July 15, 2009 / 5:13 PM / 10 years ago

Recovery for Staples units serving small biz

A Staples office supplies store is pictured in Burbank, California in this May 13, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Staples SPLS.O is seeing a recovery in units within its North American delivery business that serve small businesses, the president of the top office supplies retailer said on Wednesday.

“We have a couple of businesses in delivery, our Quill business and our staples.com business ... that are recovering because they serve more small businesses,” Staples President Michael Miles told Reuters in an interview.

The recession has taken a toll on office products retailers such as Staples, Office Depot Inc ODP.N and OfficeMax Inc OMX.N as businesses big and small cut buying supplies to contain costs in the recession.

But Staples, which is heading into the key back-to-school sales season, is hoping its smaller clients will emerge from the economic funk first.

“I think what you are going to see is small businesses will lead the recovery,” Miles said.

Staples shares, which were down about 0.4 percent earlier on Wednesday, were unchanged at $20.03 near midday on the Nasdaq.

Reporting by Aarthi Sivaraman, editing by Matthew Lewis

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