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Staples Enhances Website, Acquires PNI Digital Media

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Leading retailer of office products and services, Staples, Inc. (SPLS) recently declared the launch of several enhancements to its ecommerce operations, coupled with a new look for its websites in some key European countries. The new interface will be available on Staples’ websites in UK, Spain, France, Netherlands, Italy and Germany.

The latest version of the website features a new home page, marked by a header and footer. Alongside, it includes a horizontal masthead exploring option, enabling viewers to search by different segments. The website has various other features too, which facilitate omni-channel retailing. These include a storefront designed for mobile shopping and also an option to order online and get it delivered to a convenient Staples store.

This is the second significant advancement made by Staples Europe to its website in the past 6 months through which it aims to create a more personalized experience for shoppers. With new launches and relevant promotional offers, the company plans to streamline operations and ease business.

Moreover, Staples recently declared the completion of its acquisition of PNI Digital Media Inc.’s (“PNI”) total issued and outstanding shares at a price of C$1.70 per share, abiding by the Business Corporations Act (British Columbia).

Staples had entered into the agreement to acquire Canada’s PNI Digital Media in May 2014. This move was also a part of the company’s goal of focusing on expanding its offerings, effective merchandising and enhancing online features.

PNI Digital Media’s software platform has been assisting retailers through online, in-store kiosk software and mobile apps in selling personalized products such as photo prints, photo books, calendars, business cards, documents, wedding invitations, stationery and other items.

Staples is likely to benefit from the economic rebound as its performance is highly correlated to the economic health. In an attempt to drive its performance, the company has shifted focus toward improving store productivity, accelerating growth in adjacent categories, increasing market share in core office supplies and streamlining its cost structure. Online retailers such as Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) have been impacting its sales.

Staples, which competes with Office Depot, Inc. (ODP) and United Stationers Inc. (USTR) has been closing underperforming locations and downsizing stores to rationalize its business. Additionally, the company is focusing on the delivery business, which requires less capital and generates higher margins. These positives could prove to be a game changer for this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company in the long run.

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