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Sycamore extends offer to acquire Talbots

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Sycamore Partners extended the expiration date of its tender offer to buy The Talbots by 14 days. Sycamore said in May that it would buy the women’s apparel retailer for $193.3 million, or $2.75 per share — a price that was lower than its previous offers.

The tender offer was previously scheduled to expire at midnight, New York City time, on July 13. It now has been extended to July 27.

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Barnes & Noble announces finance appointments

BY Staff Writer

New York — Barnes & Noble announced the appointment of Thomas Donohue as VP treasurer, and Kanuj Malhotra as VP corporate development.

The company also said it has promoted Andy Milevoj to VP investor relations, all reporting directly to Mike Huseby, CFO.

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Retail sales fall for third straight month

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Retail sales fell 0.5% in June, the Commerce Department said on Monday, as consumer spending declined for the third consecutive month. The drop, which followed a 0.2% decrease in May, was unexpected as many economists were expecting growth.

Falling gas prices were attributed to some of the weakness. But even excluding sales at gas stations, retail spending fell 0.3% in June. Economists said weak job growth was making consumers cautious and eating away at consumer confidence.

“Recent weak jobs data have certainly done nothing to alter our view that consumer spending growth will be very modest at best in the quarters ahead,” said Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at MFR, in an Associated Press report. “A silver lining in the economic clouds is that lower gasoline prices are helping to cushion the consumer.”

Nine of 13 major retail sales categories tracked in the Commerce Department report showed a decline last month. Sales decreased 0.7% at department stores and declined 1.6% at building supply stores. Sales at furniture stores and electronics and appliance stores both fell 0.8%.

The only bright spot were came food and beverage sales and clothing sales, which edged up 0.1% and 0.2%, respectively.

“Weak economic numbers over the past few weeks have increased anxiety about the future direction of the economy,” said Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist for the National Retail Federation. “Today’s data is discouraging but not demoralizing. If you look at the first half of the year overall, retail sales actually increased 4.6% year-over-year, indicating that the economy is improving but maybe not quick enough to impact consumer spending and job growth.”

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