FINANCE

IPO Delayed at J. Crew

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, J. Crew will delay its initial public offering until early 2006, the New York company said. J. Crew Operating Corp. also said it’s extending to Jan. 23 a bond offer for senior subordinated notes due 2014. J. Crew filed its $200 million IPO on Aug. 17 with underwriters Goldman Sachs and Bear Stearns. It was expected to move ahead this year.

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Report: Linens ‘n Things Negotiations Heat Up

BY CSA STAFF

Clifton, N.J., Linens ‘n Things is reportedly in advanced talks to be acquired by Apollo Management, a New York City-based private equity group, for about $1.2 billion. The retailer, based in Clifton, N.J., put itself up for sale in September.

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Poll Reveals Cautious Consumers

BY CSA STAFF

Costa Mesa, Calif., According to the latest Experian-Gallup Personal Credit Index (SM) survey, 32% of consumers expect to spend less this year, while just 12% expect to spend more and 56% expect to spend about the same.

“Consumers cite financial factors, especially the price of energy, but also general price increases and lower income as the major reasons why they will spend less,” said Ed Ojdana, group president of Experian Interactive. “About half of all consumers expect to spend $500 or less, while the other half expect to spend more than $500. About a third of consumers, 34%, expect to spend at least $1,000.”

In light of financial difficulties, the vast majority of consumers expect to limit their spending to the amount of money they have on hand. Only 12% say that their holiday spending will increase their credit-card debt.

About one in five households, 22%, will have extra money available this holiday season in the form of a holiday bonus from their employer. Most will use at least part of it to cover holiday expenses, while others will use some of it to help pay off current debt or make a special purchase. About half will save or invest at least part of the bonus.

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