Did Staples Create Jobs?

Staples launch was made possible by venture capital assistance from Bain Capital.  Bain Capital began as a venture capital company, but they failed.  A lot.  Staples is one of their shining stars.  Mitt Romney then moved the company to a leveraged-buyout company because it was easier dealing with established companies than un-established companies.

But this doesn’t stop Romney from parading Staples around as a success story which launched 100,000 jobs (note, Staples has 90,000 employees world-wide).  But the question is how many net jobs did they create?

Staples replaced the mom and pop office supply stores with superstores.  The superstores employ a couple of cashiers, a manager and a few people to stock the shelves.  If you go into Staples there are people there to take your money, but few if any people to help you.  While a mom and pop store may employ fewer (though not many fewer) ,  each Staples replaced (read “put out of business”) dozens of  small mom and pop stores.

It’s true that Staples claim to fame was lower prices, but the demand for office supplies is a function of growth in business, not price.  I’ve never heard a manager say: “We’re going to hire that new employee because we save 10 cents on a box of paper clips.”

So even if you throw in all of Staples corporate and buyers, net-net, Staples probably made more people un-employed than employed.



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6 responses to “Did Staples Create Jobs?

  1. I heart Michelle Obama. And Deval Patrick. Terrific lineup of speeches tonight.

  2. We had a great first night!

    • dnd

      Well, Michelle Obama didn’t proclaim: “I love you women!” but it was a pretty good speech 😉

      I saw Deval Patrick, Julian Castro and the First Lady’s speeches. All three were better that any speech in Tampa. Except for Clint Eastwood 😉

      Big dog tonight.

  3. Can we haz picture of Michelle Obama in that perfect dress, instead of Staples? She looked as beautiful and fresh and competent as she did in 2008, in that turquoise dress. That’s an accomplishment, after all the Obamas have been through and had directed at them.

    Excellent speech, by the way.

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