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    Some analysts question whether Office Depot plan will rejuvenate company – Sun

    #office depot business

    #

    Some analysts question whether Office Depot plan will rejuvenate company

    Office Depot plans to close 300 more stores

    Office Depot announced Wednesday plans to close 300 more stores nationwide over three years. CEO Roland Smith said the company is making good progress despite the disruption from the year-and-a-half long merger attempt with Staples.

    Office Depot announced Wednesday plans to close 300 more stores nationwide over three years. CEO Roland Smith said the company is “making good progress” despite the disruption from the year-and-a-half long merger attempt with Staples.

    Marcia Heroux Pounds Contact Reporter

    Office Depot stock gets bounce but long-term turnaround in question

    One day after Office Depot CEO Roland Smith offered his first glimpse at how he intends to turn around the Boca Raton-based retailer, some industry analysts said they were, for the most part, not wowed by the plans.

    They agreed, though, Smith had done what he had to do to boost Office Depot’s fallen stock.

    Jefferies analyst Daniel Binder says Office Depot’s $250 million cost-savings plan, announced Wednesday, does little to really reinvent this company.

    In his report on the retailer on Thursday, Binder said a second round of store closures 300 on top of the 400 already closed is, not surprisingly, part of the the new strategic plan.

    Retail analyst David Marcotte said he also was not surprised by any of Smith’s cost-cutting or future plans. However, by initiating a dividend and announcing strategies that boosted the stock, Smith made a successful move to deal with investors in a very difficult market. At the end of the day, you have to take care of investors, Marcotte said.

    Office Depot’s store of the future

    Randy Vazquez / Sun Sentinel

    Bethany Simpson, center, helps customers at the Office Depot in Margate on Wednesday. This location offers services such as professional printing and a business pro section that is designed to cater to business owners.

    Bethany Simpson, center, helps customers at the Office Depot in Margate on Wednesday. This location offers services such as professional printing and a business pro section that is designed to cater to business owners.

    (Randy Vazquez / Sun Sentinel)

    Office Depot stock rose 6 percent on Wednesday and closed at $3.51, up 3 cents or 0.86 percent, on Thursday. The stock has a 52-week range of $3.11 to $8.09. In May, both Office Depot and Staples’ stocks plummeted after their failed merger.

    Mike Baker, analyst with Deutsche Bank Research in New York, said in a report Thursday that Office Depot has a well thought-out and reasonable plan to improve their business trends. We think they are heading in the right direction.

    Still, Deutsche maintains a hold on the stock because Office Depot continues to fight market-share losses that are leading to sales and profit declines. Jefferies also rates the stock a hold rating.

    Beyond cost cutting, Office Depot also is launching Business Select, a special program to better serve small businesses; increasing its product line in janitorial and break-room supplies; and further investing in education-related sales.

    Office Depot and Framingham-Mass.-based Staples ended their planned merger on May 16 after an 18-month challenge by regulators. A U. S. District Court judge gave the Federal Trade Commission a preliminary injunction to block the merger and Staples and Office Depot decided not to fight it.

    Moving forward, Smith said one plan is to focus on smaller format stores with special services for small businesses and a curated selection of products. Four stores of the future have been rolled out, including one at 5500 W. Sample Road in Margate, he said.

    Office Depot said it would expand the new format to 24 stores this year and 100 in 2017.

    Marcotte said smaller stores are cheaper to run, with less labor, and easier to close if they don’t work out. The larger format stores that Office Depot currently has are expensive to close.

    In its conference call Wednesday, Office Depot said it had expected a lower transfer rate of customers than the 30 percent it saw with the 400 stores it closed as of its second quarter.

    While Office Depot swung to a quarterly profit compared with 2015’s second quarter loss, the retailer saw a 6 percent sales drop to $3.2 billion, compared with $3.4 billion in the same quarter in 2015.

    Marcotte said rival Staples hasn’t instituted many changes since the merger failure, except dropping Staples Connect, its proprietary smart-home and office product. He said Staples already has smaller format stores.

    Staples is scheduled to announce its second-quarter earnings on Aug. 17.

    Longtime Staples CEO Ron Sargent stepped down June 14. Company veteran Shira Goodman was named interim CEO while executive recruiter Korn Ferry conducts a search for a permanent successor.

    Office Depot lost one of its own top executives recently. Chief legal officer Elisa Garcia resigned, effective Aug. 17. Macy’s announced her appointment as its chief legal officer.





    Some analysts question whether Office Depot plan will rejuvenate company – Sun

    #office depot business

    #

    Some analysts question whether Office Depot plan will rejuvenate company

    Office Depot plans to close 300 more stores

    Office Depot announced Wednesday plans to close 300 more stores nationwide over three years. CEO Roland Smith said the company is making good progress despite the disruption from the year-and-a-half long merger attempt with Staples.

    Office Depot announced Wednesday plans to close 300 more stores nationwide over three years. CEO Roland Smith said the company is “making good progress” despite the disruption from the year-and-a-half long merger attempt with Staples.

    Marcia Heroux Pounds Contact Reporter

    Office Depot stock gets bounce but long-term turnaround in question

    One day after Office Depot CEO Roland Smith offered his first glimpse at how he intends to turn around the Boca Raton-based retailer, some industry analysts said they were, for the most part, not wowed by the plans.

    They agreed, though, Smith had done what he had to do to boost Office Depot’s fallen stock.

    Jefferies analyst Daniel Binder says Office Depot’s $250 million cost-savings plan, announced Wednesday, does little to really reinvent this company.

    In his report on the retailer on Thursday, Binder said a second round of store closures 300 on top of the 400 already closed is, not surprisingly, part of the the new strategic plan.

    Retail analyst David Marcotte said he also was not surprised by any of Smith’s cost-cutting or future plans. However, by initiating a dividend and announcing strategies that boosted the stock, Smith made a successful move to deal with investors in a very difficult market. At the end of the day, you have to take care of investors, Marcotte said.

    Office Depot’s store of the future

    Randy Vazquez / Sun Sentinel

    Bethany Simpson, center, helps customers at the Office Depot in Margate on Wednesday. This location offers services such as professional printing and a business pro section that is designed to cater to business owners.

    Bethany Simpson, center, helps customers at the Office Depot in Margate on Wednesday. This location offers services such as professional printing and a business pro section that is designed to cater to business owners.

    (Randy Vazquez / Sun Sentinel)

    Office Depot stock rose 6 percent on Wednesday and closed at $3.51, up 3 cents or 0.86 percent, on Thursday. The stock has a 52-week range of $3.11 to $8.09. In May, both Office Depot and Staples’ stocks plummeted after their failed merger.

    Mike Baker, analyst with Deutsche Bank Research in New York, said in a report Thursday that Office Depot has a well thought-out and reasonable plan to improve their business trends. We think they are heading in the right direction.

    Still, Deutsche maintains a hold on the stock because Office Depot continues to fight market-share losses that are leading to sales and profit declines. Jefferies also rates the stock a hold rating.

    Beyond cost cutting, Office Depot also is launching Business Select, a special program to better serve small businesses; increasing its product line in janitorial and break-room supplies; and further investing in education-related sales.

    Office Depot and Framingham-Mass.-based Staples ended their planned merger on May 16 after an 18-month challenge by regulators. A U. S. District Court judge gave the Federal Trade Commission a preliminary injunction to block the merger and Staples and Office Depot decided not to fight it.

    Moving forward, Smith said one plan is to focus on smaller format stores with special services for small businesses and a curated selection of products. Four stores of the future have been rolled out, including one at 5500 W. Sample Road in Margate, he said.

    Office Depot said it would expand the new format to 24 stores this year and 100 in 2017.

    Marcotte said smaller stores are cheaper to run, with less labor, and easier to close if they don’t work out. The larger format stores that Office Depot currently has are expensive to close.

    In its conference call Wednesday, Office Depot said it had expected a lower transfer rate of customers than the 30 percent it saw with the 400 stores it closed as of its second quarter.

    While Office Depot swung to a quarterly profit compared with 2015’s second quarter loss, the retailer saw a 6 percent sales drop to $3.2 billion, compared with $3.4 billion in the same quarter in 2015.

    Marcotte said rival Staples hasn’t instituted many changes since the merger failure, except dropping Staples Connect, its proprietary smart-home and office product. He said Staples already has smaller format stores.

    Staples is scheduled to announce its second-quarter earnings on Aug. 17.

    Longtime Staples CEO Ron Sargent stepped down June 14. Company veteran Shira Goodman was named interim CEO while executive recruiter Korn Ferry conducts a search for a permanent successor.

    Office Depot lost one of its own top executives recently. Chief legal officer Elisa Garcia resigned, effective Aug. 17. Macy’s announced her appointment as its chief legal officer.