Office Depot, the US office supplies retailer, is to close almost 10% of its 1,275 stores in the US and Canada with the loss of 2,200 jobs, becoming the latest leading national retailer to close outlets in response to the economic slump.

The retailer said it would close 112 sites in the next three months, and a further 14 when their leases expire over the coming year. It is also closing six of its 33 distribution warehouses.

Store closures and staff cutbacks at retail stores accounted for 7 per cent of the 533,000 jobs lost in November, according to US Labor Department statistics, with 39,000 jobs lost in total.

Office Depot also said it was cutting in half the number of new store openings planned next year from 40 down to 20, in a move to reduce its planned capital spending.

Financial Times