Office Depot to Close 300 Stores Over Three Years

by Katie Sloan

Boca Raton, Fla. — Boca Raton, Fla.-based Office Depot Inc. (NASDAQ: ODP) announced Wednesday that the company plans to close an additional 300 stores over the next three years in an attempt to cut $250 million in costs by 2018.

Office Depot closed 42 stores in the second quarter of 2016, completing the company’s previously announced “U.S. retail store optimization plan,” which called for the shuttering of 400 stores nationwide. The company now has a total of 1,513 stores open in the United States, with plans to close an additional 25 throughout the year.

The company hopes to expand the pilot program for its smaller, 15,000-square-foot format to 24 stores by the end of 2016, with 100 stores targeted for 2017. The new, smaller footprint is designed to provide customers with easier shopping using a smaller, more curated assortment of products, while expanding in-store services.

The announcement comes on the heels of the termination of a merger with Staples Inc. in May, which resulted in a cash payment from Staples of $250 million. As a result, Office Depot has initiated a dividend of 2.5 cents per share, payable on Sep. 15 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Aug. 25.

Office Depot announced no job cuts at this time.

In the second quarter, Office Depot reported an operating income of $253 million and a net income of $210 million, with an operating loss of $51 million and a net loss of $58 million.

Office Depot’s stock price closed on Wednesday, Aug. 3 at $3.48 per share, down from $7.90 one year ago.

Katie Sloan

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