Rent-A-Center to Close 280 Locations
Plano, Texas Rent-to-own retailer Rent-A-Center Inc. says it plans to close about 280 stores nationwide. The company says the closures will cost the company up to $30.5 million in the next 12 to 18 months.
Rent-A-Center currently operates about 3,355 company-owned stores in North America.
After the closures, the company projects it will save $2 million to $2.5 million a month in operating expenses.
On Oct. 29, Rent-A-Center reported flat earnings of $25.3 million for its quarter ended Sept. 30. It made $25.2 million in profit in the year-ago quarter.
“Although we believe that our customer continues to face financial challenges, we have been encouraged by the positive results from our operational initiatives, as well as an increase in demand in October,” chairman and CEO Mark E. Speese said in a written statement at the time of the earnings announcement.
Office Depot updates ‘green’ catalogue
DELRAY BEACH, Fla. Office Depot announced today that is launching the fourth edition of its fourth Green Book, a catalog of nearly 3,000 products featuring a wide range of environmental attributes.
According to the company, the new Green Book features more than 2,200 recycled or remanufactured products and 600 items with environmental benefits other than recycled, such as reduced energy, non-toxic, refillable and rechargeable, as well as other products and tips for an environmentally-conscious business.
“Year-over-year we are seeing a significant increase in the number of customers wanting to ‘green’ their purchasing practices,” said Steve Schmidt, president of Office Depot’s North American Business Solutions division. “Office Depot’s Green Book provides these businesses with a unique solution, complete with product recommendations and consultative guidance, to achieve their goals.”
Sears chairman fires back at investors
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. Sears Holdings chairman Eddie Lampert fired back at investors and analysts last week for their disregard of the retailer’s progression.
Lampert defended the company in a letter to employees on Friday, one day after Sears posted a 99% drop in earnings and a 3% slide in revenues for the third quarter.
“We are one of the few retail companies that have actually reduced our overall debt levels while at the same time investing over $1 billion on capital expenditures, making investments in inventory for our customers, contributing significantly to our pension plans for our past and future retirees, and repurchasing over $3 billion of our shares,” Lampert wrote in the letter, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Sears Holdings is the fourth largest retailer in the United States.