QUOTE AND NEWS
Benzinga  Jan 20  Comment 
Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS) today issued the following statement regarding the letter it received from Starboard Value: Staples values constructive shareholder input and dialogue and regularly meets with its shareholders. The Company has met...
Benzinga  Jan 9  Comment 
In a report published Friday, Credit Suisse analyst Seth Sigman downgraded the rating on Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS) from Outperform to Neutral, but reiterated the $15.00 price target. In the report, Credit Suisse noted, “On the...
Benzinga  Dec 26  Comment 
Virgin America Inc. (NASDAQ: VA) shares gained 6.95% to reach a new 52-week high of $43.85. Virgin America shares jumped 14.49% on Wednesday. Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS) shares touched a new 52-week high of $18.15. Staples'...
Market Intelligence Center  Dec 24  Comment 
MarketIntelligenceCenter.com's patented algorithms have selected a trade on Staples Inc (SPLS) that returns 31.58% in 177 days for an annualized return rate of 65%. This diagonal spread pairs a short position in the Jun. '15 $18.00 call, with a...
TheStreet.com  Dec 22  Comment 
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Staples shares are are up 0.57% to $17.65 in early market trading on Monday after the office supplies retailer reported a data breach by hackers that ran from July into September and compromised the credit cards of 1.16...
Benzinga  Dec 21  Comment 
Shares of Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS) were volatile near the close Friday as the company provided an update on a security breach. According to a press release, “Staples’ data security experts detected that criminals deployed malware to...
New York Times  Dec 19  Comment 
Office-supply retailer Staples Inc said about 1.16 million payment cards might have been affected by the data breach announced in October.
Motley Fool  Dec 19  Comment 
Staples has surged due to merger speculation. Is it time to buy?
TheStreet.com  Dec 15  Comment 
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Staples are gaining 1.34% to $16.69 on heavy volume in afternoon trading Monday after analysts at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch raised their rating on the office supplies company by two notches to "buy" from...
Benzinga  Dec 15  Comment 
When asked about the possibility of Starboard Value seeking a merger between Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS) and Office Depot Inc (NASDAQ: ODP), B Riley & Co Analyst Scott Tilghman told Benzinga that Staples management, and its CEO especially, has...




 

Staples Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS) is the world's largest office products company, generating $24.3 billion in sales in 2009, up 5.2% from 2008.[1] Not only is the company ahead of its closest competitors in terms of revenue -- Office Depot (ODP) had revenue of $12.1 billion (a 16% decline))[2] and Officemax (OMX) had sales of $7.2 billion (down 12.8%)[3] -- but it is the only one to have positive profits in 2009 -- Staples profits were $739 million.

While Staples is the overall leader, it has embarked on several initiatives to extend its lead. For its physical retail locations, the company has significantly remodeled older stores while introducing smaller store formats in less-populated areas. To increase its margin, Staples has increased the mix of private label offerings (i.e., Staples brand products) and emphasized the purchase of products directly from manufacturers instead of distributors.

In 2008, Staples acquired Corporate Express N.V., one of the world's leading suppliers of office products to businesses and institutions, with hopes to increase its presence in the international market. The acquisition has also helped the company's performance in the sluggish economy as it put less pressure on the company's North American retail business.

Company Overview

Products[4]

  • Office Supplies and Services (47.9% of net sales)
  • Business Machines and Related Products (31.8% of net sales)
  • Computers and Related Products (15% of net sales)
  • Office Furniture (5.3% of net sales)

Operating Segments[5]

  • North American Retail: this segment consists of the company's 1,555 stores in the US and 316 stores in Canada.

North American Delivery: Under this segment, Staples has its Contract, Staples Business Delivery, and Quill businesses. Its Contract operations serves mid-sized businesses and organizations through Staples Business Advantage and Fortune 1000 companies through Staples National Advantage. Staples Business Delivery operations combine the activities of the direct mail catalog business, Staples.com web site, and its Canadian Internet sites. Lastly, Quill is an Internet and catalog business that targets small and medium-sized businesses.

International Operations: Staples' International Operations has retail stores, catalog, and contract businesses in 23 different countries in Europe, South America, Asia, Australia. The company has 328 stores in seven countries.

Acquisition of Corporate Express

In July 2010, Staples completed the acquisition of Corporate Express N.V. ("Corporate Express"), one of the world's leading suppliers of office products to businesses and institutions. [6]

Business Growth

FY 2009 (ended January 30, 2010)[1]

  • Net income was down 8.3% to $739 million.
  • Net sales were $24.3 billion up 5.2% compared to the previous year. Sales growth was pushed by the North American Delivery and International Operations segments which increased by 8% and 13% respectively, but was offset by a 1.3% decline in the North American Retail segment due to a 2% decline in comparable store sales and lower average order size.

Trends and Forces

General Economic Forces

Domestically, the demand for office products is correlated with many different measures--white collar employment, small business spending, and national GDP--which are all indicators of the overall health of the macro-economy. In a sluggish economy, consumers and businesses cut back on spending to save money and tend to purchase fewer supplies, hurting the demand for Staples' products. A high white-collar unemployment rate also decreases the demand for office supplies. Despite economic pressures, Staples was able to have positive sales growth in 2009.

One hedge against a dependence on the domestic economy is growth in the company's international business, especially in developing countries like China and Brazil where economies are growing and no established office supply retailer dominates.

Supply Chain

Staples' standard superstore is significantly smaller than those of Office Depot or OfficeMax and houses much less of its inventory on-site. Instead, Staples operates 4 distribution centers across the United States to supply its retail stores on a timely basis and keep a stock of backup inventory. Part of Staples' efficiency comes from this distribution network operating in conjunction with Staples' small store format. Hence, Staples saves significantly on leasing costs, and has greater leeway to place stores in the most effective locations near their target customers.

The comparatively larger size of distribution centers allows Staples to make larger purchases with volume discounts, and their close relationships with vendors allows the time of delivery to match closer with demands so goods don't take up floorspace in distribution centers. This centralized handling and receiving system leads to significant savings on administrative and labor costs, and allows store associates to concentrate on store presentation and customer service.

Direct Sourcing and Own Brand Products

Staples offers a bevy of private label products and has begun directly sourcing many products (i.e. purchasing directly from manufacturers instead of through distributors). Private label products are usually priced lower for consumers than comparable national brands, yet offer higher profit margins to the retailer than brand name items.

Competitors

Staples is the world's largest office products company.

In the office supply market Staples has three main competitors:

Staples also competes against mass merchants such as Wal-Mart (WMT), warehouse clubs like Costco Wholesale (COST), and computer and electronics superstores like Best Buy (BBY).

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 SPLS 2009 10-K pg. C-4
  2. ODP 2009 10-K pg. 22
  3. OMX 2009 10-K pg. 16
  4. SPLS 2009 10-K pg. 5
  5. SPLS 2009 10-K "Business Strategy" pg. 2-4
  6. SPLS 2009 10-K pg. A-2
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