March 18, 2009, 12:00 AM

A key acquisition helped Staples grow its e-commerce base in 2008

Staples says e-commerce sales grew as a result of its $4.4 billion acquisition of international office supplies retailer Corporate Express Inc. in July. Based on the acquisition, the web accounted for 33% of Staples` total 2008 sales of $23.10 billion.

Mark Brohan

Research Director

A key acquisition helped Staples Inc. grow its global e-commerce operation in 2008.

In 2008, Staples reported web sales of $7.7 billion, which is 37.5% higher than the retailer’s e-commerce sales of $5.6 billion in 2007. Staples says e-commerce sales grew as a result of its $4.4 billion acquisition of international office supplies retailer Corporate Express Inc. in July. Though Staples won’t disclose any specific e-commerce figures for Corporate Express or by how much Staples.com grew in 2008, the acquisition did help the company grow its e-commerce base and share of the global online office supplies market.

Based on the acquisition of Corporate Express, the web accounted for 33% of Staple’s total sales of $23.10 billion in 2008 vs. 29% of total sales of $19.37 billion in 2007.

A key acquisition and a bigger global e-commerce operation also solidifies Staples’ position as No. 2 in the forthcoming 2009 edition of the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide over Office Depot, No. 4. Web sales for Office Depot declined by 2% to $4.80 billion in 2008 from $4.90 billion in 2007. OfficeMax Inc., No. 6 in the current Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, has yet to break out its 2008 web sales.

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