FRAMINGHAM, MA - Staples Inc. and Steelcase Inc. of Grand Rapids, MI, have entered into an agreement for Staples to sell its small business customers an assortment of Steelcase seating and table products.
Beginning in the second half of 2014, Staples will offer Steelcase office furniture for the small office, home office (SOHO) on staples.com and through select Staples stores in the United States. Among the Steelcase products to be sold by Staples are Leap, Think, cobi, QiVi, Amia and Buoy chairs plus table solutions.
“Through our new partnership, we’re giving small business customers access to the expertise, craftsmanship, design and innovation of Steelcase,” said Mike Edwards, executive vice president of merchandising, Staples.
Staples' online sales continue to represent a bigger percentage of overall sales at the same time the retailer has sought to contract its brick-and-mortar operations.
Staples, which saw sales decline to $23.1 billion in 2012, a 5.2% decline compard to 2012, announced it will close up to 225 retail stores in North America by the end of 2015 as part of an effort to reduce annual costs by $500 million. The company currently operates 1,846 stores having closed a net of 40 stores last year.
“A year ago, we announced a plan to fundamentally reinvent our company,” said Ron Sargent, Staples’ chairman and CEO. “With nearly half of our sales generated online today, we’re meeting the changing needs of business customers and taking aggressive action to reduce costs and improve efficiency.”
Steelcase, which had sales of approximately $3 billion, recently announced plans to close a factory in High Point, NC, an action that will result in the lay off of about 230 workers.
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