Layoff protection plans: Marketing gold?

At first, Danny Fisher wasn’t a fan of Hyundai’s new marketing campaign for “Total Assurance,” which would let a customer who had lost a job return a new car. Fisher, the general sales manager at West Broad Hyundai, said he didn’t think it would drive shoppers into the dealership. That was in January. He has… Read more »

Working like a dog: Richmond startup shows off its tricks

Man’s best friend is a loyal and lucrative customer for a Richmond startup. Best Bully’s has quickly grown as a web-only retailer of organic dog treats. The company sells more than $1 million a year in products (and less than $5 million) and will expand soon from 2,500 square feet to 8,500 square feet on… Read more »

Bankruptcy filings skyrocket

A record number of people are filing for personal bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, which is housed in Richmond.

Monday Q&A: What’s in store for retail?

Retailers battled through last year’s tough shopping season. Now it’s all about survival. The pullback in consumer spending has made the past six months difficult for retailers across the county, and Richmond is no exception. Negative sales. Decreased foot traffic. Slimmer margins. What can a retailer do? Some have turned to the Retail Merchants Association… Read more »

Local duo zips up distribution deal

A local husband-and-wife design team will soon have their product sold through direct-response TV and at major retailers nationwide through a licensing agreement with Massachusetts-based distributor Harvest Direct. Chris and Kat Costello, owners of Green Alley LLC, started developing the “zpr bag” in 2007. The product is a customizable handbag designed for teenage girls. Z-P-R… Read more »

State wants to close retail tax loophole

When Virginia shoppers pay the 5 percent sales tax on retail goods, most – but not all of it – goes to the state. A small percentage is kept by the business. It’s called the dealer’s discount, and it has been in place since Virginia started the sales tax more than 40 years ago. It… Read more »

New Kroger Store Opening Date Pushed Back

The opening of a Short Pump Kroger has been postponed. The Corner At Short Pump, a 47-acre retail and residential development on West Broad Street at Lauderdale Drive, will feature a high-end, 86,000 square foot Kroger store when finished. But leasing agent Thalhimer, Cushman & Wakefield says the opening date for the store will likely… Read more »

Jewelry industry analyst blasts media negativity

A Glen Allen jewelry analyst says the economy is not nearly as bad as media have made it out to be. “One or two bad months of jewelry sales and change in the financial climate in the U.S. is not going to change cultural habits of the human race,” said Ken Gassman, speaking at a… Read more »

Another healthy shot to the booze industry

Turns out booze really is recession proof. Retail sales at ABC stores statewide were up 12.3 percent in October compared to the previous year. Sales to mixed beverage licensees (bar and restaurant owners) dipped in August by 5 percent from 2007. But the numbers leapt back up to a growth of 4.5% in September and… Read more »