FINANCE

Borders stalls bill-paying to remain liquid

BY CSA STAFF

Ann Arbor, Mich. –Borders Group Inc. said Sunday that payment of some bills due at the end of January is being delayed to help the book seller "maintain liquidity" while trying to complete a restructuring of its debt.

Last week, the company received a commitment for $550 million in financing from General Electric Capital, subject to conditions that include securing $175 million from other lenders and continuing to close stores.

The company, which laid off 45 mostly-headquarter employees earlier this month, said payments would be delayed to "vendors, landlords and others." Last month, the chain delayed payments to publishers as it began searching for new financing.

In its statement Sunday, Borders said the company "understands the impact of its decision on the affected parties, but … is committed to working with its vendors and other business partners to achieve an outcome that is in the best interest of Borders and these parties for the long term."

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OPERATIONS

Report: Online labor demand jumps 438,000 in January

BY CSA STAFF

New York City -A report released Monday by The Conference Board said that labor demand rose sharply in January after being relatively flat during the last half of 2010.

According to The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine Data Series, online advertised vacancies rose 438,000 in January to 4,273,000. With the January increase, labor demand has risen 1.44 million since the series low point in April 2009. This increase now offsets approximately 80% of the 1.76 million drop in ad volume during the two-year downturn period from April 2007 through April 2009.

“The very strong seasonal gain to start 2011 is welcome news following seven months of essentially flat U.S. labor demand,” said June Shelp, VP, The Conference Board. “Last year, after a promising start (up about 350,000 in January 2010), labor demand fizzled, and the last half of 2010 was actually flat with no appreciable gains in job demand. Hopefully the January 2011 increase suggests that employers are seeing a pickup in their businesses and labor demand will continue to improve throughout this year.”

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REAL ESTATE

Gap to open permanent 1969 concept store in SoHo

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Robert K. Futterman & Associates said that Gap has signed a long-term lease to open a store for its Gap 1969 brand in Manhattan. The shop, which will feature Gap’s 1969 denim collection, will be located downtown in the SoHo area, between Spring and Broome streets. Gap 1969 is currently operating in a temporary space in the neighborhood.

Gap 1969 is scheduled to open in early spring 2011. It will occupy 2,800 sq. ft. of ground-floor selling space, and 3,000 sq. ft. in the basement and the sub-basement.

"Gap 1969 has been successful with its temporary location in SoHo and wanted a permanent location that could offer a wide-open floor plan allowing the brand to showcase its entire collection of merchandise on one level," said Ariel Schuster executive VP RKF.

This will be the third Gap 1969 store to open in the United States. Over the last two years, the brand has established outposts in Los Angeles and Chicago.

Gap 1969 focuses on premium 1969 denim and features hand-selected fashion-forward pieces from Gap¹s seasonal collections.

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