Staples (SPLS) has kicked off its back to school shopping season, hoping to boost sales after a challenging start to the year. Staples reported lower sales overall for the first quarter, and projected a sales decline in Q2. Staples’ third quarter results will reflect back to school sales, which Demos Parneros, President of North American Stores & Online at Staples, said is an important season for the company. He also sees encouraging trends in North American sales. ‘Things are starting to move forward,’ said Parneros. ‘We had lower growth than was expected, but it was good growth, and it was steady growth, so we see that continuing going forward.’ Staples is targeting small business customers for growth but in the current quarter, back to school shoppers are the focus. Staples promotes a ‘lowest price guarantee’ for its customers, and this week will kick of a national back to school ad campaign. When asked how low prices impacts margins, Parneros responded, ‘in terms of how do we make money, it’s really all about getting customers into the store multiple times.’ Staples’ higher margin back to school products include PCs, phones, and tablets.
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