OPERATIONS

GameStop to close 120-130 stores; open 300-400 tech stores under new banners

BY Dan Berthiaume

Grapevine, Texas — GameStop Corp. will close 120-130 of its 6,457 stores worldwide in 2014 and add 300 to 400 new tech stores under three different banners: Spring Mobile, Cricket and Simply Mac. The closures and openings are part of the company’s new “GameStop3.0” repositioning. The new strategy emphasizes mobile-gaming.

“The opportunities that have presented themselves we see as unique,” said GameStop CEO Paul Raines during an investor meeting last week.

In the current fiscal year, GameStop expects to open between 200 and 250 Spring Mobile stores. Simply Mac will see another 20-25 stores added in markets underserved by Apple’s own retail chain. GameStop is expecting to add another 100 to 150 Cricket locations to the 31 it was running at the end of its last fiscal year.

Apple and AT&T will contribute to the cost of opening the new stores. GameStop thinks each of its three new technology brands can individually become a $1 billion business.

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Aeropostale files suit against H&M

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Aeropostale has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against rival specialty apparel retailer H&M. The suit, filed in federal court in Manhattan, alleges that H&M used the phrase “Live Love Dream,” trademarked by Aeropostale, on apparel and accessory items.

Aeropostale says it notified H&M of the infringement, but H&M did not cease using the trademarked phrase. H&M has not publicly responded to the suit yet.

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Office Depot to shutter Canadian OfficeMax Grand & Toy stores

BY Dan Berthiaume

Toronto – OfficeMax Grand & Toy, an affiliate of Office Depot, Inc., will close all of its 19 Canadian retail stores. OfficeMax Grand & Toy will continue to service its business customers via the company’s e-commerce website, customer service centers and direct sales representatives.

The 19 retail outlets, located in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia and Manitoba, will begin closing in the next few months. Approximately 160 employees, both full time and part time, will be impacted by the store closures. The retailer said only 3% of its sales come from in-store walk-ins.

“We are concentrating our efforts on ways to better serve our customers in response to their changing business needs,” said Simon Finch, general manager, OfficeMax Grand & Toy. “Our customers overwhelmingly prefer an online experience because it offers more products, a constantly growing selection, and convenient door-to-door delivery.”

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