Chicago Sun-Times - - MONEY - Beth Bel­ton @beth­bel­ton

In a nut­shell: Even as Sta­ples pre­pares to go it alone, the of­fice sup­plies re­tailer says it still hopes to pre­vail in a govern­ment law­suit aimed at block­ing its takeover of ri­val Of­fice De­pot.

The up­shot: “We’ve been work­ing on Plan B for sev­eral months at this point,” CEO Ron Sar­gent said in a con­fer­ence call with an­a­lysts Fri­day, though he didn’t say how it­might dif­fer from Sta­ples’ ex­ist­ing plan to close stores and ex­pand its cus­tomer base.

The low­down: The as­sess­ment came af­ter Sta­ples re­ported fourth-quar­ter re­sults that missed man­age­ment’s ex­pec­ta­tions, ac­cord­ing to a post in ‘The Wall Street Jour­nal.’ The com­pany’s retail sales in North Amer­ica dropped 5%, ex­clud­ing newly opened and closed stores, as fewer shop­pers vis­ited its big­box stores. The chain has more than 1,900 lo­ca­tions world­wide.

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