Staples exec discusses small business customers

AP News
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Posted: Dec 01, 2009 4:23 PM

The nation's largest office supply retailer, Staples Inc., relies on a mix of consumers and small-business customers. While retail sales have ticked up, small-business sales remain weak. CEO Ron Sargent said in a call with investors Tuesday morning that Staples is likely gaining market share among small-business customers.

QUESTION: Could you talk a little bit about the small-business performance and what kind of environment they're facing?

ANSWER: I think with small businesses in general, people are concerned about credit and people are concerned about how long (the weak economy) is going to last, but ... jobs (are) the answer and I think that should be the focus of our nation's economic policy at this point. ... We feel like we've been taking share throughout the entire recession, and typically, when recessions end, that's when you really get the Pogo stick effect and maybe we're starting to feel that a little bit now in (our) retail business.