April 19, 2001, 12:00 AM

Office Depot’s web sales grow 87% in Q1 while overall sales remain flat

Web sales reached $359 million in the first quarter, 12% of total company sales, Office Depot reports.

Worldwide Internet sales grew 87% in the first quarter of this year at Office Depot Inc., reaching $359 million or 12% of total company sales, Office Depot reported today. Companywide sales for the first quarter of 2001 were $3 billion, down 2% from $3.1 billion reported for the same period in 2000. Worldwide comparable sales in the 798 stores and 40 delivery centers that have been open for more than one year decreased less than one percent for the quarter.

Office Depot’s net income was $56.3 million for the first quarter, down 48% from net income of $109 million for the same period in 2000. The decline was due principally to weak North American Retail comparable store sales and lower gross margins on planned SKU reductions, the company said. International operating profit increased 27% over the comparable 2000 period to a record $63 million.

"During the quarter we continued to experience a weak retail environment particularly in technology, furniture and other related market basket items,” said Bruce Nelson, CEO. “Computer hardware and software comparable sales declined more than 28% during the quarter. Overall, comparable retail transactions actually increased during the quarter. However, in technology, declining unit sales coupled with lower average selling prices more than offset the traffic gains.”

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