Staples Has Been Sold

For $6.9 billion.

Staples storefront / Photo via Wikimedia Commons

How much is a brick-and-mortar office supply chain worth in 2017, the era of online shopping, Amazon takeovers, and retail battle royales? $6.9 billion. That’s how much a firm called Sycamore Partners will pay to purchase the brand, which has struggled to cope in a market that’s swallowing old-school storefronts whole.

Stefan Kaluzny, the firm’s managing director, sounded an optimistic note in an announcement of the sale.

“With an iconic brand, a winning strategy, and dedicated and passionate associates who are deeply focused on the customer, Staples is truly an outstanding enterprise,” Kaluzny says in a statement,. “We have tremendous confidence in CEO Shira Goodman and great respect for the Staples management team and are excited about this opportunity to partner with them to accelerate long-term profitability.”

But as the New York Times reports, it won’t be easy to right the Staples ship. It’s seen its revenue decline and has been rapidly closing stores. The move comes after a judge scuttled a $6 billion effort to join forces with Office Depot, which had before that acquired OfficeMax in 2013.

Sycamore also owns Talbots, Hot Topic, and the Limited.

Staples, which got its start in Boston and is headquartered in Framingham, announced that it was putting itself up for sale to private equity firms in April.

The pace of change when it comes to retail stores is pretty jarring these days. Amazon just bought all of Whole Foods for $17.3 billion and is delivering goods to Bostonian’s doors quicker than pizza delivery drivers, Target is setting up shop as quickly as they can in small outlets around the city, and big retailers like Sears are in dire straits.