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Office Depot reports Q2 loss

BY Dan Berthiaume

Boca Raton, Fla. — Office Depot reported a net loss, as well as declining total sales and same-store sales, during a disappointing second quarter of fiscal 2013. The retailer’s net loss of $64 million was the same net loss it reported in the second quarter of fiscal 2012. Excluding pre-tax charges, including some relating to the planned OfficeMax merger, and non-cash store asset impairment charges, the net loss would have been $28 million.

Same-store sales dropped 4%, largely driven by decreased sales of technology and peripherals, particularly mid-priced laptops as the market continues shifting away from laptops and toward tablets. Total sales were $2.4 billion, down 4% compared to about $2.5 billion in the second quarter of 2012. Exits from some countries in the international division offset a small sales increase caused by a favorable shift in the timing of Easter.

“Our second quarter results came in largely as expected, as we remain focused on executing against our multi-year strategic plan,” said Neil Austrian, chairman and CEO of Office Depot. “Sales continue to be impacted by a sluggish technology category, particularly laptops, as well as ongoing budgetary pressure on our federal accounts. Despite these headwinds, however, we were pleased with our cost reduction actions and progress on our key initiatives. In addition, we remain actively engaged in integration planning related to the proposed merger with OfficeMax, which we continue to expect to close by the end of the year.

On July 10, 2013, shareholders of Office Depot and shareholders of OfficeMax approved the merger of the two companies, including the issuance of Office Depot common stock to OfficeMax stockholders pursuant to the merger agreement. The merger is not final until the receipt of certain regulatory approvals and completion of other customary closing conditions.

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Changing of the guard for Sports Authority’s merchandising leadership

BY CSA STAFF

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Sports Authority has named Stephen Binkley as the company’s new CMO. He replaces EVP, chief merchant and CMO Greg Waters, who has decided to resign his position to pursue personal interests after 24 years at the company.

During his tenure at Sports Authority, Waters held several leadership roles, including EVP, marketing and merchandising, COO and SVP of store operations.

“Greg has been a great asset to Sports Authority and we thank him for his contributions to the company,” commented Michael Foss, CEO for Sports Authority. “He has played an important role in strengthening company operations and in our brand’s evolution overall. Greg will be spending the next several months aiding in the transition and we thank him for that. We wish Greg the best in all of his future endeavors.”

In his new role, Binkley will be responsible for managing merchandising and private brands for Sports Authority. He was previously SVP of merchandising and softlines. He possesses more than 25 years of retail, apparel, sportswear, footwear and hard goods experience. Prior to the position of SVP of merchandising, he held positions as SVP, misses sportswear at Kohl’s, and VP, home store at Macy’s.

“Stephen possesses significant expertise in merchandising and has shown great leadership in his time at Sports Authority,” added Foss. “Stephen is an industry veteran with a proven ability to make strategic decisions and execute to drive business results and we are excited to have him in this new role.”

Binkley, along with chief marketing officer Paul M. Okimoto will report directly to Foss.

Headquartered in Englewood, Colo., Sports Authority is one of the nation’s largest full-line sporting goods retailers with more than 475 locations across 43 states. Sports Authority offers a broad range of sporting goods from leading brands.

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GNC to tackle new market opportunities

BY CSA STAFF

PITTSBURGH — GNC Holdings has named Carmine Fortino as EVP, business development. Fortino has extensive experience in the natural products industry and was also a former director of General Nutrition Centers, Inc. from 2007-2011.

"Carmine is a great addition to the GNC senior management team. His background in multichannel development across the health and wellness segment will enhance our approach to new market opportunities as we continue to implement GNC’s proven growth strategy," said Joseph Fortunato, GNC’s chairman, president and CEO.

Fortino has led multi-brand, multichannel environments augmented by a solid background in supply chain logistics.

Most recently, Fortino was president of North American operations for Atrium Innovations, Inc., a Canadian natural health products company. In that role, his focus was on directing and building strong brand positions within the Health Food Store, Health Care Professional and Direct to Consumer channels. He is also a former CEO of Seroyal International, Inc., a Toronto-based natural nutraceutical company.

Prior to that, he held various management roles within Loblaw Companies Limited, including EVP of Ontario operations. Earlier, he served as EVP of Zehrmart Limited, an Ontario-based grocery chain owned by Loblaw Companies Limited.

GNC Holdings, Inc., headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, is a leading global specialty retailer of health and wellness products, including vitamins, minerals and herbal supplement products, sports nutrition products and diet products. It has more than 8,300 locations, of which more than 6,200 retail locations are in the United States (including 969 franchise and 2,189 Rite Aid franchise store-within-a-store locations) and franchise operations in 55 countries (including distribution centers where retail sales are made).

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