REAL ESTATE

Nordstrom Rack to open at Westfield Plaza Bonita

BY CSA STAFF

Seattle –Nordstrom announced it will open a 42,222-sq.-ft. Nordstrom Rack at Westfield Plaza Bonita shopping center in National City, Calif. The new store will open on Oct. 27.

The new Nordstrom Rack will be the company’s third Rack store in the greater San Diego area, joining Westfield Mission Valley in San Diego and Grand Plaza in San Marcos.

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FINANCE

NRF launches advocacy campaign to preserve swipe-fee reform

BY CSA STAFF

Washington, D.C. — The National Retail Federation Wednesday launched a major nationwide 60-day lobbying, grassroots and media campaign aimed at ensuring that a new federal law saving retailers and their customers more than $1 billion a month by lowering “swipe” fees banks charge to process debit-card transactions takes effect in late July as scheduled.

A provision in last year’s Wall Street reform bill will reduce the fees by an estimated 70% saving about $14 billion a year that retailers plan to pass along to their customers through discounts or other benefits, but the credit-card industry is spending millions to delay the reform.

“Congress concluded last year that swipe fees have been driving up prices for consumers by far too much for far too long,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Now that Congress has done something about these fees, retailers are standing by to pass the savings along to their customers through lower prices and higher value. Our job over the next two months is to ensure that swipe-fee reform takes effect as planned, and consumers get to enjoy all the new benefits.”

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FINANCE

Staples cuts outlook and scales back expansion as profit disappoints

BY CSA STAFF

Framingham, Mass. — Staples reported Wednesday that first-quarter profit rose 5% to $198.2 million, boosted by overseas strength and increased buying by small businesses in North America. Its results were softer than expected, and the company slashed its full-year earnings guidance and said it is scaling back on new store construction.

Revenue for the period ended April 30, rose 2% to $6.18 billion, from $6.06 billion a year ago. Same-store sales slipped 1%, mostly on a decline in Canadian retail customer traffic. International revenue climbed 4%, while North American retail revenue edged up 1%.

"Our first quarter results show that we’re making good progress on our key growth initiatives and we’re gaining share in North America, but at a cost to our bottom line," chairman and CEO Ron Sargent said in a statement.

The retailer now expects to open about 20 new U.S. stores and 10 new Canadian stores, while closing 10 stores, Reuters reported. This will give Staples 20 new stores in North America, about half of what was originally projected.

In addition, Staples is also in the process of "trimming significant square footage" from its current 18,000-sq.-ft. format, Sargent said. He also said the chain "plans to be aggressive in reducing the size of existing stores," as it has about 500 leases up for renewal over the next three years.

Despite missing estimates and scaling back its store plans, Staples reported better first-quarter sales overseas and increased buying by small businesses in North America.

International revenue climbed 4%, helped by strong performances from China and South America. North American retail revenue edged up 1%.

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