News

Tweet products to your Amazon shopping basket

BY CSA STAFF

Thanks to a partnership between Amazon and Twitter, people can now link their Twitter accounts to their Amazon accounts and shop for items by responding to any tweet with an Amazon product link and hashtag #AmazonCart.

Customers can link their accounts by going to Amazon.com/AmazonCart.

The tweet only adds an item to a consumer’s shopping cart, but consumers must log into Amazon to complete their purchases.

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News

Cooking Light products available at Target & Walmart

BY CSA STAFF

Cooking Light, Time Inc.’s leading epicurean brand, has expanded its prepared-foods line and co-branded SodaStream flavors to Target and Walmart.

“Expanding the distribution of Cooking Light’s branded products into major national retailers like Target and Walmart is the next step in the overall growth strategy for our product portfolio,” said Cooking Light group publisher Diane Oshin. “We’ve already seen tremendous consumer response with strong sales at BJ’s Wholesale Clubs and on SodaStream’s website, and are thrilled that even more consumers will have access to our delicious and healthy offerings.”

Cooking Light’s healthy prepared-foods line is available at 250 Super Target stores across the U.S. Six products are available for purchase, including Seared Sliced Beef Sirloin, Sliced Turkey Breast, Beef Provencal Stew, Chipotle Pork Roast, Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Braised Kale. The products are based on recipes that were developed and tested in the Cooking Light Test Kitchens. They are available in the prepared foods section.

SodaStream Cooking Light flavors will be available at 1,585 Walmart stores nationwide and on www.walmart.com at the end of May. The fruit-based syrups include Passionfruit-Mango and Kiwi-Pear. SodaStream Cooking Light flavors are also currently available online at www.sodastreamusa.com for a retail price of $6.99.

At BJ’s Wholesale Clubs, Cooking Light is expanding its product line to include Flatbreads, which will be available June 2014.

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OPERATIONS

Office Depot to close 400 stores by 2016

BY Marianne Wilson

Boca Raton, Fla. — Office Depot will close at least 400 U.S. stores during the next two years as part of its plan to consolidate operations after its acquisition of OfficeMax last November. The closings were not unexpected since there are many locations where the two brands have stores in close proximity to one another. The retailer also raised its full-year adjusted operating income forecast after reporting better-than-expected first quarter results amid cost cutting efforts.

Office Depot said the stores will be closed by 2016, with 150 of the shutterings coming at the end of this year. The company, which currently operates about 2,000 stores, said it had not finalized which locations would be closed.

“One of our 2014 critical priorities is to improve our store footprint in North America to best meet customer demand, ensure we are appropriately positioned in the markets we serve, and align with our unique selling proposition which we are developing this year,” said Roland Smith, chairman and CEO of Office Depot. “The overlapping retail footprint resulting from the merger provides us with a unique opportunity to consolidate and optimize our store portfolio, while maintaining the retail presence necessary to serve our customers.”

Smith said the company anticipates the store closures will generate annual run-rate synergies of at least $75 million by the end of 2016, and will begin to be accretive to earnings in 2015.

Big-box office supply retailers have been hit hard by changing shopping patterns and online competition. In March, Office Depot rival Staples announced it planned to close 225 stores in North America.

In the three months ended March 29, Office Depot reported a net loss of $109 million, compared to the same period a year ago, before the purchase of Office Max, when the company suffered a loss of $7 million. Sales rose to $4.4 billion, from $2.7 billion last year. The company reported $96 million in merger-related charges.

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