Staples Inc. shifting to online sales, store closings expected

Posted March 06, 2014, at 6:27 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The operators of Staples Inc. are changing how they do business and are expected to close a number of retail stores by the middle of next year. But it’s too early in the process to know if any stores in Maine will be affected, a spokesperson for Staples Inc. said Thursday.

“As customers shift online, we are taking aggressive action to right-size our retail footprint,” Carrie McElwee said in an email interview. “We are committed to providing great service and every product businesses need, whether it’s in-store, online or through mobile. We don’t have additional details to share on specific locations or timing.”

Staples is expected to close 225 stores, as the result of plummeting sales, and move toward online marketing of several new products, including a line of educational children’s electronics, McElwee said.

Staples operates two stores in Bangor and 11 others across Maine.

The cuts at Staples come on the heels of Tuesday’s announcement that Radio Shack is closing up to 1,100 stores, after sales dropped 19 percent. Information about Radio Shack’s 30 Maine stores was not immediately available.