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El Centro site among 67 ‘underperforming stores' to be closed by Office Depot

January 03, 2001|By ANTHONY LONGORIA, Staff Writer

After a little over a year in business, the Office Depot in El Centro is set to close.

Florida-based Office Depot Inc. announced yesterday it would close 67 of its stores in the United States, locations the company is calling "underperforming stores."

Lauren Garvey, director of media relations for the company, confirmed yesterday that the local store was one of five locations statewide that the company plans to close.

About 1,400 employees have been affected by the store closures nationwide. The local store, at 650 N. Imperial Ave., employs 21 people.

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Office Depot spokeswoman Eileen Dunn said employees will be offered jobs at nearby Office Depots.

Local Office Depot manager Bob Minton declined to make a statement to this newspaper.

The company warned the public last week of its plans to close an undisclosed number of stores, mostly those opened between 1998 and 2000. The company was hit with poor computer and computer-related product sales in the last year.

Office Depot is the largest office supply retailer in the country with annual sales totaling $12 billion. After the store closures, the company will have 818 stores in North America.

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