Biz Briefs: CEO Speaks: Less Is More

INSTEAD OF PANDERING TO EVERYONE, STAPLES IS FOCUSING ON ITS CORE CUSTOMERS

In retail, the general rule has always been, the more customers, the better. But these days certain companies, like Staples and Best Buy, are concluding that when it comes to profitability, less may actually be more. TIME staff writer DANIEL EISENBERG talked with Staples CEO Ronald Sargent about how this bold marketing approach, among others, is helping the office-supply superstore giant pull away from the pack.

TIME: After more than a decade at Staples, you took over from co-founder Tom Stemberg three years ago, just as the booming business of the '90s was slowing down. How big a challenge was that?

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