US-based office supplies store, Staples posted a flat quarterly profit and said that it would cut its outlook for the rest of 2008, after CEO Ron Sargent states the US economy is in recession.
Speaking about the retailer's performance over the crucial Christmas quarter, Staple's president and COO told investors: "Sales were weaker than expected throughout the quarter but we had a particularly slow December.
"While there were a few hot selling items during the holiday season such as the Dell assortment, GPS and digital frames we saw a significant drop off in consumer spending that month."
Sargent praised the retailer's European and UK operations saying: "Our Retail and Delivery teams there did a superb job of focusing on the levers that will get us to a 7.5 per cent operating margin. Their hard work has put us well on the way to achieving this goal."
He added that the UK was among the markets that had helped drive growth in the region.