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Looking for a business challenge? Try getting seven people in as many locations to sign a 45-page contract.
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.
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.
Small business owners are still whittling away at their payroll, but the deluge of pink slips on Main Street is slowing down.
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.
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.
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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