BUSINESS EXPANSION:In a revision of the scope of its business, Gordon Bros. Group has committed $100 million to purchase excess consumer goods directly from manufacturers and retailers. The Boston-based company, best known for liquidations of inventory on behalf of retailers, now can take direct ownership of excess inventory for disposition through third-party channels. The company is adding staff to facilitate the new transactions and has made them a part of its updated online marketplace at SAILING: Teen costume jewelry and accessories specialty retailer Claire's Stores Inc. upped its second-quarter earnings forecast to 23 cents a diluted share from 17 cents as sales through the first three weeks of June remained "very strong," according to Rowland Schaefer, chief executive. Results would reverse last year's loss of 2 cents a share. In addition, the Pembroke Pines, Fla.-based company said it now expects to report earnings per share of $1.15 for the full year, compared to 84 cents last year. Claire's shares closed up $1.23, or 6 percent, at $21.66, 72 cents shy of its 52-week high, reached April 19, in New York Stock Exchange trading Thursday.

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