ECOMMERCE

Office Depot re-launches environmental site

BY CSA STAFF

Boca Raton, Fla. Office Depot has re-launched the company’s environmental Web site at officedepot.com/environment.

The redesigned site provides a summary of Office Depot’s strategy, solutions and leadership under its global environmental vision to “Increasingly Buy Green, Be Green and Sell Green.”

The company said the site provides stakeholders with a clearer picture of how it tracks, measures and improves its environmental performance, while assisting customers to go green in their organizations.

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FINANCE

Ann Taylor Q1 loss less than expected

BY CSA STAFF

New York City Ann Taylor Stores Corp. said Wednesday it lost $2.3 million in its fiscal first quarter as sales fell. The loss was smaller than Wall Street had expected, however.

Sales slid 28% to $426.7 million from $591.7 million on declining results at both its Loft and namesake stores. The results missed Wall Street’s estimate of $454.7 million.

Same-store sales tumbled 30.7% in the first quarter. Loft’s same-store sales fell 24.2%, while Ann Taylor same-store sales sagged 42.7%.

The company blamed its soft same-store sales results on a consumer-spending pullback prompted by the recession. Loft’s results got better as the quarter progressed due to improved product assortment and lower price points that appealed to budget-conscious shoppers, it added.

Click here for complete results.

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News

Safeway sued over fuel rewards program

BY CSA STAFF

IRVING, Texas Excentus has filed a lawsuit against Safeway and Safeway subsidiaries, including Blackhawk Network, Blackhawk Marketing and Randalls/Tom Thumb alleging that Safeway used patented information to develop its fuel rewards program.

According to Excentus, during 2006 and 2007, Safeway, through its Blackhawk subsidiaries, attempted to acquire Excentus as well as the patents owned by Auto-Gas Systems (which are now owned by Excentus). Excentus claims that after Blackhawk failed to complete a transaction with either party, Safeway wrongfully used the patents, trade secrets and confidential information belonging to Excentus to develop its fuel rewards program called PowerPump Rewards. Excentus’ complaint also asserts that Safeway’s PowerPump Rewards program is a willful and deliberate infringement of four patents owned by Excentus.

“We believe our patent-protected fuelperks! rewards program is the most powerful customer loyalty program ever offered in the United States,” said Dickson Perry, president and CEO of Excentus. “We have made significant investments over the last ten years to develop our world-class technology, services and expertise and acquire the related trademarks and patents, all of which are valuable components of the fuelperks! program and assets of our company. When faced with situations like this one with Safeway, we are prepared to take the necessary steps to assure our assets and interests are protected.”

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