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FRAMINGHAM, MASS. -In updating its outlook for the fourth quarter, Staples said yesterday it now expects total comparable sales growth for the three-month period ending Feb. 3 will be 3 percent.
"Economic factors, coupled with a highly competitive retail environment, hurt sales this quarter," said chairman/ CEO Thomas G. Stemberg.
Stemberg added, however, "Despite the slowdown, we maintained a consistent level of service in our stores and implemented aggressive programs to gain market share and satisfy out customers. Importantly, our sales trends stabilized in January and our business continues to be fundamentally strong. We are confident that we will achieve 25 to 30 percent earnings per share growth for fiscal 2001, with stronger growth expected in the second half of the year, as the economy improves."
Staples plans to take about a $200 million pretax charge against earnings in its fourth fiscal quarter. The office supplies retailer said it will write down $155 million related to its investment in its telecommunications subsidiary, Staples Communications, and about $45 million related to its investments in a number of Internet companies and certain other impaired assets.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.