Big Box Watch: Plummeting Stock Roundup

Seems like all is not well in the land of the big-box retailer. According to a few articles passed my way this week, looks like almost everyone is in trouble.

First up is Staples, most recently seen violating overtime laws, which according to Bloomberg.com reported a record 33% drop in stock price from last year, despite claims of increasing sales. Like everyone, they are quick to cite the failing economy, and I will not deny them that. However, they also cite a lowering of demand for office supplies, which anyone who is in the industry can tell you simply isn’t true. No matter how many people you lay off, you still need enough pens for everyone who is left.

Also on the chopping block is Office Depot, which stock market blog Seeking Alpha lists as a stock to dump if you’re still holding on to any. Though it has recovered from its “economic crisis” plunge, OD stock is nowhere near where it used to be. And with long-term prospects not looking good and intense competition from online retailers, analysts are thinking this is as good as it’s going to get for the big-box chain. A last, dying gasp? Maybe.

All in all, it’s not a good time to be clinging to old business tactics. There’s a reason companies like this are called “dinosaurs”, and it’s not just because they’re old. They’re also lumbering, not too bright in many areas, and tend to get killed off by change.

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