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Borders closer to liquidation as no bidders come forward

BY Marianne Wilson

New York –Borders Group inched closer to liquidation after a 5 p.m. Sunday deadline passed and no bidders emerged to keep the bankrupt chain in business.

Late last week, investor Najafi Cos. decided to drop out of an effort to keep Borders’ remaining 400 stores open.

It now appears more likely that Borders on Tuesday will be sold to liquidators Gordon Brothers Group and Hilco Merchant Resources in a bankruptcy court auction. However, published reports said that Borders had not given up hope and would entertain offers right up until the scheduled auction in the hopes of attracting a bidder to save the chain. Among the reported candidates was Books-A-Million Inc.

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‘Most efficient’ products get EPA/DOE recognition

BY CSA STAFF

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the first products recognized as "most efficient," as part of a new program launched in May under the Energy Star initiative.

"This new designation will help Americans save money and cut pollution by quickly pointing them to the best Energy Star products have to offer. Highlighting Energy Star’s most rfficient products is a great way to encourage the strides in innovation that bring even more energy and money saving choices to our stores," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. "We know American consumers are eager to make purchases that save them money on their utility bills and reduce the pollution in the air we breathe, and these labels will help them identify the best ways to find those purchases."

According to the EPA and DOE, products designated as most efficientdemonstrate exceptional and cutting-edge efficiency performance that environmentally-minded consumers and early adopters value. The most efficient recognition will represent approximately the top 5% of models on the market in the following categories: clothes washers, heating and cooling equipment, televisions, and refrigerator-freezers.

Examples of most efficient front-load washers include:

  • FrigidaireFAFS4474, MSRP$1,149

  • Kenmore4154#21#, MSRP $1199.99/$1299.99

  • LGWM3550H MSRP $1,259 /$1,359

Examples of most efficient LCD display televisions include:

  • InsigniaNS-15E720A12, MSRP$129

  • SamsungUN32D4000ND,MSRP$649

  • PanasonicTC-L37E3, MSRP$799

Click here for the full list of current most-efficient designated products.

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Global consumer confidence up slightly

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK — Global consumer confidence cautiously edged up one index point to 93 in the second quarter as confidence increases in booming Asian markets were offset by European consumers’ growing concerns of an escalating debt crisis, which battered confidence levels in Spain, Italy and France, according to the latest edition of the Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Index. Consumer confidence rose two points in the U.S. in Q2 to 87.

“While the global economy is in better shape than it was nine months ago, (+7 index points compared to Q3 2009), the ongoing European debt crisis is a major setback to the global economic recovery anticipated this year,” said Dr. Venkatesh Bala, chief economist at The Cambridge Group, a part of The Nielsen Company.

“In the U.S., consumers are still focused on repairing their household balance sheets with 45% allotting any remaining income (once they have covered their essential living expenses) to savings and paying off debt (37%),” said James Russo, Vice President, Global Consumer Insights at The Nielsen Company. “Until the labor market shows continuous improvement, consumer spending will not be sustainable.”

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