By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Two major chains in this business both announced financials this week, and some online “pundits” have lumped them together, with their futures being described as precarious at best.
On the one hand, we have RadioShack, which reported quarterly and full-year losses, announced it would close up to 1,100 stores, and has had problems with branding, merchandising and online sales, among others, over the past decade.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.
Framingham, Mass. — Staples, in a financial report showing higher profits for its fiscal fourth quarter, said it will close up to 225 stores in North America by 2015 as more than half its sales are now generated online.
In a statement, Staples said it would shut the stores as part of a $500 million cost-reduction program, but it explained Staples.com sales grew 10 percent in the fourth quarter. When the year ended more than 500,000 products were available on Staples.com vs. 100,000 at the beginning of the year.
Framingham, Mass. — Staples said aggressive expense management helped deliver third-quarter profits of $135.2 million following a year-ago loss of more than half a billion dollars.
Sales struggled though, falling 4 percent to $6.1 billion for the three months, ended Nov. 2, as a result of 107 store closures across Europe and North America and unfavorable currency exchange rates.
Framingham, Mass. — Staples has completed the acquisition of Runa, a San Mateo, Calif.-based software company that develops shopping personalization programs for e-tailers.
Terms and conditions of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Runa’s PerfectOffer software serves up automated, data-driven and personalized offers in real time, while its PerfectShipping program provides real-time personalized delivery estimates and free-shipping offers, the companies said.
Framingham, Mass. — Staples today is introducing a home-automation concept dubbed Staples Connect that it will initially roll out in a limited number of stores and online.
This will have the office superstore chain selling products that range far from its normal assortment of paper and inkjet toner and will include door locks, garage door openers and window blinds. The new additions will have a high-tech edge with the ability to be networked and controlled from any connected device.
Framingham, Mass. – Staples said store closings, tight margins and capital expenditures led to lower second-quarter sales and profits.
Earnings at the No. 1 office-supply chain fell nearly 15 percent to $102.5 million for the three months, ended Aug. 3, due to lower product margins, the negative impact of fixed expenses on lower sales, and investments in Staples.com and other strategic initiatives.
Net sales slipped 2 percent to $5.3 billion, due to the closure of 103 stores in North America and Europe during the trailing 12 months, the company said.
Framingham, Mass. – Staples has developed an “omni-channel” prototype store that features Internet kiosks and consultation areas for small business customers.
The No. 1 office-supply chain and, according to the company, the second largest e-tailer, said the stores will allow it to leverage its extensive real estate and digital capabilities.
The first pilot stores, located in Norwood, Mass., and Dover, Del., will also serve as test labs for new products and services, the retailer said.
Framingham, Mass. — Staples reported lower sales and earnings for its fiscal first quarter.
Net income declined 9.1 percent to $169.9 million, and net sales slipped 3 percent to $5.8 billion for the three months, ended May 4.
The No. 1 office-supply chain said sales were impacted by the closure of 97 stores in North America and Europe during the preceding 12 months and unfavorable foreign exchange rates.
Operating income fell 12 percent to $170 million as the company continued to pay down debt and make capital investments to accelerate growth.
Framingham, Mass. — Staples said it will begin selling 3D printers in the U.S., claiming it is the first major retailer in this country to do so.
The Cube 3D Printer from 3D Systems, a provider of 3D content-to-print solutions, is immediately available on Staples.com for $1,299 and will be available in a limited number of Staples stores by the end of June.
Framingham, Mass. — Tablets and e-readers fueled a 3 percent sales gain for Staples in the fourth quarter, although earnings fell 68 percent due to one-time charges.
Profits at the No. 1 office-supply chain totaled $90 billion for the three months, ended Feb. 2, and net sales hit $6.6 billion, although the results reflect singular events and fiscal calendar changes. Excluding one-time charges for the closure of 15 U.S. and 45 European stores, plus other items, net earnings were $308 million, an increase of 8.5 percent.