Staples Reportedly Considering Leaving U.K. after Failed Office Depot Merger

Staples Store

The U.K.’s The Telegraph reports that office-supplies superstore Staples is considering pulling out of the U.K. market, which has 107 Staples stores across the country.

After Staples’ bid to merge with competitor Office Depot was blocked by U.S. regulators earlier this year, Staples is said to be “reviewing the future of its European operations, which includes around 200 stores, and plans to slash $300 million (£226 million) of annual costs.”

According to The Telegraph, last year, Staples’ restructuring plan in the United Kingdom resulted in an increase of sales by 7 percent to £116 million and £3.4 million in profits.

The Telegraph reports that Staples may have recently appointed KPMG to work on options which could include a sale of Staples’ U.K. business or financial restructuring. Staples’ retail shops in Britain are said to be located in “poor retail park locations, which would make it less appealing to a trade buyer.”

The Telegraph also states that retail experts have cautioned that “it will become even tougher for bricks and mortar shops” as Britain’s vote to leave the European Referendum is expected to “knock consumer confidence in a market which is already grappling to adapt to changing shopping trends.”

A spokesman for Staples Inc. said: “After the proposed acquisition was blocked, on May 10, 2016, Staples announced (that) we are exploring strategic alternatives for our European operations. This will allow the company to sharpen our focus and more aggressively pursue our mid-market growth strategy in North America, while right-sizing our retail business. While this process remains on track, we have no additional details to share at this time.”

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