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(Bloomberg)   Staples to close hundreds of stores across the U.S. leaving you to find somewhere else to go for your overpriced photocopying   (bloomberg.com) divider line 28
    More: Interesting, Staples Inc.  
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678 clicks; posted to Business » on 06 Mar 2014 at 10:12 AM (20 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-06 10:19:16 AM
That was easy.
 
2014-03-06 10:38:34 AM
I have not set foot in a Staples since noting that dickbag email to managers telling them to chop hours and blame it on the ACA...

wonder if others felt the same way?
 
2014-03-06 10:39:01 AM
media.tumblr.com

I hate Staples.  Not so much because of the store, the prices, or the staff but the customers.  Every single time I go in there to buy something, there's some asshole with a supposedly mis-priced 20 cent item, or trying to pay with a company check with no ID, or some other whiny problem.  I'm standing there with cash in one hand and my dick in the other wondering why someone hasn't pulled a columbine on this place yet.
 
2014-03-06 10:42:29 AM

one of Ripley's Bad Guys: I have not set foot in a Staples since noting that dickbag email to managers telling them to chop hours and blame it on the ACA...

wonder if others felt the same way?



What? A Mitt Romney-owned company made an attempt at political grandstanding? The hell, you say...
 
2014-03-06 10:45:34 AM

Great_Milenko: I'm standing there with cash in one hand and my dick in the other


this may be why you aren't getting help.  put your dick away.
 
2014-03-06 10:49:49 AM
I like Staples. I check them out one in awhile to find some slightly outdated yet perfectly viable technology cheap. I don't buy enough online to make Amazon Prime to be worth it and like the idea of what I bought being in my hands when I buy it.

That being said, I'll be glad to see them go. For some reason my boss buys all the company's printer paper there but refuses to take advantage of their free shipping. He buys on a Friday and then I have to pick it up on that night (or the next day) and drive around with paper in the back of car all weekend.
 
2014-03-06 10:56:34 AM

Great_Milenko: [media.tumblr.com image 400x400]

I hate Staples.  Not so much because of the store, the prices, or the staff but the customers.  Every single time I go in there to buy something, there's some asshole with a supposedly mis-priced 20 cent item, or trying to pay with a company check with no ID, or some other whiny problem.  I'm standing there with cash in one hand and my dick in the other wondering why someone hasn't pulled a columbine on this place yet.


I'd hate to be behind you while you are holding your dick
 
2014-03-06 11:12:58 AM
I never understood the strategy of retail B&M stores, anyway.. if you go to an office supply place, note how many of the same sort of store are nearby. Our town has exactly ZERO office supply places. I doubt anybody will build one because nobody established one 30 years ago before the strange rule "Only build where our competitors already are" came into play.

I can't imagine why Staples is hurting.. when they only build their stores with an Office Depot or Office Max nearby. did they think, we'll build it there, steal all of their business through some magical spell, and drive them to shut down?

Drug stores... same deal. Oh look, a CVS. Three months later, the Walgreens three miles away shuts down so they can build one across the street from the CVS. WTF?

Fast food chains I understand... big department stores, I can see... even clothing stores at least have variety and sales that can bring in shoppers; but stores that sell office supplies, electronics, hardware, etc.. really need to find a market where there is a need that isn't already fulfilled by a competitor. A Radio Shack isn't going to last 3 months next to a Frys, so why does Lowes build new stores next to a Home Depot (which is usually cheaper for most stuff)?


Next week, I'll discuss another trend that Grinds My Gears... "What's with all these damn Doctor and Dentist offices all over the damn place?!?!?"
 
2014-03-06 11:13:51 AM

eagles95: Great_Milenko: [media.tumblr.com image 400x400]

I hate Staples.  Not so much because of the store, the prices, or the staff but the customers.  Every single time I go in there to buy something, there's some asshole with a supposedly mis-priced 20 cent item, or trying to pay with a company check with no ID, or some other whiny problem.  I'm standing there with cash in one hand and my dick in the other wondering why someone hasn't pulled a columbine on this place yet.

I'd hate to be behind you while you are holding your dick


Better than being in front of him...awkward
 
2014-03-06 11:22:56 AM

spinnum: eagles95: Great_Milenko: [media.tumblr.com image 400x400]

I hate Staples.  Not so much because of the store, the prices, or the staff but the customers.  Every single time I go in there to buy something, there's some asshole with a supposedly mis-priced 20 cent item, or trying to pay with a company check with no ID, or some other whiny problem.  I'm standing there with cash in one hand and my dick in the other wondering why someone hasn't pulled a columbine on this place yet.

I'd hate to be behind you while you are holding your dick

Better than being in front of him...awkward


And then once he's at the check out it's all, "Price check on some dick, register one." Because the damn thing won't scan correctly.
 
2014-03-06 11:27:37 AM

LesserEvil: I never understood the strategy of retail B&M stores, anyway.. if you go to an office supply place, note how many of the same sort of store are nearby. Our town has exactly ZERO office supply places. I doubt anybody will build one because nobody established one 30 years ago before the strange rule "Only build where our competitors already are" came into play.

I can't imagine why Staples is hurting.. when they only build their stores with an Office Depot or Office Max nearby. did they think, we'll build it there, steal all of their business through some magical spell, and drive them to shut down?

Drug stores... same deal. Oh look, a CVS. Three months later, the Walgreens three miles away shuts down so they can build one across the street from the CVS. WTF?

Fast food chains I understand... big department stores, I can see... even clothing stores at least have variety and sales that can bring in shoppers; but stores that sell office supplies, electronics, hardware, etc.. really need to find a market where there is a need that isn't already fulfilled by a competitor. A Radio Shack isn't going to last 3 months next to a Frys, so why does Lowes build new stores next to a Home Depot (which is usually cheaper for most stuff)?


Next week, I'll discuss another trend that Grinds My Gears... "What's with all these damn Doctor and Dentist offices all over the damn place?!?!?"


There are a couple reasons that I can think of. In the case of Lowe's/Home depot, Lowe's basically waits for Home depot to spend all the money on market research and finding the right locations. Lowe's may or may not be pricier depending on where you are, but their employees (at least around here) seem slightly less potatoey when I ask them a question.

As far as CVS/Walgreens, it's partly the same as above, but mostly to keep CVS from grabbing too much market share. There are locations that don't make much money in my district (I'm a WAG employee), but the stores won't close because a lot of those customers would then transfer their scripts to CVS. If, hypothetically, my store were to close, people could transfer their scripts to the CVS next door, the Rite Aid a mile down the road, or the next closest WAGs (4 or 7 miles away, or "too far"). I assume that's why the company acquired Duane Reade and a bunch of other chains recently: be everywhere, gain market share.

/yes, 4-7 miles is "too far"
 
2014-03-06 11:31:22 AM

LesserEvil: I never understood the strategy of retail B&M stores, anyway.. if you go to an office supply place, note how many of the same sort of store are nearby. Our town has exactly ZERO office supply places. I doubt anybody will build one because nobody established one 30 years ago before the strange rule "Only build where our competitors already are" came into play.

I can't imagine why Staples is hurting.. when they only build their stores with an Office Depot or Office Max nearby. did they think, we'll build it there, steal all of their business through some magical spell, and drive them to shut down?

Drug stores... same deal. Oh look, a CVS. Three months later, the Walgreens three miles away shuts down so they can build one across the street from the CVS. WTF?

Fast food chains I understand... big department stores, I can see... even clothing stores at least have variety and sales that can bring in shoppers; but stores that sell office supplies, electronics, hardware, etc.. really need to find a market where there is a need that isn't already fulfilled by a competitor. A Radio Shack isn't going to last 3 months next to a Frys, so why does Lowes build new stores next to a Home Depot (which is usually cheaper for most stuff)?


Next week, I'll discuss another trend that Grinds My Gears... "What's with all these damn Doctor and Dentist offices all over the damn place?!?!?"



Isn't a lot of that because of zoning laws?
 
2014-03-06 11:36:25 AM

LesserEvil: I never understood the strategy of retail B&M stores, anyway.. if you go to an office supply place, note how many of the same sort of store are nearby. Our town has exactly ZERO office supply places. I doubt anybody will build one because nobody established one 30 years ago before the strange rule "Only build where our competitors already are" came into play.

I can't imagine why Staples is hurting.. when they only build their stores with an Office Depot or Office Max nearby. did they think, we'll build it there, steal all of their business through some magical spell, and drive them to shut down?

Drug stores... same deal. Oh look, a CVS. Three months later, the Walgreens three miles away shuts down so they can build one across the street from the CVS. WTF?

Fast food chains I understand... big department stores, I can see... even clothing stores at least have variety and sales that can bring in shoppers; but stores that sell office supplies, electronics, hardware, etc.. really need to find a market where there is a need that isn't already fulfilled by a competitor. A Radio Shack isn't going to last 3 months next to a Frys, so why does Lowes build new stores next to a Home Depot (which is usually cheaper for most stuff)?


Next week, I'll discuss another trend that Grinds My Gears... "What's with all these damn Doctor and Dentist offices all over the damn place?!?!?"


The simplified explanation I've heard is that building next to your competition maximizes the number of customers you can take from them. If people base their store decisions on driving distance then you don't want to be far from your competition but rather at the exact same location. If you're two blocks east you only take people from the east. The closer you get to the other store the more likely it becomes that you'll also get customers from the west as well.
 
2014-03-06 11:44:43 AM
Company is run by a bunch of Massholes.  Hated working with them.
 
2014-03-06 11:45:29 AM
Not so easy now, is it?
 
2014-03-06 11:49:52 AM

TanHamster: Isn't a lot of that because of zoning laws?


Local anecdote: Home Depot is in a spot.  Menard's (midwest competitor) wants to build basically in their parking lot (presumably for the reasons Russ1642 stated).  The local planning board says "um... we only planned for 300k sqft of retail in that quarter-mile and we're already over it... how about any of the 5 other places we have platted for big box?"  And Menard's starts a "this town is anti-growth" whine-campaign in the paper and they get their approval about 6 weeks later.  (And then embiggen their plans twice after that).

Zoning and planning are mere suggestions at best in most of America.  You rarely have to even bribe anyone, local pols are so desperate for anything like 'growth'.  Want to knock down a neighborhood to put up a CVS 50 feet from a Walgreens?  That will take a month at most.
 
2014-03-06 11:53:08 AM

Russ1642: LesserEvil: I never understood the strategy of retail B&M stores, anyway.. if you go to an office supply place, note how many of the same sort of store are nearby. Our town has exactly ZERO office supply places. I doubt anybody will build one because nobody established one 30 years ago before the strange rule "Only build where our competitors already are" came into play.

I can't imagine why Staples is hurting.. when they only build their stores with an Office Depot or Office Max nearby. did they think, we'll build it there, steal all of their business through some magical spell, and drive them to shut down?

Drug stores... same deal. Oh look, a CVS. Three months later, the Walgreens three miles away shuts down so they can build one across the street from the CVS. WTF?

Fast food chains I understand... big department stores, I can see... even clothing stores at least have variety and sales that can bring in shoppers; but stores that sell office supplies, electronics, hardware, etc.. really need to find a market where there is a need that isn't already fulfilled by a competitor. A Radio Shack isn't going to last 3 months next to a Frys, so why does Lowes build new stores next to a Home Depot (which is usually cheaper for most stuff)?


Next week, I'll discuss another trend that Grinds My Gears... "What's with all these damn Doctor and Dentist offices all over the damn place?!?!?"

The simplified explanation I've heard is that building next to your competition maximizes the number of customers you can take from them. If people base their store decisions on driving distance then you don't want to be far from your competition but rather at the exact same location. If you're two blocks east you only take people from the east. The closer you get to the other store the more likely it becomes that you'll also get customers from the west as well.


I understand that logic, but it fails in that it assumes the customers are somehow magically already at the competitor's location. My town is a good example... if Office Depot opened up here, they'd steal all the business that travels to the nearby towns, and given the size of our community, and the sheer number of offices and businesses, it would not be insignificant. Instead, they choose to open one up 10 miles away next to another office supply place. If I'm a small business owner in need of a few supplies, I may just decide to surf Amazon instead of traveling. Both stores lose.

TanHamster: Isn't a lot of that because of zoning laws?


Not really. Zoning laws don't restrict what the businesses can sell as retail stores, and typically inclusive of a range of businesses.

On the other hand, small towns could use more specific zoning to shape an area better... my small town had a nice "original" downtown district many decades ago. In the infinite wisdom of the 70s, some idiots decided to block off the downtown district (blocking the main street by actually putting buildings at one end) and break it down, removing its charm and retail businesses there slowly eroded and drifted to two other parts of town. In the 90s, they regained their senses, and restored the road, but the local bank decided they wanted a giant "Loan Store" occupying almost an entire block. Needless to say, there were still no retailers to draw foot traffic and people back downtown. Recently, it seems like somebody with a brain is working on the problem, with some new retail space being built, and I was told that "Loan Store" building (which was repurposed as an admin office when the constant flood of loan applicants failed to materialize) might be torn down to make way for even more retail or restaurants.
 
2014-03-06 12:01:34 PM
Somewhat relevant: Most of the coffee places (at least around here) are on the west side of the sreet (right side for drivers) on all major commuter roads. So people commuting south, by far the most prominent direction by far in this city in the morning, can make a right turn to get into them and their drive-thrus in the morning, then right turn back into traffic (rather than turn left across traffic twice, which could also cause accidents and the company being responsible for not-cheap city traffic lights and signage to facilitate all this cross-traffic.) Coming out of town - at the end of the day for our hypothetical commuter - the fast-food places predominate on the right for just the same reason.

It's not an accident, I've read this in various company's submissions asking for zoning and traffic exemptions for another damn coffee place on the west side of a road a couple of parking lots away from a competitor even when there are acres of empty land on the other side of the street.
 
2014-03-06 12:03:22 PM
I hope they don't close my local Staples. I just discovered that I can email files to Staples for printing at $0.11/page and they do it within an hour.

Before that I would go to Fed Ex, sign into a computer (paying by the minute) and print for $0.50/page. Minimum $3.00 per session.
 
2014-03-06 12:12:59 PM
Needed some printer paper. Ran into a Staples and... it was $8 for a pack of the most basic paper they have. Hah. Not in a million years. On the way out, one of the employees asked me if he could help me find anything, said "nope, I needed paper but $8 is ridiculous." and he had the ... gall to offer to save me 25% of that cost in exchange for my personal information. What a joke. Luckily there was a Wal-Mart next door with paper for like $2 and all I had to do was brace the depths that are Wal-Mart.

I guess what I'm trying to say is I haven't bought anything from Staples in... ever, and I can't imagine why anyone would. They must be subsisting entirely on business delivery contracts and occasional internet specials at this point.
 
2014-03-06 12:22:42 PM

LesserEvil: Next week, I'll discuss another trend that Grinds My Gears... "What's with all these damn Doctor and Dentist offices all over the damn place?!?!?"


A natural consequence of health care spending growing faster than the economy overall... it becomes a bigger and bigger part of the economy by doing so, and eventually ceases to grow faster than the overall economy because it IS the overall economy.

I actually wonder if we'll see fewer because there's a trend of hospitals buying up private practices. They do it to get better leverage over insurers (PPO network contracts being the main cost control mechanism in US healthcare) and doctors get to actually doctor instead of dealing with the headaches of running a small business.

Or maybe there'll be just as many offices as before, but with signs saying "WakeMed Physicians" instead of "Guybrush Threepwood M.D. Associates, PC".

/health policy nerd
 
2014-03-06 01:07:53 PM

Lawnchair: TanHamster: Isn't a lot of that because of zoning laws?

Local anecdote: Home Depot is in a spot.  Menard's (midwest competitor) wants to build basically in their parking lot (presumably for the reasons Russ1642 stated).  The local planning board says "um... we only planned for 300k sqft of retail in that quarter-mile and we're already over it... how about any of the 5 other places we have platted for big box?"  And Menard's starts a "this town is anti-growth" whine-campaign in the paper and they get their approval about 6 weeks later.  (And then embiggen their plans twice after that).

Zoning and planning are mere suggestions at best in most of America.  You rarely have to even bribe anyone, local pols are so desperate for anything like 'growth'.  Want to knock down a neighborhood to put up a CVS 50 feet from a Walgreens?  That will take a month at most.


in North Bergen, the Lowes and the Home Depot are literally next to each other.
 
2014-03-06 01:50:27 PM

That Guy Jeff: Needed some printer paper. Ran into a Staples and... it was $8 for a pack of the most basic paper they have. Hah. Not in a million years. On the way out, one of the employees asked me if he could help me find anything, said "nope, I needed paper but $8 is ridiculous." and he had the ... gall to offer to save me 25% of that cost in exchange for my personal information. What a joke. Luckily there was a Wal-Mart next door with paper for like $2 and all I had to do was brace the depths that are Wal-Mart.



Obviously there can be pricing differences in stores and promotions going on, so this isn't saying you're lying, just maybe your experience wasn't typical:

http://www.staples.com/Staples-Copy-Paper-8-1-2-inch-x-11-inch-Ream/ pr oduct_135855  $6.49

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Georgia-Pacific-Standard-Bright-Multipurpo se -Paper-8.5-x-11-20-lb.-96-Brightness-500-Sheets/15904275  $5.47

Yeah, I know, name brand versus not, but those were the cheapest I found online at each.  For me it would be worth the $1.02 to avoid the chance of contracting MRSA.  I hate Staples and all the loyalty bullshiat programs too, btw.
 
2014-03-06 02:21:34 PM

Lawnchair: TanHamster: Isn't a lot of that because of zoning laws?

Local anecdote: Home Depot is in a spot.  Menard's (midwest competitor) wants to build basically in their parking lot (presumably for the reasons Russ1642 stated).  The local planning board says "um... we only planned for 300k sqft of retail in that quarter-mile and we're already over it... how about any of the 5 other places we have platted for big box?"  And Menard's starts a "this town is anti-growth" whine-campaign in the paper and they get their approval about 6 weeks later.  (And then embiggen their plans twice after that).

Zoning and planning are mere suggestions at best in most of America.  You rarely have to even bribe anyone, local pols are so desperate for anything like 'growth'.  Want to knock down a neighborhood to put up a CVS 50 feet from a Walgreens?  That will take a month at most.


Personally, I think most restrictive zoning laws, especially those which restricts density, is bad for business, the environment, the poor, and the general public.

For example:

1. Anything that makes it harder for new stores to open restricts competition and therefore causes higher prices, poorer selection, and worse service and the stores that manage to open don't have to care (and also probably have higher costs due to the hoops that they have to jump through to open in the first place).

2. Anything that limits the number of housing units that can be built in an area causes higher prices for the ones that manage to be built (hurting everybody except those who already own in an area), make public transit work less effectively, increases commuting times and sprawl (since then people move farther away since they can't afford to live near where they work).

Almost all zoning laws not directly related to health and safety issues are a net minus for the general well being of the population.
 
2014-03-06 02:23:51 PM
Wow.  Where I am, Office Depot closed last year and that leaves only a Staples store and a micro-sized Best Buy.

If Staples closes here, the nearest office supply store is all the way North in Louisville.
 
2014-03-06 03:12:16 PM

kittyhas1000legs: LesserEvil: I never understood the strategy of retail B&M stores, anyway.. if you go to an office supply place, note how many of the same sort of store are nearby. Our town has exactly ZERO office supply places. I doubt anybody will build one because nobody established one 30 years ago before the strange rule "Only build where our competitors already are" came into play.

I can't imagine why Staples is hurting.. when they only build their stores with an Office Depot or Office Max nearby. did they think, we'll build it there, steal all of their business through some magical spell, and drive them to shut down?

Drug stores... same deal. Oh look, a CVS. Three months later, the Walgreens three miles away shuts down so they can build one across the street from the CVS. WTF?

Fast food chains I understand... big department stores, I can see... even clothing stores at least have variety and sales that can bring in shoppers; but stores that sell office supplies, electronics, hardware, etc.. really need to find a market where there is a need that isn't already fulfilled by a competitor. A Radio Shack isn't going to last 3 months next to a Frys, so why does Lowes build new stores next to a Home Depot (which is usually cheaper for most stuff)?


Next week, I'll discuss another trend that Grinds My Gears... "What's with all these damn Doctor and Dentist offices all over the damn place?!?!?"

There are a couple reasons that I can think of. In the case of Lowe's/Home depot, Lowe's basically waits for Home depot to spend all the money on market research and finding the right locations. Lowe's may or may not be pricier depending on where you are, but their employees (at least around here) seem slightly less potatoey when I ask them a question.

As far as CVS/Walgreens, it's partly the same as above, but mostly to keep CVS from grabbing too much market share. There are locations that don't make much money in my district (I'm a WAG employee), but the stores won't close because a lot of those customers would then transfer their scripts to CVS. If, hypothetically, my store were to close, people could transfer their scripts to the CVS next door, the Rite Aid a mile down the road, or the next closest WAGs (4 or 7 miles away, or "too far"). I assume that's why the company acquired Duane Reade and a bunch of other chains recently: be everywhere, gain market share.

/yes, 4-7 miles is "too far"


Why do you need to have market share in a product line on which you lose money? Isn't the purpose to make money higher that chasing sales figures on a flowchart?
 
2014-03-06 04:23:03 PM
I work for one of Staples' bigger competitors. I get probably 20-30% of my business just from "Staples was rude" or "No one was there to help me at Staples". I know the guys at Staples - it's not them. It's a corporate manpower decision. Bad management.

When you sell something that is available practically everywhere, you need something either special to draw them in (and 2 day turn around times on 100 copy jobs is NOT special...), or you need great service. My company went the service route and we're growing, while Staples is contracting.
 
2014-03-06 09:43:52 PM
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