Are holiday shoppers safe from lead-tainted toys and other dangerous Chinese goods? Not according to a report published by the Alliance for American Manufacturing, which claims the Bush Administration and federal regulators have failed to step up enforcement and to reform rules that were written decades ago.
Online spending is expected to increase 17 percent this year, despite a sluggish economy. Retail sales online, excluding travel purchases, are expected to grow to $204 billion, compared to $174.5 billion during 2007. Online sales are fueled by sales of apparel, computers and automobiles, according to The State of Retailing Online 2008 study conducted by Forrester Research Inc. for Shop.org, the online arm of the National Retail Federation trade group.
A number of local breweries are crafting special batches of beer for the holidays. Arctic Craft Brewery, 2506 E. Platte Place, tapped its Christmas Ale on Nov. 22. The ale includes nutmeg and coriander and is available only at the brewery. Duane Lujan, brewer and beer ambassador at Rocky Mountain Brewery, 625 Paonia St., has created a chocolate stout using nitrogen for a thicker consistency. The chocolate stout is available at the brewery.
Wild Wings ’n Things has closed its location at 12 S. Tejon St., but there are plans in place to find a new, larger space downtown. Michael Morris, president of Wild Wings ’n Things Franchises LLC, said he hopes to open a location which offers table service. This month, the hot wing franchise was recognized as one of the top 10 fastest growing restaurant concepts by RestaurantChains.net.
Two patties, Pepper Jack cheese, fajita-seasoned peppers, onions and sliced jalapeÑos would be Wendy’s chief marketing officer Ian Rowden’s ideal hamburger. What would yours include? This summer, Wendy’s is initiating its largest promotional effort with a 25-city taste tour. Wendy’s will invite consumers to create the next great hamburger — a dream burger that just might appear on its menu.
Cyber Monday Internet traffic hit an all -time high on the Monday after Thanksgiving. According to industry tracker comScore Networks the Web sites had a 26 percent gain in sales, reaching $608 million, compared to the same day in 2005. Growth outpaced the 3.4 percent year-over-year sales gains on Black Friday and the slight drop in sales the following day.
For many, the Labor Day weekend signifies the turning of the seasons, and for retailers it’s no different — the weekend is a time to get rid of the summer merchandise and debut the fall fashions. “Labor Day is big for retailers,” said National Retail Federation spokeswoman Kathy Grannis. “It’s an important time sales-wise to break out the fall styles that everyone’s waiting for, and some shoppers will be snooping for deals on summer clothing.”
Even though high gas prices are a pain in the pocketbook these days, consumers are still expected to dish out nearly $10 billion on dads this Father’s Day. And, that’s even more than they spent last year. According to the National Retail Federation’s 2007 Father’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, the average person will spend $98.34 on the June 17 holiday, up from $88.80 last year.
Several weeks after the holiday season, retailers are seeing no slowing in consumers’ use of gift cards. According to a National Retail Federation survey conducted by BIGresearch, consumers have plenty of money left on their gift cards: shoppers said they had spent less than half the value (37.3 percent on average) by the second week in January.
Shop.org says that technology used to track how consumers shop provides a variety of benefits, isn’t harmful and isn’t as widely opposed as critics claim. Shop.org, the digital division of the National Retail Federation, is recommending that the Federal Trade Commission move slowly in attempts to set voluntary guidelines for “behavioral advertising” on the Internet.
Carry-out and delivery pizza chain Garlic Jim’s Famous Gourmet Pizza has reached Colorado Springs, off Powers Boulevard and North Carefree Circle. Owner Terry Holmes also purchased the franchise rights for all of El Paso County. He envisions opening eight to 10 more Garlic Jim’s in the area. “Colorado Springs is … one of the better places in the country to start a business right now, I think,” Holmes said.
Colorado Springs-based ANNA’S Preemie, a manufacturer and distributor of premature infant garments and accessories, has placed in the Top 500 Emerging Businesses in the United States for 2007, according to Diversity Business. Studies show that over-stimulation by light, sound and touch causes lung and heart stress, decreased immunity, lack of appetite and other dysfunctional behaviors and reactions in premature infants.