FINANCE

GameStop advances digital strategy with two acquisitions

BY CSA STAFF

Grapevine, Texas — GameStop Corp. announced the acquisition of Spawn Labs, a streaming technology company.

In addition, GameStop announced it has entered into an agreement to purchase Impulse, a subsidiary of Stardock Systems, and a leader in digital distribution. The Impulse acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in May.

“Our customers are gaming in many locations and on many devices, and we need to deliver the same great immersive experience that they have come to expect,” said GameStop president Tony Bartel. “Spawn Labs and Impulse provide a customer-friendly and publisher-friendly way for us to accomplish this.”

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FINANCE

Office Depot to restate 2010 financials to $46 million loss

BY CSA STAFF

Boca Raton, Fla. — Office Depot said it will restate its finances for the second and third quarters of fiscal 2010 as well as for the full fiscal year. The company said the U.S. Internal Revenue Service denied its claim for an $80 million benefit related to taxes.

The removal of the benefit, which had already been recorded in financial statements, will result in a loss for 2010 of $46 million. Previously the company said it earned $33 million.

In addition, the $63 million current tax receivable associated with the carryback amount will be removed from the balance sheet, resulting in an adverse impact to its 2011 operating cash flow.

“While we are disappointed to have to restate our 2010 financial results, it’s important to note that this restatement has no impact on our previously reported 2010 EBIT or EBITDA, and no net impact on 2010 cash flows,” Office Depot CFO Mike Newman said.

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More brand for your buck

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK— Walmart, Target, The Home Depot, Best Buy and CVS took top honors in Interbrand’s annual ranking of the 50 most valuable U.S. retail brands. The U.S. brands are valued in collaboration with Interbrand Design Forum, the retail experience group within Interbrand.

Walgreens, Sam’s Club, Coach, Amazon.com, and Dell, rounded out the Top 10. Newcomers to this year’s rankings included Publix, Ross Dress for Less, Toys “R” Us, Dollar Tree, Anthropologie, and Michael’s. Companies that fell off the list included Buckle, Abercrombie & Fitch, J.C. Penney, Rent A Center and Advance Auto Parts.

The U.S. brands study is part of Interbrand’s 2011 Best Brands report, which ranks the top retail brands from the United States, Asia Pacific, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Spain. In the United States, the study notes that brand-led companies have proved resilient, responding rapidly to the downturn while taking advantage of its opportunities.

“In the past year, the best performing brands demonstrated their ability to understand customers, and have found innovative ways to strengthen the relationship with their core customers,” said Bruce Dybvad, CEO, Interbrand Design Forum.

The report identifies three emerging trends for 2011:

  • Customer’s demand for a more seamless retail experience.

  • The need for human touch in all interactions.

  • An increasingly interrelated global retail market.

Click here to read the full study.

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