Retailers, consumers and prices
Staples may not be the first place people think of to do their Christmas shopping, but the office supplies retailer is trying to drive traffic to its stores and website with promotions ranging from free shipping and value-priced gifts to laptop giveaways.
Starting on Nov. 30, the first Monday of the official holiday shopping season — dubbed “Cyber Monday” since many people use the first day back at work to shop online — Staples will give away a $1,000 technology bundle that includes an HP Laptop computer, every day.
It is also offering a range of products for under $10, including digital ornaments and mini pod speakers from Omnitech.
Staples is also offering free shipping for online orders of more than $50 and is giving customers the option of having their orders shipped to a store for pick-up, which could be convenient for people who are traveling.
The office supplies retailer reported a fourth-quarter loss, compared with a profit a year ago. Excluding items, it reported adjusted earnings that missed Wall Street estimates by 16 cents per share.
Check Out Staples saying its third-quarter profit will top Wall Street estimates and backing its long-term forecast, all in the midst of a global economic crisis.
Staples is holding a conference today with investors. They will no doubt be wondering how the world’s largest office supply retailer plans to convince small business owners and consumers to buy more office supplies in a troubled economy that has made them cut back buying computers, printers and copiers in favor of smaller-ticket items like ink, toner and paper.
Major office supply retailers–Staples, Office Depot and OfficeMax–are offering some basic school supplies for a penny and have marked down other items to give consumers relief from higher gas and food prices and to try to lure shoppers over the next couple of months.
Check out Staples, the successful hunter.
The NBA Finals are still going on at the arena that sports its name, but the office supply retailer is already a winner.
It took $2.65 billion, but Staples finally convinced Dutch office supplies wholesaler Corporate Express to accept a buyout offer.
Analysts see the deal as making strategic sense in the face of a slow U.S. economy, with big cost savings to be reaped.
Corporate Express gets about 50 percent of its revenue in the U.S. and activist investors had put pressure on the company due to poor performance in that market.
But Corporate Express tried to play defense, making its own deal to buy French rival Lyreco, a deal that now goes by the wayside at the cost of a 30 million euro break up fee.
Also in the basket:
Profits in hand, wealthy family cuts tobacco tie (N.Y. Times)
Squeezing big-box retailing into small city spaces (N.Y. Times)