FINANCE

Tesco Sales Jump, Upbeat on U.S. Launch

BY CSA STAFF

London Tesco announced Tuesday that third-quarter sales surged and said its recent foray into the United States had been well received. Tesco launched U.S. stores last month under the “Fresh & Easy” banner.

Tesco said in a trading update that group sales leapt by 11.8% in the thirteen weeks to Nov. 24 compared with the same period of the previous year.

In Britain, third-quarter sales for the company (excluding petrol) grew by 4.1% on a like-for-like basis, which strips out the effect of new floor space. International sales soared by more than a quarter, boosted by a solid performance in Asia.

So far, Tesco has opened 15 Fresh & Easy stores. The group aims to have 50 outlets by the end of the current financial year in February 2008, with the total rising to 200 by February 2009.

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Office Depot updates ‘green’ catalogue

BY CSA STAFF

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. Office Depot announced today that is launching the fourth edition of its fourth Green Book, a catalog of nearly 3,000 products featuring a wide range of environmental attributes.

According to the company, the new Green Book features more than 2,200 recycled or remanufactured products and 600 items with environmental benefits other than recycled, such as reduced energy, non-toxic, refillable and rechargeable, as well as other products and tips for an environmentally-conscious business.

“Year-over-year we are seeing a significant increase in the number of customers wanting to ‘green’ their purchasing practices,” said Steve Schmidt, president of Office Depot’s North American Business Solutions division. “Office Depot’s Green Book provides these businesses with a unique solution, complete with product recommendations and consultative guidance, to achieve their goals.”

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Sears chairman fires back at investors

BY CSA STAFF

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. Sears Holdings chairman Eddie Lampert fired back at investors and analysts last week for their disregard of the retailer’s progression.

Lampert defended the company in a letter to employees on Friday, one day after Sears posted a 99% drop in earnings and a 3% slide in revenues for the third quarter.

“We are one of the few retail companies that have actually reduced our overall debt levels while at the same time investing over $1 billion on capital expenditures, making investments in inventory for our customers, contributing significantly to our pension plans for our past and future retirees, and repurchasing over $3 billion of our shares,” Lampert wrote in the letter, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Sears Holdings is the fourth largest retailer in the United States.

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