This Afternoon's Top News Stories

Here's a quick look at a few of the headlines making news this afternoon.

Changes at Staples
Staples
(Nasdaq: SPLS  ) has announced broad restructuring that includes accelerating the closure of 15 U.S. stores and closing 45 stores in Europe, the company announced today. The company plans to reduce retail square footage in North America by about 15% by the end of fiscal year 2015. It is also pursuing the sale of its European Printing Systems business. Changes include combining U.S. retail and Staples.com businesses under the leadership of Demos Parneros.

"We are building on the strengths that are the foundation of our success by focusing on five key priorities: accelerate growth in our online businesses; fully integrate retail and online; improve retail store productivity; restructure our International Operations; and return cash to stakeholders," said CEO Ron Sargent in a press release.

Gloom lifts a bit for consumers
Consumer confidence improved in September as people were more positive about things such as employment and the economy, The Conference Board reported today. Here are a few tidbits from the latest monthly report:

  • Those stating jobs are "plentiful" rose to 8.3% from 7.2%.
  • Those claiming jobs are "hard to get" edged down to 39.9% from 40.6%.
  • Those claiming business conditions are "good" edged up to 15.5% from 15.3%.
  • Those saying business conditions are "bad" declined to 33.3% from 34.3%.

Fire at PotashCorp facility
PotashCorp
(NYSE: POT  ) is reportedly working to free 20 miners trapped at its Rocanville, Saskatchewan, Canada, factory after a fire broke out. Nine workers had already been rescued, according to a report on The Globe and Mail website that was published around 12:30 p.m. today. "At this point the fire appears to be contained," Bill Johnson, senior director for corporate affairs at PotashCorp, was quoted as saying. "As far as we know all of our employees are safe and there haven't been any reported injuries."

Fool.com editor Kris Eddy does not own shares of any company mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of Staples. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Staples. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.


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