Consumer confidence falls to nine-month low
New York — A report released Friday found that confidence among American consumers declined in April to a nine-month low. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment declined to 72.3 in April from 78.6 a month earlier, lower than Bloomberg’s earlier estimates that called for a flat reading.
The decline reflects consumer pessimism about the economy and continuing effects from the increased payroll tax.
“If this weakness persists, then I think it will likely temper spending in coming months,” said Millan Mulraine, director of U.S. rates research at TD Securities USA LLC in New York. “The rollback on payroll taxes is beginning to have an impact on consumer spending activity and consumer confidence.”
WSJ: Hedge fund pressures Jones Group to sell parts of portfolio
New York — A report by the Wall Street Journal on Friday said that hedge fund Barington Capital Group is pressing Jones Group Inc. to slim down by divesting parts of its portfolio.
Citing an unidentified source, WSJ said that Barington – in a meeting earlier this month – urged Jones to hire financial advisers to analyze many of the company’s 35-plus to pare down the portfolio and focus on its core and emerging brands.
The New York-based retailer is in the throes of a turnaround, led by CEO Wesley Card. Last year, Jones Group posted a $55 million loss on sales of $3.8 billion, well below pre-recession sales of $4.7 billion in 2006.
Frigidaire, Hhgregg want customers to get organized
INDIANAPOLIS — Frigidaire and Hhgregg are encouraging customers to get more organized through a special sweepstakes offering daily prizes and Frigidaire’s french door refrigerators through April 27.
Throughout the sweepstakes a $100 gift card will be awarded daily. Frigidaire french door refrigerators in 28 cu. ft. and 27 cu. ft. sizes will be awarded to the grand prize and first and second prize winners, respectively.
Customers can earn more chances to the win with the“100 Ways to Organize” game, plus a chance to win the game grand prize of a 27 cu. ft. Frigidaire Stainless Steel French Door Refrigerator.