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DELRAY BEACH, FL-Office Depot’s same-store sales during the second quarter inched up 1%, as the Independence Day holiday just missed falling in the quarter, said executives during their conference call on the period. Management says that without the holiday shift, comparable sales would have risen between 2% and 3% for the period, which ended July 1.

During the quarter Office Depot opened 22 units and relocated two, bringing the chain to 1,071 stores. For the entire year, executives expect to open 100 stores. The retailer is expanding in both existing and new markets in North America.

Additionally, the company is remodeling stores into a new format that executives refer to as “M2.” During the quarter there were 49 remodels and 150 are planned for the year. Executives hope to remodel the entire portfolio in the next three to five years.

Office Depot’s total sales came in at $3.5 billion, rising 4%. Sales per sf in the chain are currently $229. The technology-product category was cited as the strongest-performing, which was led by the sales of notebook computers and accessories. Net earnings came in at $118 million, up from $100 million during last year’s Q2.

Office Depot does not provide guidance for future financial performance, but executives note that this should be a busy quarter. “Back to school has started early,” says Chuck Rubin, president of North American retail for the company. “It’s a competitive season.”

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