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How Amazon is destroying its biggest rival: Strategist

Staples is planning a reboot of its image but can it compete against its biggest rival, Amazon?

"That was easy"? More like, not so much.

After ten year, Staples is finally getting rid of its "That was easy" tagline, replacing it with "Make more happen". This is part of the company's attempt to reboot its image from an office supply store to a retailer with more emphasis on its online sales.

Not everyone thinks it will work. Steve Cortes, founder of Veracruz TJM, thinks the company has major obstacles ahead.

"Retail reinventions don't typically work," says Cortes. "Look at JC Penney, look at Sears."

Cortes believes the company can't hope to compete against its biggest rival, Amazon.

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"I think a lot of folks would be surprised to learn that [Staples] is the second-biggest online retailer after Amazon," says Cortes. "But, I think that's the problem: It's Amazon. [Staples is] trying to compete against a company that dwarfs them in terms of scale, that has pricing power that Staples will never have, and a company in Amazon that is willing to get market share at almost any cost regardless of profitability."

Staples doesn’t stand a chance, according to Cortes.

"They are going up against a giant with deep pockets, a giant that doesn't care about near-term profitability," says Cortes. "This is a bad investment."

Talking Numbers contributor Richard Ross, Global Technical Strategist at Auerbach Grayson, is more bullish about Staple's future based on the stock's charts.

"Fundamental turnarounds are often difficult to detect until it's almost too late," says Ross. "That's why I focus on the technicals. That's why I'm actually a buyer of Staples."

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For Ross, the stock is at the end of a symmetrical triangle patter which could prove to be good for Staples.

"It tells you that a big break is coming and I think it's to the upside," says Ross. "I think this stock trades $24. That's potentially 50% upside here. I love Staples here for 2014."

To see the rest of analysis by Cortes and Ross on Staples, watch the video above.

 

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