OPERATIONS

Staples to open e-commerce development center in Seattle

BY Marianne Wilson

Framingham, Mass. — Staples plans to open a dedicated to e-commerce and engineering center in Seattle that will house teams responsible for driving major initiatives to enhance areas, including next generation digital platforms, personalization, and big-data. It will be the chain’s first office on the West Coast.

“Seattle is an innovation hub rivaling Silicon Valley and features some of the world’s biggest technology companies,” said Faisal Masud, executive VP global e-commerce, Staples. “Staples new Development Center will allow us to tap into the wide range of talented engineering and e-commerce professionals on the West Coast.”

Staples is adding software development, product management, usability, analytics and online merchandising positions as it continues to invest in omnichannel capabilities that let customers shop however and whenever they want, across mobile devices, desktops and stores. The company is currently working on several new e-commerce and mobile commerce initiatives.

“Staples is investing in areas with high concentrations of the e-commerce and engineering talent that will be key to our success,” said Prakash Muppirala, VP e-commerce engineering, Staples. “We will build integrated, collaborative teams with the goal of making the shopping experience easy.”

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FINANCE

Kroger Q2 profit rises 14%

BY Marianne Wilson

Cincinnati — The Kroger C0.’s second-quarter net income rose 14%, helped by lower charges and increased revenue. The supermarket company also lifted the low end of its fiscal 2013 outlook for a key revenue metric.

"Kroger’s strong second quarter results have us on target to deliver the earnings per share growth we promised for the year," said David B. Dillon, Kroger’s chairman and CEO.

Kroger earned $317 million for the quarter ended Aug. 17, up from $279 million last year, topping estimates.

The latest quarter included an accounting-related charge of $13 million, compared with a $35 million charge in the prior-year period.

Revenue increased 5% to a better-than-expected $22.72 billion from $21.73 billion, topping Wall Street’s estimate of $22.69 billion.

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REAL ESTATE

Dunkin’ Donuts to enter United Kingdom with 50 locations in five years

BY Marianne Wilson

Canton, Mass. — Dunkin’ Donuts announced that it has signed agreements with two franchise groups to begin developing Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in the United Kingdom. The two agreements call for the development of 50 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in Greater London over the next five years, with an initial focus on North London and East London.

"We feel there is significant opportunity for Dunkin’ Donuts in the U.K., and we have had a tremendous response from potential franchisees interested in developing the brand across the country," said Giorgio Minardi, president, Dunkin’ Brands International. "We are especially excited to begin the expansion of Dunkin’ Donuts into the U.K. with The Court Group and DDMG Ltd., two experienced franchisees who have a deep passion for the brand and a solid understanding of the local market. We look forward to working with them to make Dunkin’ Donuts’ high-quality beverages, baked goods and sandwiches part of the way of life in the U.K."

The chain is also in advanced discussions with additional franchise partners to help develop a total of 150 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in the U.K. over the next five years, which includes the two signed agreements.

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