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Looking for a business challenge? Try getting seven people in as many locations to sign a 45-page contract.
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Inventory losses are on the rise, thanks mostly to cashiers giving themselves and friends five-finger discounts. Employees stole an estimated $15 billion from retailers last year, according to University of Florida criminologist Richard Hollinger, who conducts an annual survey of the country's top stores. That's 25% more than stores lost to shoplifters.
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From free dry cleaning to a no-cost vacation, these 5 businesses have come up with creative ways to help out unemployed residents in their communities.
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Small business owners are still whittling away at their payroll, but the deluge of pink slips on Main Street is slowing down.
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Cute sells: Stuffed animals are a $1.5 billion industry in the U.S. Commanding nearly a third of that market is Build-a-Bear Workshop, a St. Louis-based retailer that lets customers personalize plush teddies, bunnies and other fuzzy friends. Founder Maxine Clark got the idea for the company in the mid-1990s while toy shopping with a 10-year-old girl who suggested that she and Clark could make their own stuffed animals.
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When CIT Group filed for bankruptcy Sunday, it wasn't much of a surprise. The once-dominant small business lender has been largely sidelined for more than a year.
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Dallas has gone to the dogs. Who's to blame? Try Kelly and Cody Acree. The couple raised $10 million to build Unleashed Indoor Dog Parks, a canine paradise with 25,000 square feet of air-conditioned romping space that opened in March.
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