Staples buys digital printing firm PNI for $67M

Staples (NASDAQ: SPLS) has acquired PNI Digital Media, a Canadian company whose software platform enables retailers to sell such personalized products as photo books, business cards, invitations and stationery. The deal is estimated at $67.30 million.

The acquisition marks yet another attempt by Staples to add more products and services to its digital platforms. The company has struggled in recent years with sluggish sales and in January launched a new tagline, "Make More Happen" in an effort to grow its services beyond just office supplies.

Digital expansion has been a major focus, and over the past year Staples has increased the number of products offered on its website fivefold, to 500,000 from 100,000. The company plans to triple that to 1.5 million within nine months.

In April, Staples also announced a partnership with 3D Systems Corp. that will give shoppers at individual Staples stores in New York City and Los Angeles access to 3D printing capabilities.

PNI will bring digital design services to Staples.com and the company's 2,000 retail stores. More than 30,000 retail outlets are connected to the PNI network, which can be accessed online through mobile devices or from in-store kiosks where consumers can custom design paper and office products.

PNI is expected to operate independently and provide improved service for both its customers and partners by leveraging Staples' retail reach.

With more services on the horizon, Staples is actively moving forward with its turnaround plans. Earlier this year, the company announced that it would be shutting down 225 stores in order to dramatically cut costs. Staples reported $5.87 billion in fourth quarter sales, missing analysts' expectations of $5.97 billion and reflecting an almost 11 percent drop year-over-year. Profits also fell 28 percent during this time to $388 million.

For more:
-See this Staples press release

Related stories:
Staples to close 225 stores, cut $500 million in costs
Staples unveils new logo & tagline, says goodbye to 'That Was Easy'
Staples opens U.S. Postal Service branches inside stores
Staples adds new product categories in attempt to 'make more happen'
Staples revamps EasyTech program, adds services

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