Staples Profit Inches Up
Framingham, Mass. Staples Inc. posted a 1.5% increase in quarterly profit on Tuesday, and stood by its outlook for the full year. The increase matched Wall Street’s expectations. The retailer, which has launched a hostile bid to buy smaller Dutch rival Corporate Express NV, warned it expects weak economic conditions to persist through 2008.
Earnings were $212 million in the first quarter that ended May 3, compared with $209 million in the year-earlier period. Quarterly sales rose 6% to $4.9 billion. International same-store sales rose 4% in the quarter, but North American retail same-store sales fell 6%.
Staples’ sales have weakened in recent quarters as slowing job growth, the U.S. housing downturn and the credit crunch have forced small businesses to cut spending. Product categories that suffered the most in the most recent quarter, Staples noted, were business machines and furniture, which include higher-priced, discretionary items.
The company said it opened 35 stores in the first quarter and had plans for about 100 more in the year.
Kroger reminds families about food safety
CINCINNATI As the summer grilling season approaches, The Kroger Co.’s family of stores is reminding customers about the four keys to safe grilling: chill, clean, separate and cook.
“Grilling out with family and friends is a terrific summer pastime we can all enjoy. At Kroger, we are partnering with our customers to remind them to follow these easy food safety tips so that every cookout is a success,” said Joe Grieshaber, group VP Kroger’s meat, seafood, deli and produce departments.
Retail pharmacies partner with Google for new health tool
NEW YORK Retail pharmacies such as CVS Caremark and Walgreens have partnered with Google to help consumers manage their health care information online through Google’s latest product, Google Health.
Using the Google Health tool, consumers can access vital health information, such as their prescription history. In addition, Google is working with the retailers to better integrate its product with their pharmacies. For example, patients who receive treatment at CVS’s MinuteClinic will be able to securely import their visit summaries into their Google Health Accounts. For its part, Walgreens is offering customers the chance to have their prescription history updated to Google Health on a daily basis.