Office Depot shuts Bangor store

Posted Dec. 10, 2008, at 11:15 p.m.

CHICAGO — Office Depot Inc. will close about 9 percent of its North American stores and cut 2,200 jobs over the next three months while planning to open fewer locations next year in an effort to cut costs.

The stores on Stillwater Avenue in Bangor and in South Portland are among those to be shuttered, an Office Depot spokesman confirmed Wednesday. An employee at the Bangor store said there were about 15 full- and part-time workers there.

Office Depot shares, which have tumbled more than 82 percent since the beginning of the year, climbed 30 cents, or 12.4 percent, to $2.73 in midday trading.

The plan to shutter 112 stores will reduce the chain’s base to 1,163. It plans to close 45 stores in the Central U.S., 40 in the Northeast and Canada, 19 in the West and eight in the South.

Office Depot, which began the year with about 49,000 workers, also will close six of its 33 North American distribution facilities.

Meanwhile, the Delray Beach, Fla.-based company said it plans to shut another 14 stores next year while opening just 20 new sites, half of what it planned.

Analysts said the move was needed and will likely give the company a much-needed short-term financial boost. But they said they doubted the effort would be enough to fix the company’s financial condition.

The company plans to work with Gordon Brothers Retail Partners LLC to liquidate the material in the stores, a process it hopes to be completed by late March, according to a regulatory filing.

Office Depot will take related charges of $270 million to $300 million in 2008 and 2009.

BDN staff writer Abigail Curtis contributed to this report.

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