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Staples Q2 net drops 15%; lowers forecast

BY Marianne Wilson

Framingham, Mass. — Staples said Wednesday that its second quarter net income dropped 15% amid store closings, declining traffic and lower sales of computers, ink and toner. The retailer also cut its full-year earnings and revenue forecasts, citing the weaker-than-expected results.

Staples earned $102.5 million for the period ended Aug. 3, compared to $120.4 million last year.

Revenue fell 2% to $5.31 billion, feeling the pressure of store closures and lowering sales overseas. Same-store sales, which excludes online sales, were down 3%.

Staples North American commercial division fared slightly better. Sales there fell just 1.3% to slightly more than $1.9 billion while operating income declined to $128 million from $143 million.

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Lowe’s Q2 income rises

BY Marianne Wilson

Mooresville, N.C. — Lowe’s second-quarter net income rose 26%, boosted by strong demand for its product.

For the period ended Aug. 2, Lowe’s earned $941 million, up from $747 million a year ago.

“Home improvement demand was strong during the quarter,” said Lowe’s CEO Robert Niblock. “We drove a healthy balance of ticket and transaction growth, and delivered solid performance across all product categories.”

Lowe’s Cos. reported second-quarter sales of $15.7 billion, up 10.3% from $14.2 billion in the same quarter last year.

Same-store sales rose 9.6%.

Lowe’s said it expects full year total sales to increase about 5%. It also expects to open 10 stores in fiscal 2013.

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NRF disappointed by Fed decision to appeal swipe-fee ruling

BY Staff Writer

Washington, D.C. — The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from VP for government affairs public relations J. Craig Shearman in reaction to the Federal Reserve’s announcement Wednesday that it will appeal a U.S. District Court judge’s ruling that the cap it set on debit card swipe fees in 2011 was too high.

“We are very disappointed to see the Fed giving in to the banks. The facts are very clear that the Fed set the cap far higher than intended by Congress, and the court has insisted that the mistake be fixed as soon as possible. Instead, the Fed has taken a position that will drag this out while retailers and their customers continue to pay billions of dollars in inflated fees that harm that U.S. economy. We want to see this case resolved today, not next year, so these fees can finally be brought under control.”

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