurs, all samples on the run fail because individual incubation times are disrupted.

The capital outlay for a robotic extraction device is immense. Maintenance is complex with so many moving parts. Service contracts are expensive because they must cover all technical aspects of the device many companies are not willing to share with the users. Lawyers have infiltrated the process as well as I am not permitted to use the DNA/RNA product for any other use except what the equipment manufacture as deemed contractually acceptable.

Technology in this area changes rapidly. So, unfortunately, these instruments are not recycled but trashed. Another waste of energy, time and capital that is not factored in to the cost. We had one instrument that was being scuttled and I broke off the two stirring bars coated in 24 karat gold and took them home. The service guy questioned me when he went to haul it away. I said it didn't know what he was talking about. He admitted to me he always did the same but this was the first time a customer had done so. I just maintained my ignorance and he scratched his head in amazement. I am constantly shocked how inefficient the entire process is. However I will admit I am only speaking about laboratory medical instrumentation. Other industries could be completely different and I may be ignorant on the benefits.

The problem lies in that not everyone has the technical ability to design, operate and maintain this type of complex machinery. What do you propose for the average person who doesn't have such ability? A hundred years ago he could claim some worth to society. Where is his place in our modern world? This is the problem we face as a society today.


Sat, 03/08/2014 - 06:32 | 4524521 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Yup. Some bastard was too lazy to be able to do asynchronous timing & processing, and too lazy to figure out what rate of cost of trashing equipment & samples is so counter-productive that it hits break-even with the manual method. I'm sure sometimes you can get more samples but I'm betting some situations it's much, much harder.

The "average" person will need to change with evolution regardless, and barring Idiocracy, will need to improve so the prior average will simply die off, and maybe not so simply.

When things really go to shit is when automated processes are actually very bad, prone to error, and no one in management will admit it, no one in tech support has an incentive to fix it permanently & no one who deals with it on a regular basis has the technical knowhow to do it but is easily able to explain how it fucks up the job they are supposed to do, which isn't repairing robots.

"because they must cover all technical aspects of the device many companies are not willing to share with the users. Lawyers have infiltrated the process as well as I am not permitted to use the DNA/RNA product for any other use except what the equipment manufacture as deemed contractually acceptable"

Sounds like a perfect place for open-source to enter.

Too bad it requires just a little more capital outlay than time & knowledge of programming. It will require a good knowledge of robotics & standarized actuators, a good knowledge of synchronous & asynchronous FPGA interfacing with all those actuators because that's what gives the best modular bang for the buck, being able to re-use things instead of scrapping them, and I have no doubt some other custom hardware. It just always is that way but if the design is good it will be so minimal that only a few chips need to be scrapped, not actuators, not arms, not flasks, not the majority of chips & perhaps a little upgrade to the software to match what the newer chips will control & maybe some more actuators.

Really, a properly designed machine shouldn't have you constantly scrambling to re-learn how to do your job. The nature of your job hasn't changed that much, just the demands of the machine in the aim not of doing better science but of cutting cost in dollars, hours & trying to look fancy enough to impress someone who bought/sold the equipment/contract(s).

Just imagine the selling point being "Ya, once we change software or add a new feature, you have to throw out all your equipment. Also, now instead of throwing out 1 sample with a mistake you can throw it all out, they'll all be ruined at the same time!"

Great selling tactic, right? Right.

Sat, 03/08/2014 - 23:50 | 4526837 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Yes, your assessment is quite spot on. Our original method had the problem with the linearity being too narrow. For hep C patients, most viral loads run between 100k to 50 million. The manual method was linear to 700k. So that meant we had to track pts as they were being monitored and make a wild stab at diluting their serum to, hopefully, get the reading in the linear range. The company came up with a new automated method linear to 70 million that management pounced on. Wow, now they could have a walk away instrument whereas before I would have to manually extract for 2 hours. Also no more pre dilutions! Sounded great on paper but in reality a nightmare for us. This new instrument had a multitude of problems. The new template they had chosen for their internal control was too sensitive to inhibition and numerous samples failed to amplify. I was constantly diluting these samples in hopes to get either a true negative or uncover an inhibited positive. Also the sample required for testing was 2x the amount as before so the phlebotomists we always drawing not enough for me to test in duplicate. Cost for the new reagent went from 30,000 to $70,000. As I know from this horrible experience, instrumentation doe not mean increased efficiency nor does it always translate into cost saving. It has done nothing to curb my natural cynicism or skepticism. Also, there only is so much knowledge I have maintain such a highly technical robot. Without my technical rep to help with applications and my field specialist to help with the robotics I'm dead in the water for serious issues. I like to solve my own problems not be dependent on others so the fascination for my job has waned. I did not enter this field to be a servant to a machine but that is what I have become and there is nothing I can do about it. Even more disappointing to realize the money and waste for all of this is astronomical.


Sun, 03/09/2014 - 03:35 | 4527090 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

It's the same for software. If the people on the ground aren't used as direct & constant consultants then the programmers & hardware designers better already be experts in the field they're assisting with.

Like this silly little notion:

hmm, how about the machine directly sample & test-dilute, before loading the entire batch, and how about the sensitivity of instruments be tested far in advance of deployment so if they are too sensitive or not sensitive enough,they are rejected as are all fully assembled machines that depend only on that type of sensor, so the design itself is dependent on - gasp - tested parts? And field-tested methodology?

Wow. How about that.

It's not the programmer's job nor the robot-engineer to re-design your job because they can't do your job. It's their job to reduce error & cost and it seems they didn't do either. Sure as hell looks like they didn't test it properly in field to find out what you've found out. OR, they did and they lied about it.


Sun, 03/09/2014 - 22:24 | 4529286 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

A lot of the problem in my case is companies do not consult with the actual users before developing product ( I deal with one company that did, and their instrumentation is absolutely stellar). They are aware of field issues so they address these in various releases but their fixes often introduce new errors. The other nightmare is government regulation by the FDA for the equipment manufacturers. This is an absolute disaster. New regs require software to detect any tampering with results by the user to release results with invalid QC. Believe me, there is no problem with microbiologists releasing erroneous results purposefully. I've done this for 30 years in 4 jobs and have never seen anyone dry lab. But the FDA wants the software to prevent this in case it ever DOES happen. So one day I accidentally clicked on one box that changed a parameter. I quickly clicked it back on to no avail. The software shut down and I wasted $3,000 of MRSA reagents and I had to repeat 30 samples. This is the lunacy I deal with daily.

My husband always complains it's so hard for him to design software when he doesn't fully understand how it will be used. He relished the few times he met the customer directly and got technical info before development. Often the redesigns are quite a painful process when management changes direction and I have to deal with a stressed out angry man.


Tue, 03/11/2014 - 15:44 | 4535449 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Yup. The very concept of programming or making robots for work and having no idea what that work is ... is ludicrous.

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 00:34 | 4537366 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Well, you must have a drinking or drug habit to get through your day. I myself have banged my head against the wall so many times in frustration it's a miracle I can still function.


Wed, 03/12/2014 - 22:18 | 4541440 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Plenty drinking but the computer remembers shit for me so it's ok. Reminds me of things, corrects my spelling, finds my TV shows & movies, whatever. Just wish it would dig my snow out for me. I imagine I'll be moving soon but if not I think I'd rig a hose for hot water. It costs in electricity but compared to the physical work & time to do all the digging killing my back it might actually be worth it. Cheaper than paying a neighbour kid to do it.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 01:07 | 4541903 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Dear lord I remember those days in Washington! My first winter was -30 below. Damn near thought I'd die. Everyone laughed at me because I fell on the ice all the time. The neighbors cat was killed when they started their car because it had climbed up into the engine compartment to get warm. I was aghast but everyone told me that happens a lot. SoCal girls are clueless about such things. Because I didn't ski I went stir crazy every winter. I couldn't take it. When Mr got a job in San Diego and asked me to marry him, this fish jumped into his boat so fast it nearly capsized. No more frozen water pipes. No more 360s down the road on a hill. No more falling on my butt going down stairs. Funny, most men must put out a lot of cash for courtship but I was just happy going to a crappy little apartment someplace warm.


Thu, 03/13/2014 - 01:31 | 4541937 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Hehe.  Hardship is the mother of all good relationships.   I'm only kidding because of your comment but then again, there's a grain of truth in everything I say.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 20:43 | 4545904 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

More than a grain IMHO. Some of your duels with LTER were pretty spot on I have observed. Tricky to debate that one. The few times I had, I was lucky to escape with all of my appendages still attached.


Thu, 03/06/2014 - 14:30 | 4517744 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

Lock up your pens and paper when you go to the bathroom.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 14:36 | 4517792 Dollarmedes
Dollarmedes's picture

With that avatar, you should call yourself "Two chan!"

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 01:04 | 4520163 MeelionDollerBogus
Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:24 | 4517019 camaro68ss
camaro68ss's picture

tell me about it, I now have to turn in the my paycheck Envelope after receiving my check so they can reuse the envelope for the following week. We are also using the black side of old documents in the copy machines. Bullish for office supplys  

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:27 | 4517035 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Thats OK until they make you use both sides of the toilet paper.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:37 | 4517089 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

All they need to do is to announce a multi-billion dollar stock buy-back program and all will be well....

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:42 | 4517116 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

There's an Office Max nearby I stop by once in a while, there's nobody in there whenever I go in.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 14:34 | 4517492 cbxer55
cbxer55's picture

There's an Office Depot very near me. Same story for that place, odd if there is more than one or two other people there when I'm there. 

Where I work they have office stuff, but it's all El Cheapo. I like my G2 Gel Pens, so buy my own. Buy the large box of 12. I get mooched a lot. 

"Can I borrow your pen?" Never to be seen again. LOL

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:56 | 4517177 ss123
ss123's picture

Great. Even more empty commercial strip mall buildings available for temp Holloween stores...

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 14:56 | 4517916 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

I worked for Office Depot for a short while between 2005-2008.  Saw first hand the beginnings of the collapse right there on the ground.  I knew something wasn't right as customer traffic slowed WAY down after Thanksgiving and Christmas of 2006.  Then came Thanksgiving of 2007.  We opened early at 6am which was an hour later than 2006.  We could have closed the store up for the rest of the day by 8am.  In 2006 we were hopping like crazy until noon until the next wave came in about 2pm and took us all the way to closing time at 10pm.  In 2007....we might have had a dozen people in after the rush by 8 am until closing that night.  By the time I left in the summer of 2008....except for the girl behind the copy station....I would be the only employee on the floor for every department between 7am and 6pm.  No lunch break.....manager always locked away in his office unless something really bad happned.


Just look at Office Depot stock....(remember, Office Depot borged Office Max so now there are only two office chains left) and Staples stock....and tell me where the recovery is.;range=my;c...;range=my...

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:01 | 4516894 wallstreetapost...
wallstreetaposteriori's picture

Who needs staples when you have Tesla!  Bulltards away!

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:30 | 4517056 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

There is no recovery.

There is no market.  There are only QE funded share buybacks and HFT engines.

Don't play.  Find farmland to buy and organize sharecropping.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:50 | 4517150 eclectic syncretist
eclectic syncretist's picture

C'mon CrashisOptimistic! Get optimistic like your moniker. There's going to be a massive recovery in panhandling with all the people coming  off unemployment benefits.  Panhandlers-R-us is expanding so rapidly soon there will be one at every streetcorner in the country!

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 13:45 | 4517436 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

You have misunderstood.

A mere crash is optimistic.  What approaches is descent of civilization, in a permanent way.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 14:01 | 4517540 cbxer55
cbxer55's picture

Been that way in the Oklahoma City area since I've lived here, 2002. I've seen vans dropping people off at the corners in the am, and picking them up in the pm.

Most definitely Panhandlers R Us. I suspect a lot of them are professional panhandlers. Which is why they do not ever get a dime from me.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 15:24 | 4518089 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

It has really changed in San Diego over the years. It used to be the skinny disheveled tweekers. Now it quite a variety. Some just normal looking people, mixed with the homeless and the scammers. My favorite local one walks to her favorite spot pushing her wheelchair loaded with her casts, cane and arm sling. She puts them on like going to work, sits down for the day with her sympathy sign. When she goes to Starbucks, she leaves her stuff behind. I've been tempted to put it all on and see what I could pull in.

Actually, I gave one guy $5 once. His sign said " why lie, I want a beer". Had to give him something for honesty.


Thu, 03/06/2014 - 19:58 | 4519264 Rainman
Rainman's picture

Welcome to North Tijuana, senor.

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 01:11 | 4520172 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

I remember doing that once for a panhandler. His sign said "support public fornication!" and he'd (pretend) to jack off under a blanket. It was obviously a joke but it was a novel way to get attention, a laugh & some coin.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 17:12 | 4518619 DosZap
DosZap's picture

Don't fergit the 500 Radio Cracks closing also...............musn't leave out them!

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:01 | 4516897 Max Damage
Max Damage's picture

More store closings = More QE free money for Banksters, so bullish. Thieving scum

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:02 | 4516899 Robot Traders Mom
Robot Traders Mom's picture

Bullish for Dunder Mifflin (DMI)...

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:03 | 4516901 Meat Hammer
Meat Hammer's picture

I love the sniping sarcasm.  "Celebrates the recovery with 225 store closures".  LOL.


Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:12 | 4516962 Element
Element's picture



"largest US office supplies retailer,"

So ... businesses aren't buying office supplies?! ... why? ... what's wrong with all these businesses, are they closing-down soon?

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:42 | 4517109 youngman
youngman's picture

When you go black do not want to make copies of anything..

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 13:00 | 4517198 onewayticket2
onewayticket2's picture

they should start accepting SNAP cards....

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 14:43 | 4517840 PoliticalRefuge...
PoliticalRefugeefromCalif.'s picture

I hear Barry is furious about this.. heads will roll!

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:26 | 4517026 walküre
walküre's picture

Meat, the reason why they celebrate is because they know that the vacated premises will be an opportunity for even more Thrift stores to come in. This is a happy moment.Thrifting is the new American dream.

Let's go pop some tags!

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 13:26 | 4517331 thamnosma
thamnosma's picture

I've seen this occurring in more than one locale.  Places that have been economically stable for decades have seen chain outlets close to be replaced with second hand stores or thrift shops of one stripe or another.  Guess we'll soon have a thrift store glut....the great American garage sale, while the less than 1% and their politician whores enjoy their yachts and 20 million dollar NYC pads.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:03 | 4516902 pods
pods's picture

Maybe they will become a cell phone sales company like Radio Shack, BB, Circuit City, err, wait.

If you are not doing business, you don't need business supplies.

Just another stop on the long, slow grind to oblivion.  


Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:19 | 4517002 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

If you are not doing business, you don't need business supplies.


Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:25 | 4517024 superflex
superflex's picture

Now where will I go for overpriced thumb drives?

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:54 | 4517165 Osmium
Osmium's picture

Best Buy?

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 14:13 | 4517631 dontgoforit
dontgoforit's picture


Thu, 03/06/2014 - 13:29 | 4517351 thamnosma
thamnosma's picture

They are claiming they've simply lost sales to on-line retailers like Amazon.  No way to actually pin that down unless one can see Amazon's office supply sales figures.   I think it's far more likely to be a real decrease in office supply spending.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:42 | 4517112 Meat Hammer
Meat Hammer's picture

I guess they don't really have "easy buttons", like CTRL and P.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 13:46 | 4517445 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

But if you do share buybacks to boost EPS, you can elevate your stock price as the company shrinks, all the way to nothingness.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:04 | 4516904 The Axe
The Axe's picture

The market does not about COST or one will up is the deal....

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:20 | 4516998 Rainman
Rainman's picture

Commercial real estate lending projected to SOAR in 2014 !

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:35 | 4517076 dizzyfingers
dizzyfingers's picture

"Commercial real estate lending projected to SOAR in 2014 !"

Famous last words. Every slave-to-Wall-Street will be 'very surprise' when it doesn't happen?

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:19 | 4517000 walküre
walküre's picture

Yes. Just like RE in certain markets. Everyone holding on to fantasy valuations and NOT selling because the market value is much much lower.

Less QE, stagnant or receding economy are just reducing the buy side and the exits are getting ever smaller. Once EVERYONE has to exit. As long as the CBs can float these valuations without hiccups, it can go on for years and years.

Welcome to Boreville, past Boomville and just before Bustville.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:32 | 4517063 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

As has been said over and over, there is no market.

This doesn't end via money.

It ends via oil.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:05 | 4516916 kito
kito's picture

this is nothing more than the ongoing transition to internet sales. big box stores are dinosaurs. 

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:12 | 4516960 Grande Tetons
Grande Tetons's picture

Partly true. 

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:14 | 4516976 walküre
walküre's picture

UPS and FDX don't seem to catch the wind of that.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 13:00 | 4517197 Cursive
Cursive's picture


Is it cheaper to buy on the internet or does it just appear cheaper to the consumer because merchants are cannibalizing in-store sales to increase online sales?  I'll go with the latter.  In any event, the online sales are killing all retailer's profit margins.  Who would really want to have AMZN's margins (unless they had an stupidly evil plan to drive the competition out of business).  Somebody will always do it cheaper on the interwebs....

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 13:16 | 4517274 Almost Solvent
Almost Solvent's picture

Financial Guy: Why do you think Staples and Dunder Mifflin can't match your prices?

Pam: Corporate greed?

Ryan: Look, our price model is fine. I reviewed the numbers myself. Over time with enough volume, we become profitable.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:06 | 4516923 Stoploss
Stoploss's picture

" Our customers are using less office supplies...

Ya think?

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:07 | 4516924 The_Ungrateful_Yid
The_Ungrateful_Yid's picture

Who needs retail when you have gazillions of low overhead online warehouses.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:10 | 4516940 Suisse
Suisse's picture

I used to work for this company and they were a dinosaur then. Their business model is simply out dated.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:16 | 4516984 walküre
walküre's picture

I'd agree with you if the competition was raking it in. But that's not the case either.

The entire economy, financial system and the way we are told to live are outdated. The freak show is unsustainable.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:57 | 4517178 kito
kito's picture

the competition doesnt have to rake it in for staples to go under. their model is antiquated. nobody goes to big box stores to have paper and pencils delivered. once they lose their customers and revenue to the online business model, its over. there are numerous online office supply delivery services out there. staples big box business just gets dispersed throughout the online sector. 

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:09 | 4516942 Cortez
Cortez's picture

Staples should have used the EASY button and printed money instead of trying to sell products to consumers.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:46 | 4517129 Meat Hammer
Meat Hammer's picture

Selling products to consumers.  Pfft...

That's so last 10,000 years.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:10 | 4516948 Straw Dog
Straw Dog's picture

In today's Bloomberg article on Staples, the CEO is quoted as saying that nearly half of their sales revenue is generated online.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:19 | 4516999 Its_the_economy...
Its_the_economy_stupid's picture

Gross revenue doesn't lie.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:11 | 4516953 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

This is making it harder on me to be able to see the item before I go home and buy it online. 

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:11 | 4516956 Rising Sun
Rising Sun's picture

Who needs fucking post-it notes when you sit at home and collect foodstamps????


Hey Al Gore you fat fucking pig, is this because of global warming????


YO!!!!! KRUGMAN, just shut the fuck up!!!!

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:12 | 4516959 Smegley Wanxalot
Smegley Wanxalot's picture

Maybe they should open pot aisles in Denver to boost sales.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 15:49 | 4517583 cbxer55
cbxer55's picture

LOL. Things To Do In Denver When Your Dead!

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:12 | 4516965 John Law Lives
John Law Lives's picture

"Staples said it had initiated a multi-year cost reduction plan that was expected to generate annualized pretax cost savings of about $500 million by 2015."

Let's see.  Cheaper products.  Wage compression.  Outsourcing.  Sounds great...


Thu, 03/06/2014 - 13:26 | 4517328 Never One Roach
Never One Roach's picture

Basically, if you can't outsource to Bangladesh or receive a slice of QE from the Fed or get Crazy Eddie [or Dewey LLC] to cook your books, you're history.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:13 | 4516969 Ban KKiller
Ban KKiller's picture

But I just got my "black" card as a valued print customer! 

I buy supplies online. Only use their print facilities. Just like they say!

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:13 | 4516972 shermacman
shermacman's picture

Time to start a war someplace. Get people's minds of this whole economy thingy.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:16 | 4516988 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Close Washington D.C. too.

Evict Obama.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:26 | 4516990 foodstampbarry
foodstampbarry's picture

The strip joint down the road from me has a 2 for 1 table dances sign out front... Things are getting desperate.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 15:57 | 4518262 dark_matter
dark_matter's picture

Is that two dancers at once or one dancer twice. Enquiring minds want to know.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:20 | 4516992 Smegley Wanxalot
Smegley Wanxalot's picture

Last time I went to Staples here's how the checkout went:


Cashier: Will that be all?

Me: yup.

Cashier: Would you like to donate to breast cancer research?

Me: no.

Cashier: Would you like to donate to feed the homeless?

Me: no. I said that will be all.

Cashier: Would you like to donate to

Me: Would you quit bothering me with that bullshit and check me out.  I'm never coming back here.  Leave me the fuck alone already.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:32 | 4517065 BuddyEffed
BuddyEffed's picture

I suspect that most if not all of those donations that companies are foisting at you (give a dollar, leave some spare change in this container at checkout, etc) are then collected up, and the company gives the money to some charity that has a status of being tax deductible.  Then at tax time, those companies use your money to get a tax deduction so they can show more profit for their shareholders.   Can anyone confirm?

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:39 | 4517101 Smegley Wanxalot
Smegley Wanxalot's picture

I've often suspected the same thing.  I know I don't get the deduction, but I guarantee someone does ... if the money ever makes it to the charity at all.

It's the same with that "let's all contribute and buy the boss a birthday gift" bullshit.  The person who gets the credit for giving the gift in the boss's eye is the braindead bimbo who gets up and hands it to his ass, but everyone else is expected to pay.  Fuck that.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:44 | 4517123 ncdirtdigger
ncdirtdigger's picture

I advise all my employees that the only gift I want from them, is the labor that I am paying them for. NOW GET BACK TO WORK!

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:18 | 4516994 Sofa King
Sofa King's picture

Something was up last year when they started selling doo-dads.

Last week I went in for supplies and found that they have increase the amount of cleaning supplies and household items plus they now have an isle with tools, small hardware and Scrubs for medical and lab workers. 

To add this garbage they stop carrying things I needed.  Online I go.

First Starbucks misses numbers now Staples...

Sell Blue Chips and invest in that "Girls in Underwear Coffe Shop" stock they have been pushing on Bloomberg and CNBC this week.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 13:07 | 4517232 QQQBall
QQQBall's picture

They stopped carrying cases of legal paper. So I go on line and get some special for the second case; and they delivered free. The toner cartridges are way cheaper via Amazon and they are delivered.  

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 13:25 | 4517322 Meat Hammer
Meat Hammer's picture

You know who didn't miss numbers?  Smith & Wesson, bitchez.  Up 18% yesterday. 

What does that tell you?

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:19 | 4517001 yogibear
yogibear's picture

Bullish. Down is up, up is much higher up.

Layoffs are positive as well as store closings. All perception and talking up marlkets.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:23 | 4517016 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"Nothing says global 'economic recovery' like a major retailer drastically missing revenue expectations, slashing earnings projections and announcing it will shutter 225 stores nationwide."


That was easy.

That was easy

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:23 | 4517017 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

Being that "everything happens on the margins," I wonder how many of those stores would stay open if not for the added costs and regulations of Obamacare?!



Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:27 | 4517031 walküre
walküre's picture

Yippee! More room for Thrift stores!

Yeah, let's go pop some tags!

Thrifting the new American dream!

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:28 | 4517036 BuddyEffed
BuddyEffed's picture


Thu, 03/06/2014 - 15:54 | 4518252 dark_matter
dark_matter's picture

Its when they get about 5 minutes apart that you have to worry.

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?


Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:28 | 4517041 daemon
daemon's picture

" Or maybe there are just less office workers? "

Fair assumption. Maybe Staples should begin selling bartender aprons.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:28 | 4517043 Mi Naem
Mi Naem's picture

"Staples Celebrates The Recovery With 225 Store Closures, Sales Plunge"

Great title!  hilarious. 

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:29 | 4517045 Tsar Pointless
Tsar Pointless's picture

Bullish, damnit, BULLISH!

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 14:10 | 4517603 cbxer55
cbxer55's picture


Thu, 03/06/2014 - 15:52 | 4518243 dark_matter
dark_matter's picture


Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:29 | 4517048 BeetleBailey
BeetleBailey's picture

Fucking God Damned BULLISH!

Why the fuck not?

Up is Up

Down is UP

Keep buying......

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:29 | 4517049 seek
seek's picture

OT, and I'm sure soon to be a ZH headline: Newsweek apparently has found (and outed) Satoshi Nakamoto


Thu, 03/06/2014 - 13:25 | 4517318 adr
adr's picture

The man really behind Bitcoin is Andresen and he pushed Bitcoin for the selfish reasons of making him immensely rich as one of the men at the top of the pyramid. As he says he has made $800 per penny he invested in Bitcoin.

Clearly Bitcoin was co-opted by a group of people looking to run a pyramid scheme. The same as thousands before it, just with a different form.

Satoshi created Bitcoin for fun, maybe just because he wanted to. It's pretty obvious he doesn't have anything invested in Bitcoin or profited from it. Like most real inventors.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 13:32 | 4517368 seek
seek's picture

He's sitting on about a half billion worth of bitcoin, he just hasn't realized the profits in any other currency.

I don't believe the core developers are looking to run a pyramid scheme, but I'll leave that discussion for another day.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 13:44 | 4517429 Peak Finance
Peak Finance's picture


What complete bullshit, the article is fabricated

stopped reading right here:

"I don't think he's in any trouble," I say. "I would like to ask him about Bitcoin. This man is Satoshi Nakamoto."

"What?" The police officer balks. "This is the guy who created Bitcoin? It looks like he's living a pretty humble life."

LOLZ the cop KNEW who this guy was? Dream on.  The cop MIGHT be able to name the inventor of bacon and that's about it. lolz 



Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:30 | 4517053 starman
starman's picture

its a recovery allright! from all the over building overspending overvaluing over speculating!

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:32 | 4517068 highly debtful
highly debtful's picture

Strange, the more things are looking up, the more chicks I'm buying. And containers for water storage. And lamp oil. And I'm selling eggs these days. Everybody needs eggs.

I'm also thinking about a couple of milk goats. And perhaps a hog. Everybody needs milk. And everybody loves bacon. 

Not so long ago, one of my colleagues aked me: "You can buy eggs in super markets these days, you know that, don't you? And they have all kinds of meat on their shelves, too."

Yes, she thought that was real funny. 

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:39 | 4517095 ncdirtdigger
ncdirtdigger's picture

But does your meat come with antibiotics and Yersinia enterocolitica added for my benefit?

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:49 | 4517142 highly debtful
highly debtful's picture

Nah, I'm trying something new: chicken meat of poultry that has been fed wholesome grains and seeds and everything the animals themselves can find in a clean natural environment. It's a new approach, but who knows, maybe the meat will taste all right that way? 

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 14:01 | 4517543 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

You must be one of them green commies.    Sounds radical to me!

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:36 | 4517079 ncdirtdigger
ncdirtdigger's picture

Just think of all the opportunities the newly unemployed, former Staples workers will have. Between being fired and Obozocare, life is all unicorns & skittles.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 15:23 | 4518080 PoliticalRefuge...
PoliticalRefugeefromCalif.'s picture

In a couple of years they might be eating those unicorns instead of riding them.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:36 | 4517080 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

It doesn't matter.

The immoral people will never be punished regardless of what happens; therefore the doomer itch will never be satisfied.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 15:49 | 4518230 dark_matter
dark_matter's picture

"But the time comes on when, though the pleasure becomes less and less and the craving fiercer and fiercer, and though he knows that joy can never come that way, yet he prefers to joy the mere fondling of unappeasable lust and would not have it taken from him. He'd fight to the death to keep it.  He'd like to be able to scratch: but even when he can scratch no more he'd rather itch than not."

C S Lews

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:37 | 4517085 shanearthur
shanearthur's picture

I keep wondering if in 5 years time, will the only retail shops left be gas stations and Wal-Marts?

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:41 | 4517107 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

I donno, in my debt inflated bucolic college town they are just finishing up a retail shopping mall.  It currently has a Target and just got a TJMax.   Now these new smaller stores can sit mostly empty with the rest of empty retail stores which have been converted to restaurants, mostly.  

There's no shortage of loot in town, but i was surprised to see more retail store-space being built.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:47 | 4517130 dobermangang
dobermangang's picture

The only things selling well are: Guns, Ammo, Lotto Scratch-Off tickets, Duck Dynasty T-Shirts, Grand Theft Auto V and some high-end luxury cars.  Lots of retail store closings coming to a strip mall near you!

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:50 | 4517147 ImReady
ImReady's picture

Bullish for the "Space Available" Franchise! What's the Ticker symbol for that?

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:51 | 4517152 Luapnor
Luapnor's picture

As Staples replaced the ma and pa stationary and office supply store, so goes the internet stores replacing Staples as the evolution of merchantilism marches on....

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 13:11 | 4517251 adr
adr's picture


Thu, 03/06/2014 - 15:46 | 4518209 dark_matter
dark_matter's picture

Romney always claimed credit for Staples. Maybe he should have invented Amazon instead.

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 00:17 | 4520091 DeFeralCat
DeFeralCat's picture

I liked your insight however I would suggest that the concept of the dollar store has had a negative impact on Staples as well. I can buy three nice pens for a dollar at the dollar store; they cost significantly more at Staples. Staples made their money by outsourcing for supply; their demise is that the established supply is then sold more cheaply. What goes around, comes around.

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 00:18 | 4520098 DeFeralCat
DeFeralCat's picture

Apologies as I tend to stutter. 

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 00:17 | 4520093 DeFeralCat
DeFeralCat's picture

I liked your insight however I would suggest that the concept of the dollar store has had a negative impact on Staples as well. I can buy three nice pens for a dollar at the dollar store; they cost significantly more at Staples. Staples made their money by outsourcing for supply; their demise is that the established supply is then sold more cheaply. What goes around, comes around.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 13:04 | 4517216 eaglerock
eaglerock's picture

I think the issue is that Dunder Mifflin is kicking Staples' ass in the market.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 13:09 | 4517241 papaswamp
papaswamp's picture

...and in other news... Goodwill is expanding their store locations due to large supply of retail space and new communities in need....

Just kidding...they cant afford the space either.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 13:10 | 4517245 pacboot
pacboot's picture

But they partnered with the USPS!  I mean, the mail system is the utimate in excellent business modeling. How an this be?


Thu, 03/06/2014 - 13:10 | 4517248 adr
adr's picture

It's ok Tesla, Facebook, Netflix, and Amazon will come to the rescue with jobs for everyone.

Oh they employ about 10000 people together across their couple hundred billion market cap. I'm not going to count the bullshit Amazon fulfillment center employees in China that makes up 90% of their workforce.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 13:18 | 4517284 overmedicatedun...
overmedicatedundersexed's picture

As someone posted, all those food joints taking over closed retail in malls...obuma in his wisdom will ban stoves in homes, for the good of the community, you can only get hot meals in resturants, more jobs, more choice hmmm chinese vs vietnamese vs kfc vs mcd,vs olive gardenvs ....and all those ba's can wait your table.

not so good for food stores but then who like shopping for groceries? obuma's america a gastronomic mecca.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 13:21 | 4517301 cornflakesdisease
cornflakesdisease's picture

As a small business, the last place we buy anything is from officemax, staples,, office depot etc.  We buy off the internet and get a better deal, even with shipping.  Their prices are high and the their quality is terrible.  The last office chair I bought their looks like it has leprosy, just three years later.  Cheap crap.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 13:44 | 4517434 Lin S
Lin S's picture

I need a half-sized, 2-drawer metal file cabinet for the legal files and paperwork I keep in my home office.  I was going to go to Staples and look, but this thread has me thinking online is better (since you guys do that).

Can any of you fine folks kindly refer me to a good online source for quality file cabinets?  My thanks in advance...




Thu, 03/06/2014 - 15:44 | 4518200 dark_matter
dark_matter's picture

Try Amazon. Read the reviews.

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 17:50 | 4518807 Lin S
Lin S's picture


Thu, 03/06/2014 - 13:51 | 4517473 Eahudimac
Eahudimac's picture

What's with that chart? It's going down?!?!? 

Anyway, this is good for the economy. All of these new people on unemployment will now have money to spend. 

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 15:37 | 4518165 Kreditanstalt
Kreditanstalt's picture

Computers, video games, copy paper, shavers...

Never could figure out what this outfit's business model IS...seems like they sell just about everything Target does, only more expensive...

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 17:34 | 4518724 screw face
screw face's picture

Bullish......Moar Data............long Dollar Store



Fri, 03/07/2014 - 10:52 | 4521035 fattail
fattail's picture

Electronic work papers there a publically traded document shredding business?  May want to short that.

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