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Staples unveils plans for smaller stores

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. -- Staples has revealed plans to shrink its overall store footprint and grow its break rooms as a means to lower costs and increase sales productivity.

In a presentation to analysts at a Jefferies & Co. conference in New York City on Wednesday, Staples U.S. president Demos Pareros said new stores will be about 15,500 sq. ft. to 16,000 sq. ft., down from the current prototype of 18,000 sq. ft. and the 2000 prototype of 24,000 sq. ft.

Jefferies analysts reported from the conference that while Staples has been closing struggling stores, they don't believe mass closures are on the horizon. The analysts said Staples managers said they can recoup 50% or more of sales lost when a store closes because customers will instead buy online or go to another Staples store nearby. The analysts also said Staples plans to offer more tablet computers and, in hopes of improving sales productivity, expand its break rooms.