Staples to shutter up to 225 stores amid online pressures

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 At the beginning … Read more

Can Staples Connect bring order to the smart-home universe?

There's little doubt that the popularity of "smart home" products is surging. Connected devices both large and small were everywhere at CES this year, and with Google buying Nest recently, it's clear that the titans of tech are paying attention.

But with all of these new devices comes a Babel-esque smattering of networking protocols -- the "languages" they use to receive and transmit data. Some speak to your router over Wi-Fi, others speak to your tablet over Bluetooth. Kwikset, Yale and Schlage make smart deadbolts that relay information using Z-Wave, while Philips Hue bulbsRead more

Zonoff helps Staples step into the smart home

With great home automation comes the potential for great fatigue, stemming from different brands of devices each requiring different hubs and apps. Smart home platform-provider Zonoff announced a partnership with Staples last year to offer a solution that problem with the Staples Connect home automation kit. The initial announcement declared support for several smart home device brands, provided they transmitted over Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, or the Lutron Clear Connect wireless standard. Staples and Zonoff are now announcing large-scale expansion at this year's CES.

Plans include new partnerships with ecosystem devices like Goji smart locks, Koubachi garden sensors, and Radio Thermostats' … Read more

iPad Air, Mini land at Staples retail stores

Staples customers hunting for a new iPad Air or Mini can now find one on actual store shelves.

Calling your local Staples outlet now greets you with a recorded message telling you that you can buy a new iPad either online or in stores. Previously, the devices were available through Staples just online.

The lineup includes the iPad Air starting at $499 and the Retina iPad Mini starting at $399. Staples customers also can score as much as $300 by trading in an older iPad and earn 5 percent back in rewards credits.

Will you actually find the new iPads … Read more

Staples now sells iPads and iPods online

Staples shoppers can now pick up an iPad or iPod directly through the retailer's Web site.

iPad buyers can choose from a variety of flavors of either the fourth-generation iPad or the iPad Mini. Both Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi + Cellular variations are available at the usual retail prices. But as an added incentive, Staples offers customers 5 percent back in rewards points. And shipping is free.

Also up for grabs is the full gamut of iPod devices, including the iPod Touch, iPod Classic, iPod Nano, and iPod Shuffle. The iPad and iPod are only available online, at least for … Read more

Staples and RadioShack pull Amazon lockers from stores

Staples and RadioShack have removed Amazon's temporary storage lockers from their brick-and-mortar stores, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.

The stores added the lockers to their sites last year but have decided that housing a competitor's storage units wasn't a good idea. The lockers allowed Amazon customers to have their purchases delivered to a secure location that they could visit at their convenience. Amazon also has lockers in 7-Eleven and other competitors' locations. The units are meant to give Amazon an opportunity to compete with brands like Best Buy and Walmart, which offer in-store pick up for their online customers. … Read more

Staples supplies bad news on PC sales

While analysts are typically the bearer of bad news for the shrinking PC market, Staples delivered some sobering news of its own today.

Ronald Sargent, chairman and CEO of the office supply retailer, offered his assessment of where the market is going during the company's earnings conference call Wednesday (via Seeking Alpha):

You just look at computers being replaced by mobile devices, whether it's phones or tablets, and it used to be computers were 95% and tablets were 5%. Now it's about -- it looks like about 60% computers and about 40% tablets. So that kind of … Read more

Google's low-cost Chromebooks coming to 6,600 more stores

While Google hasn't done a lot of promotion around its Chromebooks, there's no doubt that the company is still working on bringing the low-cost laptops to more people around the world.

The tech giant announced Monday that it's bringing Chromebooks to more than 6,600 new stores worldwide -- that's three times as many stores as before.

The lion's share will go to Walmart and Staples. Walmart will sell the $199 Acer C7 Chromebook in about 2,800 of its stores across the U.S. And Staples will bring Chromebooks from Acer, HP, and Samsung … Read more

Nook becomes a more tempting tablet

CNET Update gives the Nook a second look:

In this edition of Update:

- The Nook gets more attractive with full access to the Google Play store. (Put a Kindle app on a Nook? Madness!)

- Acer gets creative with its latest Windows 8 laptop, the Acer Aspire R7. (Touchpad above the keyboard? More madness!)

- The first solar-powered aircraft begins its long journey across the U.S.

- Learn to add an event to your Google calendar from inside an e-mail.

- Hotmail users must face the music and move on to

- Staples puts 3D printing … Read more

Staples to carry 3D Systems' new Cube 3D printer

3D printers have typically been sold directly from their makers or through online hobby shops. Today they get wider consumer exposure with Staples' announcement that it will begin selling the new 3D Systems Cube 3D printer.

3D Systems, the world's largest and oldest 3D printer manufacturer, launched an earlier version of the Cube last year. This new model, announced at this year's CES, prints objects made from one of two different kinds of plastic feedstock, ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) or PLA (polylactic acid). 3D Systems has previously sold the Cube through its own Web site, as well as … Read more