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Date: April 7, 2003
Vol. VII, No. 7

Printer Version

TABLE OF CONTENTS

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Commentary: The News Doesn't Stop

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Mysterious Illness Affects Imports

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Rag Shops: Sales Up, Profits Down

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Economy Continues To Suffer

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Janlynn, Kooler Join Forces

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Soldiers at War: Comforted by Needlework

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Industry Stocks Sink in First Quarter

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So Much for That (Scrapbooking) Idea

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Stealing Designs: A Company Perspective

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Taking the Cost Out of a Product Means...?

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CLN's Online Product Preview

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Random Notes, Random Thoughts

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Miscellaneous News

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Business Profile: TradeWinds Inc.

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The Creative Network: Job Openings

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The CLN Retail Index

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Our Daily Moment of Zen

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Reminders

COMMENTARY: THE NEWS DOESN'T STOP

This SARS story (see below) won't stop. I have written it, learned more, re-written it, learned more, re-written it again .... What you'll read below is version #5. If I don't stop, I'll never finish this issue.

The problem with reporting on an ongoing story is that there is no time to stand back and look at the overall picture. It's similar to listening to 47 reports from embedded journalists in Iraq and trying to visualize the complete picture.

So please don't think the story below contains an ending. But here is one last thought, for now: the Asian edition of the Wall Street Journal last Thursday pointed out that panic about SARS is spreading faster than the illness itself. For example, there are 72 cases of SARS in the U.S., yet each year there are about 500,000 acute respiratory cases causing 36,000 deaths and half of them -- half! -- are never specifically identified.

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MYSTERIOUS ILLNESS AFFECTS IMPORTS

On Friday NBC News reported that SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) may eventually have a serious effect on the national and world economy. The report, broadcast on The Today Show, said the illness "could be the tipping point that pushes the world into its second recession in three years." SARS is already affecting our industry.

If SARS causes factories in China to close, that could have a major impact on retailers' profits. The NBC report cited A.C. Moore, which is planning to say in its annual report that profits in the third quarter and beyond could be hurt if the company has to switch to more expensive alternatives to factories in China. The report is scheduled to be released Apr. 17.

What effect is this new flu/pneumonia-like illness already having in the Orient? Here are excerpts from an email industry veteran Charles Swindle sent from Hong Kong:

"My beautiful world city has turned into a dreadful place of chaos and a life of masks and gloves. The life has been sucked from everyone as you cannot touch anyone or anything. Hundred-story buildings empty. Stores are running out of food. The streets are empty. Hotels are empty. Many airlines have now stopped flying here. They are threatening to close the airport altogether. Police are rounding up citizens for forced quarantine.

"I have seen the USA news and it by no means shows a true picture of the situation."

Many industry retailers have canceled their buying trips to the Orient, but one company, Gerson, may be ahead of the game. Sales/Marketing VP Casey Casebolt wrote that Gerson has had four buyers in Hong Kong buying for Spring, 2004. They have already been there for five weeks and are scheduled to remain another three weeks.

"Our buyers emailed Wednesday to say they are all doing fine, and like others, all are wearing a mask everywhere they go except when in the offices doing paperwork and photo shoots," Casey said. "Their biggest concern is what will happen in the near future that might affect their return to the States later this month."

Casey added that as of June 9, Gerson's Olathe (Kansas City) showroom will be completely set up with a huge selection of Spring, 2004 merchandise. For more information, call 800-683-3280, email ccasebolt@gersoncompany.com, or visit www.gersoncompany.com.

SARS reportedly began in Guangzhou, the site of major Chinese trade shows, and has killed 80 and infected 2,300. International airlines are now offering masks to passengers leaving China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore. U.S. vendors are telling CLN that they are hearing many Asians believe China is under-reporting the extent of the epidemic.

Because scientists don't know the specific cause, they haven't developed a cure. Consequently there is no way to know how long this seeming epidemic will last or how long buyers will shy away from the Far East.

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RAG SHOPS: SALES UP, PROFITS DOWN

Net income for the second quarter ended Mar. 1 was $15,000 ($.00/diluted share), down from $129,000 ($.03) a year ago. Sales rose 6.2% to $30.7 million and same-store sales rose 2.1%.

Sales were hurt by bad weather, while net income declined due to higher selling, general and administrative expenses. Gross profit as a percentage of sales increased. SG&A expenses rose due to additional payroll (filling previously vacant positions and more staff for larger stores) and higher ad and insurance costs. The current store count is 68.

President Jeff Gerstel said, "After a strong December, severe weather conditions in February adversely affected what otherwise would have been a strong quarter. We have addressed inventory and expense levels in response to February's business and diligently continue with our shrinkage control efforts, under the guidance of our new Director of Loss Prevention, to position ourselves prudently for the remainder of our fiscal year."

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ECONOMY CONTINUES TO SUFFER

The National Retail Federation cut its forecast of retail sales growth for the year from 5.6% to 3.8%. That would be the lowest rate of growth in at least a decade, Reuters reported.

The beginning of the war has hurt retail sales, and the rush to buy red, white, and blue products isn't as strong as it was after 9/11 -- probably because many consumers still have their pins and other patriotic projects. Consumers will stop watching so much war coverage and return to more normal routines, but economists say businesses will not expand until the war is settled.

One seeming bright spot is A.C. Moore which announced a sales increase of 7% for the first quarter ended Mar. 31. Same-store sales were down 2%, but that was within the range forecast by the company. CEO Jack Parker said the company will meet its earnings estimate of $0.02/share when the quarterly earnings report is released Apr. 17.

Last week the unemployment rate climbed again, and the government reported that factory orders declined 1.5% in February, the worst showing in five months.

In past recessions, our industry has prospered as more consumers turned to crafts to save money. It remains to be seen if history will repeat itself.

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JANLYNN, KOOLER JOIN FORCES

Janlynn has signed an exclusive partnership deal with Kooler Design Studio, one of the industry's leading needlework design firms. "Kooler Design Studio is the best when it comes to great design," said Janlynn CEO/President John Kozub. "They have a long history of consistently producing quality with the latest trends in mind. Janlynn's continued growth plan has always been based around great design covering the latest trends. This new exclusive relationship will not only allow us to add exciting, trendy needlecraft designs to our line, but will also enable us to continue to further branch out into different craft and memory kit areas."

Kooler Design Studio was founded in 1985 by Donna Kooler and includes a group of illustrators, designers, editors, product managers, graphic artists, design assistants, and photographers who have worked together in one capacity or another for almost thirty years.

"Janlynn brings a passion and enthusiasm to the industry that only a family business could," Donna Kooler said. "I look forward to the wonderful treats in store for consumers and retailers alike as a result of this partnership."

For more info, visit www.janlynn.com and www.koolerdesign.com.

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SOLDIERS AT WAR: COMFORTED BY NEEDLEWORK

(Note: The following letter is from Kuwait.)

I'm the Director of Operations for the American Red Cross for Operation Iraqi Freedom, headquartered here in Camp Doha, Kuwait. We continue to receive the donations made possible by The National Needlework Association with great appreciation and anticipation. I guess I never realized how popular needlework was until I saw how quickly your member donors' items disappear.

Just yesterday one of your very large boxes came in with a mix of patriotic and other small, medium, and large cross-stitch items. I sorted them into a mix of boxes and put them on our metal shelving out in the common area. Once again, within 24 hours all but a few of them were gone. You probably know that a good number of male service members are doing cross stitch, too. It's not just a female thing.

Our office here on Camp Doha operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our primary mission is delivering emergency messages about family crises to service members throughout Kuwait and Iraq. Because we're on duty round-the-clock, we keep our TV room, book room, and lounging area open 24/7. We have a long time cross stitcher who comes in every evening. We call her "The Instructor." She has taught numerous troops the finer arts of cross stitching and been a wonderful advocate for the craft. In fact, she made a little cross-stitch flower basket, framed it, and then signed and dated it for me. I have it on my file cabinet here in my office.

I see in your insert that you have a variety of companies that donate these items for the troops. Would you be willing to reply with their names/addresses/emails, etc? I'd like to thank them individually. We receive books, DVDs, CDS, videotapes, snacks, toiletries, games, and a variety of distractions. But I've never seen something disappear so quickly and consistently. We have young ladies who come by regularly looking for something new. I see them sitting on their bunks in the warehouses and tents in small groups or alone, doing cross stitch. I hear them speak about sending this one or that one off to their daughter or son or mother.

Today in the lobby, three soldiers were working on the little patriotic cross stitches. One was a tanker (drives a tank), one was cavalry, and one was armor. Tough guys, hunched over their needlework and proud of their accomplishments. One mentioned he has a wife who is very "crafty" and she will be surprised to see the little "Old Glory" flag he's working on. [The projects being] being flat, they can mail them home in a regular envelope, too.

We continue to box up about half of your donations and forward them to our Red Cross Teams forward. They disappear there, too. So in answer to Needle Magic, Inc. questions as to if we need more, that's a resounding YES. Thank you again for your Something 2 DO campaign with your association membership. It continues to bless our military personnel in untold ways.

Thank you. -- Vickie Bengtson, Director of Operations, OIF, American Red Cross, Camp Doha, Kuwait

(Note: The Something 2-DO program is still accepting "self-contained" projects such as needlecraft kits. Send donations to Susan Treglown, Susan Treglown Designs, 60 W. Taxco Ct., Simi Valley, CA 93065. Call Susan at 805-527-0616 or email gtreglown@earthlink.net.)

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INDUSTRY STOCKS SINK IN FIRST QUARTER

If craft stocks are flowers, then the bloom is definitely off the rose. The CLN Index, our composite of industry-related retailers, failed to outperform the Dow for the first time in recent memory. The CLN Index fell 5.1% while the Dow dropped 2.3%.

A.C. Moore was the big winner, up 8.8%. The rest of the craft/sewing-related stocks gave back some of their earlier gains. Rag Shops lost 3.2%, Hancock was down 8.9%, and the biggest losers were Jo-Ann's, down 12.9%, and Michaels, down 20.1%.

Hancock, Jo-Ann's, and Michaels all reported strong fiscal year sales and earnings, but that appeared to cut no ice with investors during the quarter.

As expected, retailing in general fared poorly. Wal-Mart was up 5.2%, but Target slipped 2.5% and ShopKo fell 6.4%. Duckwall-ALCO, which sells crafts but has not cited crafts as a strong-selling department in recent months, fell 14.7%.

Martha Stewart, still beset by a federal investigation, Kmart woes, and declining media revenues, saw her stock fall 16.8%. The two public publishing companies with magazines in our industry were going in opposite directions. Meredith, the parent of Better Homes & Gardens Craft Division, dropped 7.1% while Primedia, which publishes craft, scrapbook, sewing, and quilting magazines, gained 18.9%.

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SO MUCH FOR THAT (SCRAPBOOKING) IDEA

Annie's Scrapbook Garden has been, well, scrapped. The company's original plan was to open 15 franchised scrapbooking stores in the Dallas area, which would serve as a base for additional franchises throughout the U.S.

Then Michaels came along and announced it would open two scrapbook specialty stores, Recollections, in the Dallas area this year. That apparently spooked investors, who pulled out.

Founder Barbara LaMunion said, "With the emergence of Michaels, I feel the market will not sustain an increasing number of independent retailers, and Michaels will drive many independents out of business. They will do to the independent scrapbook store owners what Wal-Mart did to local department stores," Craftrends reported.

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STEALING DESIGNS: A COMPANY PERSPECTIVE

(Note: In recent issues of CLN, designers and others have raised the problem of manufacturers taking ideas/designs from designers and not paying for them. Here is a response from an employee of a company that apparently does that.)

Being the main contact with designers and artists for my company, I am constantly finding new ideas and trends, and bringing them to the attention of the company.

When we move forward with these ideas, many times it is after rejecting them from the designer/artist. This avoids the royalty/purchase/development fee issues.

I am the front person who is then bombarded negatively by the original designer. Our product development staff is then criticized for not being able to develop this new product quickly, accurately, and on-time.

Is that smart? Ripping off a designer/artist while fumbling through a development process, missing deadlines, and coming out with an inferior product while paying overtime to staff? Not to mention the bad reputation being developed for your company from the perspective of designers AND customers? All to avoid paying a royalty or consultation/development fee to someone who could give you all the information you need at the onset? -- Name Withheld

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TAKING THE COST OUT OF A PRODUCT MEANS...?

(Note: In our last issue CLN published this from an unnamed manufacturer: "At this week's Jo-Ann's vendor conference call they spent a lot of time complimenting some Platinum vendors for helping them take the cost out of the product. You can guess what that means." We received the following response from the husband of an industry employee. He works in a completely different industry, but we thought his comments were at the least interesting and at most, appropriate.)

Well, actually, no. I can't guess what that means. It could mean just leaning heavily on vendors to reduce the price, which is bad (for the vendors), and presumably what the manufacturer was implying.

But "cutting the price" and "taking the cost out" are very different things, and "taking the cost out" can be a very productive exercise for both Jo-Ann's and the vendors. For example: If a blister-pak costs less to manufacture and fill than a cardboard box, shows off the product better, can be displayed on a peg hook, and takes less space, then everybody wins, including the customer if part of the cost reduction is passed back as a price reduction.

If crafters aren't typically using some of the supplies in a kit (e.g. a "value pack" of beads), removing those supplies and reducing the cost could be the ticket to better profits for all. Plus, the supplies removed might be viable as a niche SKU on their own, increasing total sales.

Using lighter materials can often reduce costs at no diminution in quality, especially for packaging. Sometimes, the lighter materials are more expensive, but the additional cost is more than made up for in reduced shipping expense.

Pre-tagging items, shipping pre-packed and ready-to-display merchandisers, providing in-store set-up assistance, taking over planogramming for a section of the store, discontinuing slow-moving SKU's and replacing them with better ones in the same line -- all of these are ways to take costs for the retailer out while still, often, benefitting the vendor.

Good vendors are always looking to "take costs out", because it's good business all around. If sometimes the incentive to take costs out is a forced mandate to reduce price or lose the sales, well, it's not the most pleasant way to create and discover better ways of doing things, but it could make the vendor stronger in the end. -- Name withheld

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CLN'S ONLINE PRODUCT PREVIEW

For photos and info on an array of new products, click HERE.

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RANDOM NOTES, RANDOM THOUGHTS

I just returned from HIA's Education Committee meeting, and saw the results of the evaluation forms completed by the workshop attendees at the January show. As usual, the workshops received very high, positive grades. Some thoughts for workshop sponsors to consider:

1. Schedule your workshop as soon as possible for HIA or ACCI. The space can go quickly, especially considering how the number of exhibitors continues to rise.

2. Be certain you allot time during the workshop to tell the attendees how to merchandise and sell the products, not just how to use them.

3. For you non-scrapbook vendors: think about sponsoring a workshop. During the meeting one retailer said to me, "My scrapbook sales are fine. I'm interested in workshops in categories where my store needs help."

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MISCELLANEOUS NEWS

LEGAL UPDATE. In our last issue we reported on Wal-Mart leading the legal effort to force Visa and MasterCard to refund billions of dollars caused by their illegally high debit-card fees. Last week a judge denied a motion by the credit card companies to throw out the case, so the trial will begin later this month.

MICHAELS. Has asked vendors to sign a new agreement essentially absolving Michaels from any legal responsibility regarding product liability.

MEMORY MISCELLANEOUS. Judging from the pre-registration, this past weekend's Memory Expo in Chicago was a record breaker ... The Las Vegas Expo already was. Attendance up 59% to almost 4,000 and 140 vendor booths, up 45% ... The retail chain, Archiver's, is planning to open another three additional stores in the Chicago area -- it already operates two there. The store count will be 11 after the openings in MN, CO, and IL. (Comment: the stores are very impressive. For a glimpse, visit www.archiversonline.com.) ... Check your bookstore for a new murder mystery, Keepsake Crimes, which takes place in a scrapbook store. The author is Laura Childs ... The DIY network's Croppin' USA 2003 is Noon-8 p.m. EDT Sept. 27.

TRADE SHOWS. Part II of ACCI's Trade Show Marketing series for vendors is online in the Virtual Trade Show seminar section of www.accicrafts.org. (For more on ACCI, click HERE.) This installment, "ROI vs. ROO," was written by marketing strategist Steve Miller.

ASSOCIATIONS. The Crochet Guild of America will now be managed by Offinger Management and its events will be held in conjunction with the Knitting Guild of America, also managed by Offinger.

ACQUISITION. Malinda and Jim Johnston have sold Lake City Craft to Sandy Watson. Sherry Crocker will be the General Manager, and LeAnn McKee remains as Office Manager and Patty Nelson as Accounts Manager. (Comment: Since Malinda and Jim are two of the nicest people in the industry, we've ordered them to continue attending the trade shows.)

PEOPLE. Former Michaels exec Bruce Dale is the CEO of Frank's Nursery and Crafts ... Due to the success of the Additions line of handbags and embellishments, BagWorks expanded its staff and named Wendy Lacy as VP of Marketing (For more on BagWorks, click HERE.) ... VP's Ken Haffner and Gia Finamore left Chartpak. They had been partners in their strategic planning/market development firm prior to Chartpak, and will continue working together. Additional details relative to future plans are not yet available. Call Ken Haffner at 305-535-3001 ... Ellison hired Kent Chesley as Dir. of Strategic Planning, and Denzil Quick as Marketing Manager for commercial products. (For more on Ellison, click HERE.)

SCHOLARSHIPS. For info on Grumbacher's 2003 High School Senior and National College/University Scholarship Award programs, visit www.grumbacherart.com.

DONATIONS. Funeral services were held for manufacturer's rep Dick Thompson, but donations in his honor can be made to Northwest Harvest, P.O. Box 12272, Seattle, WA 98102. (Comment: If everyone who liked and respected Dick donated a dollar, this Seattle social agency would be swamped with money.)

NAMES. Craft Wholesalers changed its name to CWI Gifts and Crafts.

SHOWS. Attendance at the recent blizzard-ravaged Toy Fair fell from 14,273 to 11,000-plus. Exhibitors were up from 1,692 to 1,707 ... The National Art Materials Trade Assn. (NAMTA) show is May 1-3 in Chicago. Call 704-892-6244 or visit www.namta.org.

CANCER. Kudos to the Home Sewing Assn. which reached $1 million in donations for its Sew for the Cure programs. The money was raised via corporate donations, private funding, local efforts by chapters of the American Sewing Guild and sales of the book, Sew with the Stars, which featured celebrity quilters. P&B Textiles' Irwin Bear sponsored the book.

WANTING TO SELL. Profitable manufacturer/importer with annual sales ranging from $2.5 - $4 million. Company has two divisions -- crafts and gifts. Willing to sell craft or both divisions. Customers: Placement in major chains, mail order, and independents in both divisions. Facilities: New building also available for purchase separately. For more information call Mike Hartnett in complete confidence at 309 925-5593 or email mike@clnonline.com.

WANTING TO BUY. Highly motivated buyer seeking to purchase a manufacturing or distribution company with annual sales of $750,000 to $7 million. Will also consider partnerships. Willing to sign confidentiality statement. Expertise includes product development, marketing, strategic planning, recruitment/development of employees, technology, operations, and finance Call Carrie Stone at 858-523-3706 or email carriestone@mindspring.com.

MICHAELS. Today CEO Michael Rouleau and CFO Jeffrey Boyer will make a presentation at a stock analyst conference and you can "attend" by visiting the website (www.michaels.com) and clicking on the "Investor Relations" button. The presentation begins about 12:50 EST. Visit the site at least 15 minutes early to register and download any necessary audio software. The broadcast will be archived at the site for 60 days.

DUCKWALL-ALCO. Net earnings for the fiscal year ended Feb. 2 rose 20% to $5.4 million. Sales rose 1.9% to $408.8 million, but same-store sales declined 0.1%. The completed fiscal year was one week shorter than the previous year. The current store count is 260.

TV. The 1600 series of the popular America Sews with Sue Hausmann was sent to PBS stations yesterday. Call your local station and ask for it. For more info, call 800-348-3909.

MAGAZINES. Better Homes and Gardens' Scrapbooks Etc. magazine increases from a quarterly to a bi-monthly ... Krause Publications' Procrafter magazine has ceased publication.

ONLINE. CraftPlanet.com is back online, with projects and columns for crafters. Industry pro Deborah Sweigart remains the editor. Visit www.craftplanet.com.

HOBBIES. The Radio Control Hobby Trade Assn. has retained Peak Management Solutions for Associations, led by former HIA Exec. Director Pat Koziol, to assist RCHTA's board to meet its membership, trade show, and marketing goals for 2003. For more information about PEAK's services call Pat at 973-283-9696 or email pat.koziol@plsi.com.

QUOTATION. "Well-heeled and well-educated parents everywhere are taking early childhood development seriously, spending enormous sums on educational toys, arts, crafts, and music, teaching babies to speak with signs, and yes, in many cases investing in the best' preschools." -- Christopher Farrell, in Business Week.

ANNIVERSARY. Congrats to Rose Art Industries, which is celebrating its 80th birthday. The company was founded by Isidor Rosen in 1923 as a coloring book manufacturer. Now it's one of the largest toy, craft, and stationery companies in the world and led by Isidor's grandson, Lawrence.

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BUSINESS PROFILE: TRADEWINDS, INC.

TradeWinds is an Asian/Pacific business development and consulting company and a division of WWS Consulting Group, founded in 1994. It provides general management, strategic planning, marketing, sales, and Asian/Pacific development/consulting services to domestic and multi-national companies.

Services include strategic sourcing, product/market development, import/export strategy, supply chain development & implementation, proprietary designing, manufacturing, packaging, printing development, project management, and Vietnamese and Chinese government and university relationships/networks. The company has worked in consumer products and manufacturing businesses in several industries -- crafts, stationery, metal/paper/plastic converting & manufacturing, gift, toy, etc.

The leading principal, Bill Shugarts, has 20+ years' experience in leadership roles in designing and implementing creative solutions to complex business problems in public and private organizations: Reynolds/Alcoa, Petersen Arne/Accent Design, Fibre-Craft, American Greetings, and Westvaco. He functions as an active business partner and hands-on project manager for each client.

TradeWinds is currently working on projects in Vietnam and China directly related to strategic sourcing/manufacturing, product/market development, and importing of higher quality/lower cost proprietary products from Vietnam & China. Current clients include gift and craft industry companies, a video components manufacturer, and a veteran's organization.

Accordingly, TradeWinds has established key strategic networks and alliances with several government, university, trade, and veterans groups in Vietnam and the U.S., including The Virginia-China Business & Technology Council, U.S.-China Peoples Friendship Assn., U.S.-Vietnam Trade Council and The Viet Nam Veterans Memorial Fund.

Shugarts believes current conditions in Vietnam afford potential clients a unique opportunity to buy and sell cost-effective products -- sometimes at less cost than from other Asian sources -- depending upon the items. Relationships with Vietnam were formally normalized in 1995 with the re-opening of the U.S. Embassy. Travel to the country's three key cities -- Hanoi, DaNang, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) -- is easy and safe from Hong Kong and other locations. "Vietnam is a unified country now, not at war, with hard working, industrious, English-speaking people who are quickly learning how to compete on a global basis."

(Note: According to the Apr. 4 issue of the Asian editorn of the Wall Street Journal, the SARS epidemic has been contained in Vietnam.)

ROLODEX, I. William W. Shugarts, President ... Edith W. Shugarts, VP ... Raymond Xu, Operations Consultant. Advisors include My Lan Tran, President "Go International! ... Nguyen Xuan Trinh, Ph.D., Counselor Economic Affairs, Embassy of Vietnam ... Vo Thi Thu Ba, Director, Thai Van Co. Ltd. ... Jan C. Scruggs, President/Founder, Vietnam Veterans Memorial & Fund.

ROLODEX, II. TradeWinds, Inc., a division of WWS Consulting Group, 5000 Fremont Place, Glen Allen, Virginia 23059. 804-364-5406; fax 804-364-5407; email wshugarts@earthlink.net; visit www.tradewindsinc.com.

Note: Like to see your company profiled in CLN? CLN will include one "Business Profile" in each issue. The company can be a manufacturer, retailer, service company, trade association, etc. All profiles are archived online for one year. To read profiles published in previous issues, click on the "Business Profile Archives" button. To learn how your company can be profiled, call Mike Hartnett at 309-925-5593 or email mike@clnonline.com.

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THE CREATIVE NETWORK: JOB OPENINGS

To see a sampling of the current job openings and to contact The Creative Network, click on the "Jobs" button in the left hand column.

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THE CLN RETAIL INDEX

A. C. Moore (ACMR). Last*: 15.50 ... Change**: +2.29
Hancock Fabrics (HKF). Last*: 13.90 ... Change**: -0.28
Jo-Ann Stores (JAS.A) [a]. Last*: 20.00 ... Change**: +2.20
Michaels (MIK). Last*: 26.30 ... Change**: +3.10
Rag Shops (RAGS). Last*: 2.98 ... Change**: UNC
Wal-Mart (WMT). Last*: 54.60 ... Change**: +5.24
CLN Retail Index. Last*: 133.28 ... Change**: +9.5%
Dow Jones Index. Last*: 8,277.15 ... Change**: +5.3%

*April 4 ** from March 14 [a] voting share Prices are exclusive of dividends

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OUR DAILY MOMENT OF ZEN

(Note: Emailed from a friend)

1. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and a leaky tire.
2. It's always darkest just before dawn. So if you're going to steal your neighbor's newspaper, that's the time do it.
3. Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.
4. Always remember you're unique. Just like everyone else.
5. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.
6. If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.
7. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.
8. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
9. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.
10. Some days you are the bug; some days you are the windshield.
11. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
12. Never miss a good chance to shut up.
13. We are born naked, wet, hungry, and get slapped on our ass; then things get worse.
14. If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.
15. The most wasted day of all is one in which we have not laughed.

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REMINDERS

1. For more information on how your business can be the subject of a "Business Profile" or have products/photos included in the "CLN's Online Product Preview, call Mike Hartnett at 309-925-5593 or email mike@clnonline.com.
2. Paid subscribers are invited to have their website evaluated by Lynn Carlisle of Carlisle Communications. She'll check the site and provide a confidential assessment and suggestions for improvement. Just email mike@clnonline.com or ljc@carlislecommunications.com.
3. If you want a hard-copy of this issue, click on "Printer Friendly version".
4. If your company is a paid subscriber, everyone in the main office is welcome to register, free. Just click on "Current Subscribers Click Here To Register."
5. If you want to recommend CLN to a friend, use the "Tell Your Friends" box on the home page.
6. Creative Leisure News is published on the first and third Mondays of each month. Your next issue will be Monday, April 21.

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