REAL ESTATE

Staples unveils plans for smaller stores

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Framingham, Mass. — Staples has revealed plans to shrink its overall store footprint and grow its break rooms as a means to lower costs and increase sales productivity.

In a presentation to analysts at a Jefferies & Co. conference in New York City on Wednesday, Staples U.S. president Demos Pareros said new stores will be about 15,500 sq. ft. to 16,000 sq. ft., down from the current prototype of 18,000 sq. ft. and the 2000 prototype of 24,000 sq. ft.

Jefferies analysts reported from the conference that while Staples has been closing struggling stores, they don’t believe mass closures are on the horizon. The analysts said Staples managers said they can recoup 50% or more of sales lost when a store closes because customers will instead buy online or go to another Staples store nearby. The analysts also said Staples plans to offer more tablet computers and, in hopes of improving sales productivity, expand its break rooms.

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News

Two new executives join RILA board

BY CSA STAFF

WASHINGTON — The Retail Industry Leaders Association announced that Louis D’Ambrosio, president and CEO of Sears Holdings and Joseph DePinto, president and CEO of 7-Eleven, have been named to its board of directors.

“We are honored to welcome Joe and Lou to the RILA Board. They join a highly engaged group of chief executives who provide RILA with invaluable strategic leadership and knowledge to help RILA deliver on behalf of the retail industry," said RILA president Sandy Kennedy. “Their experience and industry know-how will add to what is already a stellar Board.”

D’Ambrosio has served as Sears Holdings CEO and president since February. He served as the president and CEOof Avaya Inc. from July 2006 to June 2008. He also served as a director of Avaya from November 2006 to June 2008.

DePinto leads the premier company in convenience retailing. 7-Eleven, Inc. is the operator, franchisor and licensor of more than 38,400 stores worldwide, of which some 8,200 stores are in North America. Before being appointed chief executive of 7-Eleven in 2005, DePinto was president of GameStop. He also has held executive positions at PepsiCo, Inc. and Thornton Oil.

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FINANCE

Rite Aid narrows its loss in the Q1

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Camp Hill, Pa. — Rite Aid Corp. surprised Wall Street on Thursday by paring its losses more than expected in the drug store retailer’s fiscal first quarter.

Rite Aid reported that it lost $65.5 million in the quarter ended May 28, compared with a loss of $76 million in the year-ago period. The retailer cited cost tightening and same-store sales gains for the improved performance.

Revenue was flat at $6.39 billion, the second straight quarter the company’s revenue held steady. Before that, revenue fell for 10 consecutive quarters.

Same-store sales for the quarter edged up 0.8%.

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