FINANCE

Barnes & Noble shareholders approve ‘poison pill’

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Barnes & Noble’s shareholders on Wednesday ratified a shareholder rights plan that prevents an outside investor from acquiring 20% or more of the company’s shares without board approval.

Preliminary results show 72% of shareholders voted in favor of the plan at a special shareholder meeting in New York. The plan limits shareholder stakes to 20%, finally making the so-called "poison pill" official.

“We are very gratified by the overwhelming shareholder support for the rights plan, which we believe is a critical protection for Barnes & Noble shareholders,” the company said in a statement.

Activist investor Ron Burkle recently waged and lost a proxy fight for seats on the bookseller’s board, which he says favors the family of Chairman Leonard Riggio.

Barnes & Noble created the plan in 2009 after Burkle acquired a 19% stake in the bookseller. At the time Barnes & Noble said it would eventually need to be approved by shareholders. Burkle had expressed interest in increasing his stake to be closer to Riggio’s own 30% stake in the company.

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REAL ESTATE

Gap to open in Chile

BY CSA STAFF

San Francisco — Continuing its global expansion, Gap announced a franchise agreement to introduce its namesake Gap brand in South America. The first Gap store is expected to open in Santiago, Chile, in the Parque Arauco mall, in September 2011.

Gap has signed a franchise agreement with Komax, for exclusive rights to operate Gap brand stores in Chile. Komax will purchase merchandise from Gap and must adhere to the company’s quality standards.

With the announcement, Gap now has franchise agreements in place for a total of 25 countries on six continents.

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FINANCE

Survey: Black Friday shopping likely to be ‘intense’

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — According to a special national consumer poll commissioned by the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs, 31% of households plan to shop on Black Friday in 2010 compared with 26% in 2009. However, the strongest driver of Black Friday shopping is children, as 43% of households with kids are planning to shop on that day. Additionally, 37% of households reported that they plan to shop on the Saturday or Sunday after Thanksgiving.

“With consumers further behind on their holiday shopping than in recent years, Black Friday shopping will likely be intense this year as consumers shop for bargains to complete their gift lists,” said Michael P. Niemira, chief economist and director of research for ICSC.

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