Business

5:18am

Mon November 26, 2012
Business

Is Charging Customers For Returns Bad Business?

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 9:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR News business news starts with a shopping bonanza.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: American shoppers turned out in record numbers over the holiday weekend. The National Retail Federation says that since Thursday some 247 million people - that would be most of us - visited brick and mortar stores and retail websites spending more than $59 billion - up 13 percent over last year. And now, with Black Friday and Small Business Saturday behind us, online retailers get to take center stage with Cyber Monday.

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4:50am

Mon November 26, 2012
The Salt

At His Own Risk, Somali Chef Creates Gourmet Haven In War-Weary Mogadishu

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 4:48 pm

Somali chef Ahmed Jama holds up freshly caught spiny lobsters he's about to cook in one of his restaurants in Mogadishu.
John Burnett NPR

Ahmed Jama was running a successful Somali cafe in southwest London when he decided it was time to go home. Against the urgent advice of friends, he returned to Mogadishu three years ago and started cooking.

Jama epitomizes the spirit of rebirth in the city that has been brutalized by 21 years of civil war. As expatriates return to take their homeland back from warlords, terrorists and looters, Jama is doing his part to revive Mogadishu one prawn at a time.

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4:50am

Mon November 26, 2012
Business

An Entrepreneur Expands The Lego Universe

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 4:49 pm

The bodies of these World War II U.S. Marines and Western Front soldiers are made by Lego, while the helmets and weapons are made by BrickArms. The uniforms are designed and printed by BrickArms.
Will Chapman

Lots of good business ideas have emerged from kids' play. Seattle-area resident Will Chapman could thank his youngest son. At the age of 9, he wanted to know all he could about World War II and was using Lego toys to act out history. But his son was stymied — he couldn't find all the pieces he wanted.

Each year Lego turns out 19 billion plastic bricks, figures and gears for building things. But sometimes, it seems, even 19 billion isn't enough.

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4:49am

Mon November 26, 2012
U.S.

'Giving Tuesday': The Start Of A Holiday Tradition?

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 4:50 pm

First, there was the post-Thanksgiving sales spectacle Black Friday and then the online version, Cyber Monday. Now, charitable groups want to start a new holiday tradition — it's called Giving Tuesday and the first one is tomorrow.

It may seem a little surprising that no one came up with the idea before of designating a specific day to help launch the holiday charitable giving season.

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6:34am

Sat November 24, 2012
Business

Retail Arms Race Escalates To New Level

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 10:30 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

In American retail history, this may be the year that Black Friday shaded into Thursday night. Toys "R" Us, Wal-Mart, several other retailers opened on Thursday night, Thanksgiving night, and on Friday, many other online retailers offered flash sales - special deals lasting just a couple of hours. Patty Edwards is the chief investment officer for Trutina Financial, a financial services firm in Washington state. She joins us from member station KUOW in Seattle. Thanks so much for being with us.

PATTY EDWARDS: Absolutely my pleasure.

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5:43am

Sat November 24, 2012
Europe

Glitzy Burgundy Wine Auction Taps Celebrities

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 2:09 pm

France's former first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, auctioneer Francois de Ricqles and former soccer coach Guy Roux preside over the 152nd Hospices de Beaune wine auction Sunday in Beaune, France. The charity auction raised an all-time high of $7.5 million, which goes to area hospitals.
Tardivon Jean-Christophe Maxppp /Landov

For the last century and a half, the wine season in France's grape-growing region of Burgundy has revolved around one major commercial event. On the third Sunday in November, hundreds of barrels of the recent harvest are sold to the highest bidder in a charity wine auction. The historic event, which took place this year on Nov. 18, has evolved into an A-list rendezvous for the power players in the international wine industry.

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5:22am

Sat November 24, 2012
Business

More Shopping? Small Retailers Want Your Business

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 1:04 pm

A flag urges customers to shop locally near a store in Boalsburg, Pa., on Friday. Owners of small stores hope to get a boost from Small Business Saturday.
Genaro C. Armas AP

Jammed between Gray Thursday, Black Friday and Cyber Monday is yet another day devoted to shopping: Small Business Saturday.

Wallets are expected to open yet again on Saturday — this time for mom-and-pop stores. Main Street in Littleton, Colo., is filled with them. The street is lined with small bars and restaurants along with other businesses, including a spice store and a men's clothing boutique.

Dave Drake owns Colorado Frame and Savvy Stuff, the "savvy stuff" being women's accessories, purses, scarves and decorations.

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10:06am

Fri November 23, 2012
The Two-Way

Why 'Black Friday' Has Dark Roots

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 1:43 pm

People waited in line to make purchases at a Macy's department store in New York during last year's "Black Friday" shopping weekend.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Black Friday may not yet be a bigger holiday than Thanksgiving, but it certainly has a bigger marketing budget. Retailers may have needed it to overcome the term's long and negative history.

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8:03am

Fri November 23, 2012
The Picture Show

Don't Like Shopping? Take Pictures Instead

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 5:36 pm

black_friday_buy1.jpg
Courtesy of Sandy Carson

If you like photographing, but are somehow not enticed by long lines, getting elbowed in the ribs and cut off by shopping carts in pursuit of a red tag sale, Picture Black Friday might give you another excuse to get out there today.

"I think there are enough people turning the economy over," says Sandy Carson. "I'd rather just make photos and be an observer."

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4:35am

Fri November 23, 2012
Business

Business News

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 1:53 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a Greek debt plan.

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