Staples Gets Crushed, Facing Major Headwinds

Despite Staples' "That Was Easy" slogan, business for the company is becoming very difficult.

Mar 7, 2014 at 3:56PM

Shares of Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) fell hard yesterday, after the company announced a very bad quarter. Revenue, margins, and profits all fell for the company, and the company also announced it would be closing 225 stores, which is more than 10% of the company's North American footprint. On Friday's installment of Stock of the Day, Motley Fool analyst Brendan Mathews told host Mark Reeth that he sees two major macro factors hurting Staples today.

First, Brendan points to a secular decline in the demand for office supplies, as an increasingly large percentage of business moves toward being conducted entirely electronically. Second, the company is fighting a war on two fronts against the competition, not only having to ward off traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, but also having to fight against online retailers such as (NASDAQ:AMZN), which has the scale to sell for incredibly low prices, significantly damaging Staples' margins.

Looking at the stock itself, it does look cheap at these levels, and Brendan notes that there are things to like about the company. But he personally can't get past the idea that the company is facing both online competition and a shrinking market, and he's staying away from the stock today.

So, who are the retailers that are dominating out there when others are toppling?
To learn about two retailers with especially good prospects, take a look at The Motley Fool's special free report: "The Death of Wal-Mart: The Real Cash Kings Changing the Face of Retail." In it, you'll see how these two cash kings are able to consistently outperform and how they're planning to ride the waves of retail's changing tide. You can access it by clicking here.

Brendan Mathews owns shares of Mark Reeth has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends The Motley Fool owns shares of and Staples. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

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Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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