Staples and OXO: Poor Timing or Strategic Boon?

The recession could challenge Staples' pricey new co-branded products from OXO, but the partnership may also set the retail chain apart

How's this for bad timing? Staples (SPLS) just introduced 25 co-branded office products from OXO Good Grips that cost up to five times more than Staples' own brand. The retailer's customers are in no mood to spend, however. Staples' same-store sales dropped 8% in North America in its most recent quarter. As Ronald L. Sargent, its chairman and chief executive officer noted recently, the chain is "in a very tough sales environment."

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