THANK’S TO INKJET CTGS-STAPLES #3 IN U.S.

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THANK’S TO INKJET CTGS-STAPLES #3 IN U.S.

 user 2005-08-09 at 11:27:00 am Views: 35
  • #12146


    Office-supply champ – Staples named No. 3 specialty chain
     
    Chalk it up to America’s growing need for inkjet cartridges, PDAs and
    run-of-the-mill reams of computer paper.
     
         Stores Magazine announced its annual list of top 100 specialty
    retailers yesterday, and three office-supply giants figured for the first time
    in the top five.
     
         Framingham-based Staples Inc. led the pack at No. 3, with $14.4
    billion in annual sales last year – trailing only Best Buy Co. Inc. with $27.4
    billion in sales and Gap Inc. at $16.2 billion.
     
         Staples rival Office Depot placed No. 4 with $13.5 billion in sales,
    followed by No. 5 OfficeMax with $13.2 billion of sales.
     
         There’s still plenty of room for all three companies to grow – and to
    pick off territories where mom-and-pop shops and regional players like W.B.
    Mason operate.
     
         Staples, for example, just entered the Chicago market, but lacks a
    presence in Denver, Houston, Miami, Milwaukee and Minneapolis.
     
         “The office-products industry is about a $250 billion industry and we
    did $15 billion, so we’re far from saturation,” said John Mahoney, Staples’
    executive vice president and chief administrative officer.
     
         According to Joseph Feldman, an SG Cowen & Co. LLC analyst, small-
    to medium-sized businesses are fueling the office-supply sector’s growth.
     
          Five years ago, Office Depot ranked fifth on Stores Magazine’s list,
    while Staples placed seventh and OfficeMax 10th.
     
         “Staples and Office Depot, in particular, back in the late ’90s and
    early 2000-2001, were not necessarily addressing that core customer,” Feldman
    said. “They’ve made an effort over the last three or four years to go after
    those customers.”
     
          Mahoney said about 70 percent of Staples’ customers are small
    businesses or people with home offices who spend more than $500 a year on
    consumable office supplies.
     
         But as Staples and its competitors continue to expand into each
    other’s home territories, there’s a sense in the retail industry that each must
    make an effort to differentiate themselves, according to Susan Reda, executive
    editor of Stores Magazine, which is published by the National Retail
    Federation.
     
    While we’re shopping there, I’m not sure we’re making the connection or
    being specifically store-loyal, and that will be a challenge for them in the
    future,” she said