Staples 4Q15 Earnings Call Notes

Ronald Sargent

Customer traffic weak in North America

“In North American stores and online, customer traffic was weak during the fourth quarter. Some of these head wind was driven by our decision to be less promotional during the holiday season and not to open our stores on Thanksgiving Day. But beyond these headwinds we continue to continue to face weak traffic in our stores and our desktops website in the United States.”

Christine Komola

Biggest issue facing us is the secular decline

“We haven’t heard a lot about employment and you guys track employment statistics the same we do. The change or we’ll know a little bit later today. [Cross Talks]. Our competitors are always looking for competitors. Customers are always looking for competitive pricing. That’s a constant and that’s not going to change. I would say probably the biggest that it’s the secular decline and the headwind that that gives off.”

Shira Goodman

Ongoing decline is 1-2% per year

“Okay. So our best estimate of the overall market decline, and here I’m talking around our legacy categories of supplies, ink and paper, is about a negative 1% to 2%. In terms of the behavior of our existing customers, it’s relatively constant. As I said, our goal, our strategy and what the team is really executing to is to compensate for the core decline with BOS growth, and those are categories which by large have some growth in them where we have very, very little market share, and where we have shown inability to gain share. “