FINANCE

Staples Results Hurt by Tough Conditions

BY CSA STAFF

Framingham, Mass. Staples Inc. said on Tuesday that tough market conditions hurt quarterly results and that its acquisition of Dutch rival Corporate Express would add slightly to 2008 earnings.

Sales in its fiscal second quarter, which ended Aug. 2, rose 3%.

Retail sales in North America fell about 1%, while same-store sales dropped 7%, Staples said, calling its results, excluding Corporate Express, “weaker than anticipated.”

The weakness extended to its European market, where Staples said same-store sales fell 7%, hurt by weak customer traffic and size of orders.

Staples said it expects the acquisition to add slightly to full-year earnings and that it expects incremental interest expense of more than $100 million in the “back half” of 2008.

It also forecast integration and restructuring costs of $30 million to $40 million in the back half of 2008 and $50 million to $70 million in 2009.

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Linens ‘N Things earns vendor support

BY CSA STAFF

CLIFTON, N.J. Linens ‘N Things announced that it has obtained the support of many key vendors for its Trade Vendor Payment Program, approved by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware last month.

Springs Global US, the Yankee Candle Company, Croscill Home Fashions, and M. Block & Sons, four major suppliers of merchandise to the company, have now agreed to participate in the Trade Credit Program, which provides letters of credit of up to $100 million. The company has agreed to limit participation in the Vendor Program to $100 million. To date, over 40 vendors have signed up for the Vendor Program.

We are very appreciative of the widespread support shown by our vendors as we progress with our restructuring and head into the busy fall shopping season, said Michael Gries, chief restructuring officer and interim ceo. The Trade Vendor Payment Program is critical to maintaining positive relationships with the trade community, as we provide our customers with the wide assortment and depth of quality merchandise they expect from Linens ‘N Things. 

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Jones promotes Friedman to ceo, company-owned footwear and apparel

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK Jones Apparel Group announced that Jay Friedman has been promoted to ceo of company-owned retail footwear and apparel. Friedman, who previously served as president of company-owned retail footwear and apparel, will continue to report to Andrew Cohen, ceo of footwear, accessories and retail.

Cohen said, “Under Jay’s leadership, the team has implemented a number of initiatives to improve the performance of the retail chain, including enhancing merchandise assortments throughout our stores and remodeling and refreshing our store environments to enhance the consumer’s overall shopping experience. I congratulate him on this well-deserved promotion.”

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