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FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – Staples Inc., the largest U.S. office-supplies chain, plans to shut 45 locations in Europe and accelerate the closing of 15 stores in the U.S. as part of a plan to save about $250 million a year, Bloomberg News reported.
The closings, the impairment of goodwill in the European business and other actions will result in total pretax charges of as much as $1.12 billion in the fiscal year ending in January, Framingham, Mass.-based Staples said last week in a statement.
The company has posted sales declines in the past two quarters as workers shift to using fewer traditional office products, such as pens and folders. The retailer also has been hurt by slower job creation amid the recession in Europe and high unemployment in the U.S.
Staples, the world’s second-largest Internet retailer, said it will use the savings to increase investment in the online operations. The company operated 2,295 stores as of Jan. 28, including 1,583 in the U.S. and 331 in Europe, according to a securities filing. •