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Survey: 27% of Americans to spend less on 2011 holiday

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — Most than a quarter of Americans expect to spend less during the holidays this year, according to a survey by American’s Research Group, Reuters reported.

About 27% of people surveyed said they planned to spend less this year, while about 55% expect to spend only as much as last year. The question was one of several asked exclusively for Reuters as part of a larger America’s Research Group survey.

More than half of those surveyed said they expected the economy to slow further before it recovers. Only about 18% of Americans plan to spend more this holiday season, down from 23% last year.

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Stage Stores names president, COO of South Hill division

BY Staff Writer

Houston — Stage Stores announced that Mike Searles has joined the company as president and COO of its South Hill Division, which is headquartered in South Hill, Va.

Searles will be responsible for all operations of the South Hill Division, including merchandising, planning and allocation, and store operations. He has served as chairman and CEO of Wilsons Leather Stores, and Factory 2-U Stores, in addition to holding senior executive level positions at several other national retail chains.

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BJ’s shareholders OK acquisition

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Westborough, Mass. — BJ’s Wholesale Club said Friday that its shareholders have OK’d the acquisition bid that will take the company private.

Private equity firms Leonard Green & Partners and CVC Capital Partners agreed to acquire the warehouse club operator in a deal valued at $2.8 billion.

According to BJ’s, 72% of its shareholders approved the bid. The deal is slated to close on or about Sept. 30.

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