Staples to shutter up to 225 stores amid online pressures

The retailer says it expects to close the stores by the end of 2015 and save approximately $500 million in the process.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Staples will start closing stores to improve its chances of competing with online retailers.

The company on Thursday announced that it plans to close as many as 225 stores between now and the end of 2015. The closures, which will affect only North American retail locations, are expected to help Staples save $500 million. The move follows the 40 net store closures Staples initiated last year.

Staples has been making a major push for the online space. The company reported that at the end of 2013, it had more than 500,000 products available on Staples.com. At the beginning of 2013, that figure stood at 100,000.

During 2013, Staples began adding Apple products, including iPads, to the list of devices it sells online.

Still, Staples is far from a top destination for consumers looking to buy products online. Brick-and-mortar store sales are down because of increased pressure from popular online sites, like Amazon.com, and Staples seemingly has no confidence in that trend turning around. Last year, Staples same-store sales fell 4 percent compared to the prior year.

Staples has yet to announce which stores will close.

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