Make us your home page

Office Depot to close 112 stores, 3 in Florida

Businesses have cut spending on office supplies so deeply that Office Depot Inc. said Wednesday that it will close 112 stores and six of its 33 distribution centers.

That's about 9 percent of its retail footprint in North America.

The closings, triple what the Delray Beach retailer normally does yearly to adjust for shifting market conditions, will be spread over the next three months. Sales in North America plunged 11 percent — 14 percent in stores open more than a year — in the third quarter.

The company, which operates 15 stores in the bay area, is closing just three Florida stores, in Jensen Beach, Daytona Beach and Haines City. Gordon Brothers was hired to handle the liquidation sale. The company also cut store openings in half to 20 in 2009. Charges against fourth-quarter earnings will range from $270-million to $300-million.

"We sell discretionary items for businesses, but we don't know when this financial crisis is going to end," Mike Newman, chief financial officer, said Oct. 29 when Office Depot reported an unexpected quarterly loss. "We're slicing and dicing our business with a focus on cash flow and liquidity."

Still under the microscope: exiting business areas such as Japan and selling up to 40 stores to investors for cash and leasing them back.

Office Depot had chopped its inventory by 15 percent in the quarter ended Sept. 27 in response to shrinking demand. But even the improved profit margins proved no salvation when sales in the United States and in states like Florida continued to deteriorate. The company lost $7-million on quarterly sales of $3.7-billion. Rivals Staples and OfficeMax reported similar sales results.

The company's stock price has been battered. From a high of $15.42 in February, it hit a low of $1.50 in the late-November meltdown. Shares closed up 9 percent Wednesday at $2.65.

But a volatile market that values an office supplies retailer with $15-billion in sales at $728-million has riveted management attention on Office Depot's cash and ability to borrow. Office Depot had $400-million in cash and liquidity of $1.5-billion when it released quarterly results a month ago.

Mark Albright can be reached at or (727) 893-8252.

Office Depot to close 112 stores, 3 in Florida 12/10/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 10:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa is 15th-most popular city to move to with U-Haul


    TAMPA —Tampa is undoubtedly a destination point, at least according to U-Haul.

    Tampa is the No. 15 destination for people moving with U-Haul trucks. | Times file photo
  2. Florida's economy growing faster than other big states and far better than U.S. overall


    When it comes to economic growth, Florida's running alongside the leading states and well ahead of the United States as a whole.

  3. Westshore Marina District project takes shape with another acquisition

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — One of Tampa Bay's prime waterfront areas took another major step toward redevelopment Friday as WCI Communities bought 2.35 acres in Westshore Marina District.

    WCI Communities, Lennar's high-end subsidiary,has paid $2.5 million for 2.35 acres in the Westshore Marina District for 35 townhomes. WCI is under contract  to buy an additional 9.5 acres.
[BTI Partners]
  4. Posh Guy Harvey RV park to open in Tampa Bay with $250,000 cottages


    HOLIDAY — Love those Guy Harvey T-shirts with the soaring marlins? In the not too distant future, you might be able to kick back in your own Guy Harvey cottage in the first-ever Guy Harvey RV park.

    Renderings of the clubhouse and an RV cottage site of the planned Guy Harvey Outpost Club & Resort Tarpon Springs.
[Guy Harvey Outpost Collection]
  5. Port Tampa Bay secures $9 million grant to deepen Big Bend Channel


    Port Tampa Bay has secured a $9 million grant from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the widening and deepening of the Big Bend Channel in southern Hillsborough County.