Sycamore Partners plans to focus on organizing Staples (SPLS +2.1%) into a delivery business, a retail business and tighter operations in Canada, sources tell Reuters. Of the three, it's the delivery business that is believed to have piqued the interest of the private equity firm the most.
Another interesting thought on Staples comes from Axios' Dan Primack, who speculates that Sycamore might revive a Staples-Office Depot (ODP +1.3%) merger.
Office Depot (NYSE:ODP) entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Centriq Technology to develop a unique business application utilizing their award-winning asset management platform.
“This exclusive agreement with Centriq is the first step in showing that we are moving toward a strategic transformation of our company outside of the traditional retail model,” said Gerry Smith, chief executive officer of Office Depot, Inc. “Centriq’s unique technology platform has many applications and we will leverage that technology to provide new services and an interactive sales experience for our customers beyond the traditional modes of selling paper, ink and toner.”
“The benefit for businesses is efficient management of their assets and retention of that knowledge all in the palm of their hand,” added Smith. “Through game-changing applications like this, we will differentiate Office Depot and provide value for our customers.”
Retail stocks are having a good day after a round of earnings reports (BBY, GES, ANF, WSM) come in ahead of expectations. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF (NYSEARCA:XRT) is up 1.81% in morning action.
The rally is being led by apparel store chains and apparel makers, although plenty of other retailers are riding the coattails of earnings reporters. Notable gainers include Delta Apparel (DLA), Sequential Brands Group (SQBG +5.5%), Carter's (CRI +3.1%), Crocs (CROX +2.6%), Guess (GES +15.4%), Shoe Carnival (SCVL +9.9%), Tailored Brands (TLRD +5%), Burlington Stores (BURL +6.2%), Staples (SPLS +4.6%), Build-A-Bear Workshop (BBW +4.4%), Fred's (FRED +2.7%), Tilly's (TLYS +5.6%), Pier 1 Imports (PIR +3.9%), Sears Holdings (SHLD +27.2%), Office Depot (ODP +1.9%), J.C. Penney (JCP +3.2%) and Bon-Ton Stores (BONT +6.4%), Dollar General (DG +3.5%), Big Lots (BIG +2.2%) and Five Below (FIVE +1.7%).
Strong earnings report from Five Below and PVH seem to be swaying investors in the retail sector. The two late reporters gave a deeper look at Q1 trends than some of the earlier earnings disclosers. Investors may also be factoring in the heated battle in Congress over health care reform as an indication that the border tax proposal could face an uphill climb.
Today's strong move in the U.S. follows a day in the Europe where retail names are beating out all sectors in the Stoxx Europe 600.
Select retail gainers: Ascena Retail Group (ASNA +5.8%), Gap (GPS +3%), Buckle (BKE +6.2%), Tilly's (TLYS +3.9%), Office Depot (ODP +4.2%), Finish Line (FINL +4.5%), Stein Mart (SMRT +3.7%), Cato (CATO +4.1%) and Francesca's (FRAN +3.4%), Guess (GES +4.2%), Tuesday Morning (TUES +1.6%), Rite Aid (RAD +3.3%) and Boot Barn (BOOT +2.3%).
Office Depot (NYSE:ODP) announced a partnership with Silverback Learning Solutions to bring districts and administrators personalized learning solutions that help foster student and educator achievement.
The unique partnership combines Office Depot, Inc.’s Committed to Learning initiative with Silverback Learning Solutions’ education software Milepost, Teacher Vitae and EdifyAssess, powered by Silverback Learning, which allow teachers and districts to personalize education learning plans while managing interventions and monitoring achievement.
“Silverback Learning Solutions’ pledge to personalized education aligns with Office Depot’s Commitment to Learning,” said Becki Schwietz, senior director of growth strategies for Office Depot, Inc. “From our perspective, it’s an innovative approach to the direction of education in the future, and we are excited to be involved.”