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Cost Plus to Close 26 Stores, Cut Jobs


Oakland, Calif. Cost Plus Inc. announced plans to close 26 stores and cut jobs on Friday in an effort to save about $21 million a year, after the specialty home retailer reported weak holiday sales.

The company also plans to exit eight media markets. Cost Plus did not identify those markets or the stores to be closed.

The company will also cut 18% of the staff in its home office and distribution center.

Cost Plus had 808 corporate office and distribution employees as of Feb. 2, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The company had 2,719 full-time and 3,986 part-time employees at the time.

The company expects its action to save about $21 million a year starting in fiscal 2009.

Cost Plus also said its same-store sales fell 4.3%in December and 6.6% for the nine-week holiday period ended Jan. 3.

In addition, Cost Plus said on Friday that Michael J. Allen, the company's executive VP for store operations, has left the company.

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