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Retailers delight as people throw showers for all occasions
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Retailers delight as people throw showers for all occasions

By on Aug 14, 2014

Oh, the weather outside may be delightful, but to some the forecast is frightful:  Never-ending showers. The gift-giving type, that is.  Rites of passages of all sorts are nowadays being coopted by retailers and marketers as the ideal occasions for showers involving lots of presents and even registries. From college students to first-time grannies to […]

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Quirky business features: Carnies, damsels, scams and beer
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Quirky business features: Carnies, damsels, scams and beer

It’s been a month or so since the last edition of Quicktips and those scraps of paper are piling up again in my notebook. From the sober to the silly, here are a few story nuggets you may want to add to your near-term lineup: State Fairs.  How did that sneak up?  Summer 2014 is […]

August is the month for getting thrifty, counting resales
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August is the month for getting thrifty, counting resales

Over the weekend a neighbor hefted a brightly-colored plastic outdoor play set and proudly noted that it had been a bargain purchase at a local thrift shop, just in time for another visit by the grandkids. Wow, I thought, what an illustration of the timid consumer spending that – despite an uptick in June, as […]

Will Santa’s sleigh be full of drones this year?
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Will Santa’s sleigh be full of drones this year?

OK, it’s the first week in August and I’m going to go on record as predicting one of the hot gifts of the coming holiday season:  Personal drones. In fact, for the selfie-obsessed who want to take it to the next level, there’s the just-out Air Dog, a drone that follows its owner everwhere, shooting […]

What new finger-food trends are replacing cupcakes .. or are they?
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What new finger-food trends are replacing cupcakes .. or are they?

The headline-making saga of the Crumbs Bake Shop company – the cupcake chain that closed all of its stores only to receive a last-minute reprieve from an investor group – suggests a few ideas for localizing food-related business stories. The potential survival of the Crumbs chain is good news for its investors and workers, bad […]

As highway fund is debated, how does the local business of road building fare?
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As highway fund is debated, how does the local business of road building fare?

The federal Highway Trust Fund is projected to run out of money on August 1.   Congress is as usual eschewing a long-term, sweeping vision in favor of a short-term patch.   According to Bloomberg, odds are that a House version of a transportation bill will make it to President Obama for signature. With looming funding issues, […]

Fresh peg on new domain names: “dot-vodka,” “dot-Christmas,” “dot-fail”
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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 […]

Quicktips:  Manure expos, funky funerals and travel deals for single parents
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Quicktips: Manure expos, funky funerals and travel deals for single parents

Maybe this column should be called “quirky tips” instead of “quick tips,” because I can’t resist sharing some of the interesting and offbeat jottings from my notebook.  Hopefully you can embrace the oddities and spin an idea or two into a colorful summertime business feature. First off, my ears perked up the other day when […]

Consumers itch and businesess profit as mosquitos swarm
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Consumers itch and businesess profit as mosquitos swarm

As one of those lucky people generally ignored by stinging and biting insects, it was dismaying a week or two ago to be covered in itchy red welts after just a little while outdoors planting flower pots.  A few days later the graveside rites at a funeral I attended were actually cut short as mourners […]

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