Staples closes 15 Canadian stores

Staples Canada closed 15 of its 331 stores at the end of September, saying it is shutting underperforming locations in an effort to improve its results.

Office supplies retailer struggles to improve results in face of online competition

Staples has closed 15 Canadian stores as part of a restructuring of its retail arm as more business moves online. (Canadian Press)

Staples Canada closed 15 of its 331 stores in Canada at the end of September, saying it is shutting underperforming locations in an effort to improve its results.

The office supplies retailer has seen in-store sales slump as more orders, especially those from big businesses, move online.

In March, U.S. parent Staples Inc. announced a plan to shut as many as 225 stores in Canada and the U.S.

In Canada, it waited until the end of the important school supplies shopping system to shut 15 of its stores.

A Staples spokeswoman declined to say which stores were affected or how many people were laid off.

"For up-to-date information on local stores, customers can visit our store locator on Staples.ca. Beyond that, we don’t have any further information to share," she said in an email.

Rivals such as Grand & Toy and Office Depot are also closing retail stores to move all of their business online.

Staples must also compete with Amazon.com and Best Buy for e-commerce sales.

In its latest financial report for the second quarter, Staples reported sales of $5.2 billion, a decrease of two per cent compared to the second quarter of 2013. Its profit declined 19 per cent, from $103 million to $82 million.

It said it had closed 80 stores in North America so far this year and planned another 60 closures by the end of 2014.

CEO Ron Sargent said Staples had accelerated growth in its delivery business and introduced innovations such as in-store pickup windows for online orders to increase retail traffic. Staples has also widened its office supplies product line and built on its copy and printing business.

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