Staples adds new product categories in attempt to 'make more happen'

Staples (NASDAQ: SPLS) is expanding product offerings to include roughly 1,600 items across eight new categories. The company expects the new assortment to help position the retailer as a go-to source for more than just office supplies as it seeks to help customers "Make More Happen."

The new assortment will refresh nearly 20 percent of Staples' total inventory. The eight product categories are facilities and break room supplies, maintenance repair and operations items; mail and ship expanded assortment, retail supplies for small businesses; storage solutions; gifts and cards for office parties; organizational accessories from Poppin; and early education toys and learning aids.

These categories were selected after a pilot run in select markets showed strong performance. 

In addition to the product expansion, Staples.com kiosks will be installed in every Staples store to allow shoppers to browse thousands more products online right from the sales floor. Over the past year, Staples has increased the number of products offered on the Web site fivefold, to 500,000 from 100,000. The company plans to triple that to 1.5 million within nine months.

The updates come on the heels of a bleak earnings report from Staples in which the retailer announced that it would be shutting down 225 stores in order to dramatically cut costs. The company says the store closures will help the company save $500 million annually. Staples reported $5.87 billion in fourth quarter sales, missing analysts' expectations of $5.97 billion and reflecting a 10.6 percent drop year-over-year. Profits also fell 28 percent during this time to $388 million.

For more:
-See this Staples press release
-See this New York Times article

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