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Will Family Dollar-Dollar Tree merger affect the local discount store scene?
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Will Family Dollar-Dollar Tree merger affect the local discount store scene?

Buzzing around on a little road trip recently, I was intrigued by the number of dollar stores occupying prime real estate in the small Midwestern towns and villages along my route.  Then I got home, flipped open a mass-market women’s magazine and noted that the fashion spread not only featured ensembles from major department stores […]

Soldiers with Rocket Launcher
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Helping readers make business sense of global turmoil

The growing drumbeat of global strife and spate of recent air disasters is casting a gloomier pall over economies worldwide, many of which already are mired in tepid recoveries in jobs and financial markets. The escalating stream of bad news is becoming difficult to overlook even in locales seemingly unrelated to the military conflicts in […]

Pay to Stay prison program NBC News
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Prisoners as consumers: Behind bars is some big business

We write a lot about consumer demographics, from college students to young parents to Baby Boomers – but there’s one cohort of spenders that tends to get overlooked even though it comprises a pretty significant market:  Prisoners. NBCNews recently ran a very interesting piece, “Prison inmates offer captive market for gadget makers,” that was rich […]

Nokia Microsoft
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Microsoft layoff news prompts a look at job cuts

Word last week that Microsoft will be jettisoning 18,000 workers raises the specter of mass layoffs, a frequent occurrence several years ago but one we haven’t heard much about lately. A few industries stand out in terms of recent job cut numbers, according to the outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas; the firm’s monthly jobs […]

New Domain Names Donuts Inc.
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Fresh peg on new domain names: “dot-vodka,” “dot-Christmas,” “dot-fail”

Looking for a business story that spans the corporate world, small companies and even consumers & personal finance? The 2014 rollout of new top-level domain names is underway, but flying surprisingly under most radar screens.   If you haven’t yet written about the upcoming availability of hundreds of alternatives to good old .com and .net, you’ve […]

Furniture Delivery
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Does the summer home sales bounce help furniture dealers, related industries?

With existing home sales for May posting their best gain since 2011, as USA Today reports, and this week’s new home sales report expected to show a modest increase, according to Business Insider, you might want to take a mid-year checkup of the real estate market’s spin-off effect on other lines of business. I was […]

Drowsy Drivers sign and truck
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Beyond crash headlines: Why does trucker pay still reward maximum miles?

It’s always surprising how little the trucking industry is covered by the financial press, considering just about all of the material goods used by consumers and businesses has been on a truck at one time or another; the supply chain is an integral part of any business. Usually we only hear about trucking following tragic […]

May is Bike Month
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Spin a story about an overlooked industry from National Bike Month

May is rife with those industry holidays and observances, and one that might make an intriguing launchpad for stories that don’t often make the biz writers’ radar screen is National Bike Month. In 2012 (most recent figures available), sales of new people-powered two-wheelers were more than $3.66 billion in the U.S., according to Bicycle Retailer […]

As World Cup excitement mounts, find local ties to Brazil's economy
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As World Cup excitement mounts, find local ties to Brazil’s economy

Only a few weeks remain until the kick-off of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil – and the much-watched football (or soccer, to those of us in the United States) tournament will bring all eyes to South America’s largest economy. FIFA, by the way, stands for Fédération Internationale de Football Association and the league, […]