Staples, The Office Superstore, is set to open its first Baltimore store April 1. But that's only the beginning for the office supply giant, which has announced an aggressive plan to penetrate the regional market.
Following the opening of the first area Staples in the 1500 block of Reisterstown Road, a second Staples is set to open April 22 in the 1000 block of Russell St. in South Baltimore, the former site of the Kash & Karry wholesale food market.
Officials at Staples say two more stores will be opening in the Baltimore area by fall. Both will be housed in newly constructed buildings, one in the 5800 block of York Road in Baltimore, and the other at Catonsville's Security Station Shopping Center in the 1700 block of Rolling Road.
"We're very, very excited about Baltimore," said Thomas G. Stemberg, chairman and chief executive officer of Staples, which is a public company based in Newton, Mass.
Stemberg said he is confident the Baltimore area stores will be a success despite the area wide recession.
"The economic downtown in the region is a mixed bag for us," Stemberg said. "On the one hand, it would suggest that there are fewer office employees than otherwise might be, and, therefore, fewer purchases being made.
"On the other hand, in a poor economic environment, businesses are getting more cost conscious and we pick up market share."
Stemberg said the Baltimore area was attractive to the company because of the high concentration of small- and mid-size businesses in the area. Also, the area was chosen because of its proximity to Washington, where Staples has nine stores and plans to open three more over the next three weeks.
Staples, whose owners do not refer to it as a discount warehouse, is known nonetheless for its discount prices on a variety of office supplies.