Staples Will Close Hundreds of Stores

Morning Money Memo…

One day after RadioShack revealed it will close 1,100 stores, Staples has announced a big cost-cutting drive.

The office supply retailer will shut 225 stores by the end of next year in a bid to make annual savings of $500 million. The firm says nearly half of its sales are now generated online, so it will aggressively cut costs to become more efficient.

Staples, RadioShack and many other retailers are struggling to fight back against Amazon and other discount online retailers. Staples same-store sales plunged 7 percent in the latest quarter compared with the previous year.

The California slaughterhouse that recalled almost nearly 9 million pounds of beef products last month sold some meat that came from cows with eye cancer, according to documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by The Los Angeles Times.

Meat processed by Rancho Feeding Corp., based in the San Francisco Bay area, was sold to thousands of retailers including Kroger and Wal-Mart as well as smaller meat markets that serve Latino customers.

Food Safety News says at least 6,300 stores were affected by the expanding recall. The investigation also led to Nestlé recalling some of its Hot Pockets sandwiches because a small quantity of Rancho meat was used by one of its plants.

A food fight over Safeway. Private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management has made a buyout offer for America's second-largest supermarket chain. But there may a bidding war. The Wall Street Journal says Kroger could make a rival bid. The move could lead to further consolidation in the supermarket industry where some smaller chains have been gobbled up by larger competitors.

Wall Street investors are turning their attention from the crisis in Ukraine to the US jobs market. The Labor Department releases its monthly employment report tomorrow.

Markets were much calmer yesterday after big price swings earlier in the week. The S&P 500 ended a fraction lower yesterday after Tuesday's record close. Energy stocks were the biggest losers as oil prices dropped for a second day with an easing of tensions over Ukraine. Stock futures rose this morning.

The US Energy Department says testing shows employees in New Mexico who were exposed to radiation during a leak at America's only underground nuclear waste dump aren't likely to suffer any health effects. The agency and the contractor that operates the Plant near Carlsbad made the announcement.

Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio Twitter: daviesnow

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