The mother-daughter wedding-gown company Ines Di Santo Inc. wants to expand but doesn't want to sacrifice the handmade quality of its work. Problems lie in finding qualified designers and pattern makers, and in cost cutting. Experts advise the owners to outsource back-end functions and to consider the introduction of a separate, lower-priced line of mass-produced evening wear.
A three-day back-to-school sales tax holiday that starts in Tennessee today may bring out more shoppers, but it likely won't yield the sales surge merchants are hoping for, analysts say, as budget-conscious parents hold the line on spending. "Families aren't opposed to spending on what they need, but parents want their children to take a good look around at what they already have," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.
Thanks to new launches by cable providers such as Time Warner Cable, Knology, Charter Communications and OneSource Communications, African-American-centric TV One picked up nearly 500,000 additional subscribers this spring. The new launches included systems in Texas, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Tennessee. TV One is now present in about 53.2 million households.
Regional consumer-electronics chain hhgregg is Comcast's newest retail partner. The country's largest cable TV provider -- which already has in-store setups at Best Buy, RadioShack, OfficeMax and Circuit City -- will have a presence in hhgregg's 96 locations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina and Tennessee.