March 6 Staples Inc, the largest U.S.
office supplies retailer, reported a 10.6 percent decline in
quarterly sales, hurt mainly by a fall in same-store sales in
North America, and said it planned to close 225 stores by 2015.
The company also said it had initiated a $500 million gross
cost reduction program.
Staples' sales fell to $5.87 billion in the fourth quarter
ended Feb. 1 from $6.57 billion, a year earlier.
Comparable store sales in North America, excluding sales
through Staples.com, fell 7 percent.
Staples' net income from continuing operations rose to $212
million, or 33 cents per share, from $90 million, or 14 cents
per share, a year earlier.
The company earned 33 cents per share from continuing
operations, excluding items.