Staples Announces 2014 Performance Results
Staples, Framingham, Mass., released its fourth quarter, ending Jan. 31, and full-year 2014 results.
The company's fourth-quarter total sales came to $5.7 billion, a 4 percent decrease over 2013. When excluding the impact of North American store closures, sales grew 1 percent in the fourth quarter. As for the entire year, Staples achieved $10.4 billion in sales, a 6 percent decrease from 2013. Sales growth was negatively impacted by about 2 percent due to store closures.
North American commercial sales grew 5 percent to $2.1 billion in the fourth quarter and 3 percent for the full year for a total of $8.3 billion. Staples also achieved high single-digit growth in North American copy and print sales and double-digit growth in the copy and print sales at Staples.com and Contract.
"This [fourth-quarter increase for commercial products] primarily reflects growth in facilities and breakroom supplies, furniture, print and promotional products, as well as business machines and technology accessories, partially offset by sales declines in ink and toner," Staples noted in a press release.
Staples secured more than $250 million of annualized cost savings in 2014 in its effort to eliminate at least $500 million of annualized costs by the end of this year. Part of that effort to reduce costs included shuttering 169 North American stores (152 in the U.S. and 17 in Canada) as part of a plan to close at least 225 stores by this year. Staples ended fiscal year 2014 with 1,679 North American stores.
“During the fourth quarter we achieved strong sales growth in our North American delivery businesses, further optimized our retail store network, and improved profitability in our International business,” said Ron Sargent, Staples’ chairman and CEO. “Our strategic reinvention is gaining momentum, and in 2015 we expect to benefit from the investments we’ve made to accelerate sales and earnings growth.”