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Michaels to Outsource Select Functions

BY CSA STAFF

Irving, Texas Michaels Stores has reached an agreement with Tata Consultancy Services to co-source various functions, initially including portions of the retailer’s IT, information services and accounts payable functions.

“Our goal in 2009 is to focus our time, resources and people on our core competencies that have made us the world’s largest arts and crafts specialty retailer,” said Michaels CEO Brian Cornell. “By allowing TCS, a leading IT services and business solutions provider, to handle functions not directly related to our core retail competencies, we can move forward toward that goal.”

Michaels said it will also eliminate 95 positions and co-source 200 others in an effort to streamline costs.

“We are in solid operational shape, with adequate liquidity, and we want to build on that foundation to weather current and future economic conditions while remaining the leader in our category,” said Cornell. “Our current strategic initiatives are moving us in the right direction, and we know that now is a good time to examine our business and make decisions from a position of strength and stability.”

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Staples expands ink, toner recycling program

BY CSA STAFF

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. Staples announced that beginning Feb. 1, it will expand its ink and toner recycling program to award $3 in Staples Rewards on any brand of type of ink toner to customers who recycle these products.

In 2008, the company recycled more than 22 million ink and toner cartridges. With this program expansion, Staples expects to recycle more than 30 million cartridges in 2009 and become the world’s largest ink and toner recycler.

This expanded recycling program will make it even easier for customers to recycle their ink and toner cartridges while providing new ways to save money and be more eco-friendly. Customers can simply bring empty cartridges to any Staples store, each of which will earn them $3 back in Staples Rewards or Staples Teacher Rewards, on up to 10 cartridges per calendar month. Ink and toner recycling Staples Rewards are sent monthly and can be used on any Staples purchase in store, online or over the phone.

“The emergence of user-friendly ink and toner recycling programs like the one Staples is offering is an important step in helping Americans make more environmentally-friendly choices in their daily lives by keeping valuable products and materials out of the waste stream,” said Matt Hale, director of the Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery of U.S. EPA.

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New competition in Walmart’s backyard

BY CSA STAFF

Target competes with Walmart in virtually every market where its 1,684 stores are located. But this spring, one market of particular interest will be Rogers, Ark.

The rapidly growing community in the Northwest corner of the state is adjacent to the town of Bentonville, where Wal-Mart’s headquarters are located. Target’s new store set to open March 8 is the retailer’s first in Benton County, and the closest to its arch rival’s headquarters. Previously, if Wal-Mart’s home office employees or its suppliers wanted to conduct competitive store visits, they traveled south to Washington County and the town of Fayetteville, where Target has operated a discount store for the past 10 years.

Target’s newest unit at 2404 Promenade Boulevard is adjacent to the new Pinnacle Hills Promenade mall. The new mall was a godsend to area residents hungry for convenient alternatives to shopping at Walmart, and that is likely to be the case with Target as well.

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