Office Depot to Close 27 Stores
Delray Beach, Fla., Office Depot on Monday said it is closing 16 stores in North America and 11 abroad (along with a warehouse) as part of a larger restructuring that will cost $82.2 million. The chain also is eliminating its Viking brand in the United States. The brand will continue in Europe, where it has a larger following.
The company did not provide the locations of the stores to be shuttered, saying it needs time to notify affected employees and landlords. The closures “follow a review of current performance, as well as an assessment of likely future performance,” Office Depot said in a regulatory filing. The company said it also plans to further integrate and combine European operations and has eliminated certain management and “functional positions” as part of the restructuring.
Retailers Step Up Hurricane Relief Efforts
New York City, Retailers continued their efforts to lend aid to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Target Stores announced it would waive fees, payments and finance charges for Target Visa card and Target Red cardholders from the affected areas for the months of September and October. In addition, during those two months, no finance charges or will be assessed and no late charges will be charged.
Target is also reaching out to its employees in the impacted areas. Similar to Wal-Mart Stores, Target is offering positions for employees in the affected areas at any Target store nationwide.
In other developments:
•Rite Aid has sent three mobile pharmacy units to affected areas to provide prescription and pharmacy services. The chain is setting up shelters for its associates in the affected areas. The shelters are equipped with running water, cots for sleeping, cooking areas, portable showers and toilets. The chain is offering transportation to and from the shelters as needed. Thirty-four Rite Aid stores are closed due to the hurricane, the majority in the greater New Orleans area.
•CVS/pharmacy is setting up emergency pharmacy units in impacted areas along the Gulf Coast.
•Federated Department Stores has begun an internal fundraising drive among its more than 240,000 associates nationwide. All employee contributions made to the designated relief organizations will be matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis. The company is also matching customer donations. Federated is offering food, water and other transitional assistance to its 500 employees in the affected areas. It is responding to requests from employees for immediate assistance, based on need.
•From Sept. 11-14, Kohl’s stores nationwide will collect gently used clothes and shoes for Kids in Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.), a national charity that delivers apparel to disadvantaged children. All of the clothing contributions will be used to assist in hurricane relief efforts. As an added incentive, every donor will receive a coupon worth 15% off their next purchase at Kohl’s.
Bass Pro Shops Builds in Southern California
Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World is expected to open at Victoria Gardens in 2007. The 180,000 sq. ft. store will be the chain’s first store in Southern California.