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Is Staples going out of business

Is Staples going out of business

Staples, a renowned American office retail company, has long been a trusted name for providing office supplies and tech services. Founded in 1986, its market presence has expanded rapidly - managing over 1,000 stores across the U.S. and offering a wide range of products and solutions tailored for small businesses, home offices, and everyday consumers.

In recent years, however, rumblings about Staples potentially going out of business have grown louder, as the company began closing a significant number of stores. These developments have raised questions among investors, employees, and loyal customers about the direction Staples is taking, and whether it indicates an end or a shift in strategy. 

This blog post aims to delve into the facts behind these concerns, providing insights into Staples' current business status and its future intentions. Sit tight as we unravel the truth of the matter.

All About Staples

Staples is discontinued

Staples, Inc. is a renowned American retail corporation primarily involved in the sale of office supplies and related products, delivered through both retail channels and B2B-oriented delivery operations. Since its establishment in 1986, Staples has grown to become a key player in the office supplies industry, with thousands of stores around the globe offering a wide variety of products, ranging from basic office essentials to digital technology solutions.

However, in recent years, Staples has been navigating a rapidly evolving retail landscape marked by rises in e-commerce and changing customer preferences. In response, Staples has implemented a bold strategy that includes closing a significant number of physical stores while ramping up its online operations. The overarching goal is to reinvent the company's approach to doing business, adapting to the current market demands, and reaffirming their position as a leading provider of office solutions.

Why is Staples going out of business?

When businesses announce large-scale store closures, it often leads to speculation that they may be going out of business. While Staples has indeed closed many of its physical stores, it's important to note that this doesn't necessarily mean the company is shutting down. In fact, it may be an indicator of a significant business redirection. Staples' shift from physical retail spaces to a digital platform is a strategic response to the changing consumer behaviors and market trends affected by the rise of e-commerce.

The shift to online sales is a strategic decision that many retail companies are taking to stay competitive in a market being reshaped by e-commerce giants like Amazon. This competitive landscape has seen Staples closing less profitable stores and restructuring its sales model to focus more on online sales and delivery, which have proven to be more cost-efficient and wide-reaching.

The perception that Staples might be going out of business simply because of store closures may be a simplistic view of a more complex situation. Instead, Staples is doing what any resilient company would do: adjust, adapt, and reinvent its business model in response to evolving market demands and consumer behaviors. While this transition comes with its own challenges, it also offers potential opportunities for Staples to rejuvenate its operations and perhaps even discover new competitive advantages.

Are Staples still in business?

Staples is developing

Yes, Staples Inc. is still very much in business. Founded in 1986, the company has grown to become a leading office supply chain store with multiple locations around the globe. The company offers a wide range of products, including not only office supplies but also business technology, facility and breakroom supplies, furniture, print & marketing services, and promotional products.

Staples continues to thrive and adapt in a changing retail landscape by investing in online marketplaces and retail technology. While it has made the decision to close some of its physical stores due to the rise in online shopping, it remains a leader in the office supply industry. It has also increased its focus on providing business-to-business services, highlighting its continued relevance and adaptability in the marketplace.

Who owns Staples now?

Staples is Closing

As of today, Staples Inc. is owned by a private equity firm named Sycamore Partners. Sycamore Partners is a private equity firm based in New York, specializing in investments through a variety of proprietary investment strategies. Sycamore acquired Staples in a deal worth approximately $6.9 billion, finalizing the purchase in September 2017. This deal was significant as it took the one-time Fortune 500 company private after over three decades of public trade.

The acquisition by Sycamore Partners came at a time when Staples, like many traditional retailers, was grappling with the impact of the shift toward online shopping. Sycamore has a history of investing in and turning around struggling retail brands, and its acquisition of Staples seems to be in sync with that strategy. Since its acquisition, Staples has made a number of strategic changes, including increasing investment in its business-to-business operations.

How is Staples doing in business?

Staples going out of business

Despite facing challenges in recent years due to the rise of e-commerce and shifting consumer preferences, Staples has managed to maintain its position as a key player in the office supplies industry. After being acquired by Sycamore Partners in 2017, Staples has refocused its efforts on expanding its business-to-business (B2B) services and operations to remain competitive. This shift in focus has allowed the company to continue serving small, medium, and large businesses alike with office supplies, technology, and furniture, as well as offering services like printing, marketing, and facilities management.

Staples' online experience has also been enhanced to keep up with changes in the retail landscape. By investing in technological advancements and improving its digital presence, Staples aims to offer a seamless shopping experience for its customers. Furthermore, Staples has been strategically closing down some of its physical store locations to streamline operations and reduce costs associated with brick-and-mortar locations. Although it still faces competition from e-commerce giants like Amazon, as well as other office supply providers, Staples continues to evolve and find new ways to remain relevant and successful in the industry.

Who is Staples biggest competitor?

In the office supplies industry, Staples' biggest competitor is undoubtedly Amazon. Amazon, one of the world's largest e-commerce marketplaces, has grown substantially since its founding and has effectively disrupted numerous industries, including the office supplies market. 

Amazon Business, the company's B2B platform launched in 2015, caters specifically to commercial customers, offering a wide selection of office supplies, technology, furniture, and business services. Moreover, with its vast product offerings, competitive prices, and speedy delivery options, Amazon has become a formidable competitor to traditional brick-and-mortar stores like Staples.

Apart from Amazon, other significant competitors of Staples include Office Depot and Office Max, the latter of which is now a part of Office Depot, following a merger in 2013. While these companies were once considered the primary rivals of Staples, their influence has somewhat diminished due to the industry's ongoing consolidation and the growing dominance of e-commerce giants like Amazon. Nevertheless, these office supply providers continue to compete with Staples by offering comprehensive product ranges and business services, both in-store and online.

Staples' Store Closures

Staples is closing down

In the last few years, Staples has been notably reducing its retail operations across the United States. The company, which once boasted over 2,000 stores at its peak, announced the closure of approximately 50 stores each year since 2017 as part of an ongoing effort to streamline its operations. This sharp decrease in locations signaled Staples' departure from its traditional, core business model, raising questions among industry observers and consumers alike.

Several factors contributed to Staples' decision to contract their retail footprint. Externally, the increased competition from online retailers and a challenging retail landscape have significantly impacted customer behavior and business profitability. Internally, the retail giant faced the challenge of maintaining large physical stores with an extensive range of products, many of which experienced lowering demand.

These closures have caused substantial changes in Staples' business strategy and focus. With less physical presence, Staples has had to realign its approach to consumer engagement and retention. The closures also meant significant job losses, affecting many communities and redefining Staples' status as a large-scale employer.

Nevertheless, while the store closures brought undeniable challenges and adjustments, they opened the door for Staples to focus on reinventing itself in a digital age. By cutting costs that were associated with maintaining in-person stores, Staples has been able to redirect resources towards its online platform, seeking to harness the same market dominance it once had in its brick-and-mortar stores. As we continue the discussion, we'll delve more into Staples' transition into the online market.

Staples' Shift to Online Sales

Staples is going online

As Staples continued closing retail stores, it became evident that the company was strategically pivoting towards online sales. This transition mirrors a broader movement within the retail industry, driven by the growth of e-commerce and the shifting preferences of consumers who are increasingly embracing online shopping.

In response to these trends, Staples has been investing in its digital platform to create a more user-friendly and efficient online shopping experience. The goal has been to maintain its reputation as a reliable office supply provider while adapting to the ever-changing market dynamics.

Staples is not alone in this transition. Its shift towards digitalization is indicative of a larger trend among businesses that previously relied on physical retail spaces. Major department stores, specialty retailers, and even smaller local businesses are now focusing on e-commerce to reduce overheads and reach a wider customer base. In many cases, this has allowed them to grow and thrive in an otherwise highly competitive environment.

This strategic shift offers Staples several potential benefits, such as cost savings from reduced overhead, an expanded customer base, and increased sales from consumers who prefer online shopping. However, this strategy also has a unique set of difficulties.. Staples faces fierce competition from e-commerce giants like Amazon and Walmart, who have been dominant in the online market for years. 

Additionally, Staples will need to ensure a seamless and efficient shopping experience that can match its competitors, particularly when it comes to order fulfillment and maintaining inventory levels. The company's strategy will ultimately depend on its ability to successfully navigate these challenges and capitalize on the rewards of the online market.

The Future of Staples

Staples is going out of business 2023

As Staples continues adapting to the changing retail landscape, expert predictions regarding the company's future range from optimistic to cautious. Some analysts foresee a bright future for Staples as it evolves its business model, capitalizing on the ever-growing e-commerce market. 

Successful implementation and adaptation of new technologies and marketing strategies could potentially reposition Staples as a dominant force in office supplies once again. However, others maintain a wary outlook, highlighting the possibility of the company struggling to compete with e-commerce giants like Amazon, who already have a strong foothold in online retail.

Tapping into the growth of the online market, Staples has ample opportunities for expansion. The company can leverage its experience as a leading office supplies retailer by offering customers a reliable online shopping experience. 

Additionally, Staples should continue to focus on serving the needs of its core B2B audience and small businesses, providing tailored solutions and services that go beyond the sale of physical products. By delivering targeted offerings and a seamless customer experience, Staples can ensure that it remains a preferred choice for office essentials and business services.

This transformation will inevitably have an impact on both Staples' customers and employees. For customers, the shift to e-commerce means greater convenience and potentially faster shipping times but could also result in the loss of the in-person shopping experience that some still value. For employees, many may feel the impact of store closures and restructuring, which could lead to job losses in certain locations. 

However, this may also open up new opportunities for employees skilled in digital technology or equipped to support Staples' online operations. The company's ability to support and manage these changes will be crucial in determining how customers and employees perceive and experience the future of Staples.


In conclusion, the recent store closures and changes in Staples' business strategy have generated concern and speculation about the future of the company. While it's true that Staples has been significantly reducing its physical retail presence, this doesn't necessarily mean that it's going out of business. Instead, it's undergoing a major transformation by pivoting to digitalization and embracing e-commerce to adapt to the evolving demands of the market.

Despite the challenges Staples faces, such as increased competition from online retailers like Amazon and changing consumer shopping habits, the company is demonstrating resilience through a strategic shift towards a more online-focused model. While the impact of this transformation will undoubtedly be felt by both customers and employees, it also presents Staples with opportunities to leverage its experience in the office supplies industry and maintain its standing as a reliable provider of practical business solutions.

At this point, it's best to view Staples as a company that is shifting gears rather than going out of business. While its physical store presence has dwindled, the company is actively restructuring its operations to thrive in the modern retail landscape. Only time will tell if Staples can successfully navigate the challenges it faces, but it's evident that the company is showcasing adaptability and the willingness to evolve in response to market changes.

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