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Subprime mortgage crisis hurts spending

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK The subprime mortgage crisis is having a strong impact on consumer spending, according to a new survey by TNS.

TNS found that one-third of adults plan to reduce spending because of the effects of the subprime mortgage, citing major cutbacks in home improvement/major furniture purchases and technology purchases. Furthermore, the study found that seven out of 10 Americans blame subprime mortgage lenders for creating the crisis.

“While there certainly are other worries on consumers’ minds, these results show the subprime mortgage crisis will impact spending habits,” said Bob Neuhaus, evp of financial services of TNS North America. “Coupled with the fact many people blame lenders, it is an opportune time for financial institutions to recalibrate their brand image and client interactions by tailoring services to address their customers’ financial anxieties.”

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CEA predicts 7% jump in holiday CE sales

BY CSA STAFF

ARLINGTON, Va. The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is forecasting a 7% increase in holiday sales of consumer electronics with laptop computers and video games leading the way.

The CEA projects $48.1 billion in consumer electronics sales for the 2007 holiday season. “Consumer electronics will be the shining star of holiday retail sales, accounting for 22% of all gifts given,” said CEA economist Shawn DuBravac.

A CEA survey shows the top 5 wish list items for CE gifts this year include laptop computers, video game systems, digital cameras, MP3 players and big screen TVS. The 7% jump in sales forecast for this year would be less than half the 15% increase from 2006.

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Fortunoff ties the knot with celebrity wedding planner

BY CSA STAFF

UNIONDALE, N.Y. Fortunoff has hired a new bridal spokesperson to provide couples with bridal registry and event planning, the company said last month.

Mindy Weiss, dubbed the wedding planner to the stars, will use her expertise and provide customers with creative party planning ideas, interior decor tips and utilize her skills with in-store events, visual merchandise presentations and online interactions to make a client’s wedding as stress-free as possible.

Weiss made a guest appearance last month at the company’s White Plains and Westbury stores to provide her creative tips and knowledge of wedding trends for brides-to-be.

“Mindy will be an exciting new complement to Fortunoff’s 85 years experience… [as] one of the nation’s leading tabletop, housewares and jewelry merchants,” said Fortunoff ceo Arnie Orlick.

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