Operating profits at Office Depot’s North American retail division declined from $82m (£50m) to $81m ($49.4m) in the first quarter to March 28. Like-for-likes plummeted 17 per cent while total sales slumped 16 per cent to $1.4bn (£854.4m).

The company, which includes a business solutions arm, reported a net loss of $55m (£33.6m), compared with a $69m (£42.1m) profit last year. It blamed the decline on a “less aggressive” advertising stance.

Like-for-like sales at rival Staples’s North American retail division fell 8 per cent while total sales dropped 9 per cent to $2.2bn (£1.34bn) in its first quarter to May 2.