FINANCE

Report: TJX Putting Bob’s Stores on Block

BY CSA STAFF

New York City TJX Cos. is reportedly in discussions to sell its money-losing Bob’s Stores, Bloomberg reported on Friday, citing people with knowledge of the sale process.

TJX, whose brands in the United States include T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods and A.J. Wright, has benefited as shoppers look for cheaper alternatives. It posted a nearly 20% profit gain on a 6% increase in sales in its first quarter ended April 26.

The bulk of TJX’s sales come from T.J. Maxx and Marshalls. But Bob’s Stores, which TJX acquired in bankruptcy in 2003, remains in a slump.

According to the report — which cites anonymous sources — potential buyers for Bob’s include private-equity firm Versa Capital Management Inc. The report said TJX’s adviser Peter J. Solomon Co. is seeking a buyer that will keep Bob’s 34 stores open.

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Hasbro files infringement suit against the creators of Facebook’s ‘Scrabulous’

BY CSA STAFF

PAWTUCKET, R.I. In another infringement case involving the toy industry, Hasbro has filed suit against the creators of the Scrabulous game application, which it claims infringes on its SCRABBLE intellectual property rights. Hasbro also has delivered a notification of copyright infringement under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to Facebook, which hosts the Scrabulous game, requesting that it remove the application in the U.S. and Canada as soon as possible.

The suit, which was filed in the Southern District of New York earlier today, names Scrabulous creators, Rajat Agarwalla and Jayant Agarwalla, and RJ Softwares as the defendants.

“Hasbro has an obligation to act appropriately against infringement of our intellectual properties,” said Barry Nagler, Hasbro’s general counsel. “We view the Scrabulous application as clear and blatant infringement of our SCRABBLE intellectual property, and we are pursuing this legal action in accordance with the interests of our shareholders, and the integrity of the SCRABBLE brand.”

Hasbro has a strategic alliance with Electronic Arts to create digital games based on Hasbro’s intellectual properties. As part of this alliance, EA launched a legitimate version of SCRABBLE for Facebook earlier this month, which is the start of many Hasbro game properties slated to launch on social networking sites later this year.

“Hasbro and Electronic Arts are very pleased to offer fans an authentic SCRABBLE experience on Facebook, which is complementary to EA’s full-range of SCRABBLE offerings–from the cell phone, to the iPod and now, social networking,” said Mark Blecher, gm of Hasbro digital media and gaming. “Hasbro and EA have worked diligently to provide a great game play experience on Facebook, and we are confident that fans of the game will welcome a genuine experience highlighted by top-of-the-line graphics, strong technical support and of course, classic SCRABBLE game play.”

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Education expert helps ODP go back to school

BY CSA STAFF

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. Office Depot has enlisted the help of author and education expert, Dr. Michele Borba, to help its consumers get the most out of their back-to-school shopping. In addition the company is offering a new online resource called “Taking Care of You for School: Tips for Making Back to School Cool and Affordable,” which features smart shopping tactics parents can implement to get their kids the cool and stylish products that they want, and also stay within their budgets.

Kids will love the great assortment of trendy, must-have fashionable products at Office Depot, including exclusive designs not found anywhere else, said Dr. Michele Borba, author and parenting advisor for Office Depot. And, parents will love Office Depot because it is a one-stop shopping destination for all school supplies and has guaranteed low pricing. 

Office Depot has also launched a dedicated site for back-to-school season at www.school.com, which features tips from Dr. Borba, as well as information on promotions and savings on various products.

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