Staples announced Wednesday that it will acquire Office Depot for $6.3 billion, a move that merges the two largest chain stores selling office supplies. The deal comes as the retailers are seeing massive upheaval in their industry. Demand for paper-based office supplies is dwindling as more business functions move online, and a diverse array of competitors, including Amazon.com and Wal-Mart, are competing to sell these kinds of goods. Together, the brands would have about $39 billion in annual sales and about 4,000 stores. Staples CEO Ron Sargent said that a merger would help the brands compete more effectively.
Staples didn't have a great year, so Chairman and CEO Ron Sargent won't accept a $31,000 base pay raise the board of directors had previously approved. The company announced that Sargent wouldn't accept the 2.5 percent pay increase, along with several noteworthy governance moves, including the appointment of an independent chair when Sargent retires.