WBEZ | shopping http://www.wbez.org/tags/shopping Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en A thrift shop looking for a comeup: Goodwill goes high-end http://www.wbez.org/news/thrift-shop-looking-comeup-goodwill-goes-high-end-113711 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/14331902531_d0059073c6_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res455025351" previewtitle="Goodwill is experimenting with boutique-style stores, like this one in southern California, to entice younger shoppers to the brand."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Goodwill is experimenting with boutique-style stores, like this one in southern California, to entice younger shoppers to the brand." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/06/goodwill-boutiques-2-2-_wide-02fad1d539101288fcea16075e1b10095a9e859c-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 348px; width: 620px;" title="Goodwill is experimenting with boutique-style stores, like this one in southern California, to entice younger shoppers to the brand. (Gloria Hillard for NPR)" /></div><div><div><p>Like many trendy boutiques, there is a definite minimalist flair. Soft sweaters rest on antique tables and the hardwood floors gleam.</p></div></div></div><p>But this boutique in Huntington Beach, Calif., is owned by a name more well known for treasure hunting than couture shopping: Goodwill.</p><p>&quot;Look at some of these great dresses here. We have Development, which is a great brand, we have Lee &mdash; these are ones kind of more known in the fashion industry than on the street,&quot; says Eric Smissen, the store&#39;s visual specialist.</p><p>He glides past neatly folded skinny jeans and designer handbags to a small rack of dresses, mostly black.</p><p>&quot;Word is getting out, so I think that our more traditional shopper is still here, but we&#39;re seeing a lot more new faces,&quot; Smissen says.</p><p>He says that&#39;s the idea behind the Goodwill boutiques &mdash; to bring in new customers, especially younger shoppers who have fueled the popularity of resale stores like Crossroads Trading Company.</p><p>&quot;We have Joe&#39;s Jeans. We have Paige denim. All those jeans run upwards to $150 plus for a pair. And they&#39;re about $8 to $14.99,&quot; Smissen says.</p><p>Return patron Francesca Saint Cyr&#39;s hopping cart is full. She says the Goodwill Boutique here in Orange County is a great alternative to chain stores and mall shopping.</p><p>&quot;What would you guess this Calvin Klein to be? I haven&#39;t even looked at the price yet, but I know I&#39;m going to be excited. Now I&#39;m going to check out that Gucci bag over there,&quot; she says.</p><p>The merchandise that ends up in the boutique stores is curated by those who have a discerning eye for popular and designer labels.</p><p>&quot;Well, we have this beautiful Coach bag, this navy blue Coach bag with some brass accents. And then, let&#39;s see, some clothing here, we have this really great Michael Kors trench,&quot; Smissen says, rummaging through a large cardboard box of recently donated items.</p><p>Also shopping this afternoon is Sandy Slate. She&#39;s been a longtime traditional store customer.</p><p>&quot;I love it. Looks great. The main thing: it&#39;s clean. It&#39;s clean and orderly,&quot; Slate says.</p><p>Goodwill Industries has more than&nbsp;<a href="http://www.goodwill.org/about-us/">3,000 stores</a>&nbsp;across the country, but only 60 fall into the boutique category.</p><p>Frank Talarico, president and CEO of Goodwill Orange County, says the new stores have been very successful. And he says even though the ambiance is more Abercrombie than thrift store, shoppers and donors should know the original mission is still intact.</p><p>&quot;They can always rest assured, that our Goodwill, for example &mdash; and this is a real and audited number &mdash; is going to take more than 92 cents of every dollar that we raise, regardless of what kind of store we raise it in, and put it right back into programs that serve people with barriers to employment,&quot; Talarico says.</p><p>The traditional store &mdash; where household goods and framed prints share floor space with clothing &mdash; still represents 90 percent of Goodwill&#39;s retail business. The non-profit takes in more than $5 billion in annual revenue.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/11/08/454998318/a-thrift-shop-looking-for-a-comeup-goodwill-goes-high-end?ft=nprml&amp;f=454998318" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Mon, 09 Nov 2015 16:27:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/thrift-shop-looking-comeup-goodwill-goes-high-end-113711 Multi-million dollar retail experiment opens by O’Hare http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/multi-million-dollar-retail-experiment-opens-o%E2%80%99hare-108245 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/shopping_130801_ay.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">A retail experiment opens Thursday in Rosemont near Chicago&rsquo;s O&rsquo;Hare International Airport.</p><p>Most outlets are in remote areas, but the Fashion Outlets of Chicago is next to the Kennedy Expressway, the airport, and not too far from downtown Chicago.</p><p>Retail consultant Neil Stern says mall developers nationwide will be watching this experiment.</p><p>&ldquo;Not only is this the most well connected outlet mall in Chicago, it might be the most well-connected outlet mall in the country,&rdquo; Stern says.</p><p>Unlike traditional outlet malls, this one is indoors, features art installations from a <a href="http://theartsinitiative.com/">group of 11 artists</a>, and services for travelers. For example, flyers can print boarding passes and check bags directly to their flight from the mall.</p><p>But these amenities come at a price: more than $200 million.</p><p>Stern says the experiment comes at a time when <a href="http://business.time.com/2011/08/12/as-regular-malls-struggle-outlet-malls-are-booming/">outlet malls are growing quicker than traditional malls</a>. He adds that if it pays off, we could see similar developments around the country.</p><p>Developers say this outlet is meant to function differently than other outlets. Retailers and manufacturers used to build outlets either to get rid of merchandise they can&rsquo;t sell, or separate the customers who will pay a premium for cutting edge products and those will travel to buy for the same brand at a lower price, says Jean-Pierre Dubé, a marketing professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. That&rsquo;s why outlets aren&rsquo;t particularly close to major cities.</p><p>Stern says manufacturers now have a different reason to sell at outlets -- they want direct access to their customers for greater profits. He points to companies like Coach, Apple and Tiffany, businesses that rely on selling directly to customers and as a result, became some of the most successful retailers.</p><p>Arthur Weiner, chairman of Fashion Outlets of Chicago developer AWE Talisman, agrees. He says the artwork and other services not found at other outlet malls give businesses a greater opportunity to show brand pride. He also sees this as the outlet to change all outlets.</p><p>&ldquo;The product that was being presented in America was a very stale product, outdated, underdeveloped, didn&rsquo;t have the ingredients that consumers wanted,&rdquo; Weiner says. &ldquo;When we were presented with the opportunity for this piece of exquisite dirt, we saw the vehicle for the change that we thought was necessary for outlet shopping.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Alan Yu is a WBEZ metro desk intern. Follow him <a href="https://twitter.com/Alan_Yu039">@Alan_Yu039</a></em></p></p> Wed, 31 Jul 2013 12:02:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/multi-million-dollar-retail-experiment-opens-o%E2%80%99hare-108245 The store next door: On the rise of local markets http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-06/store-next-door-rise-local-markets-107583 <p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-1ad6e89e-1eb5-56ce-3f1c-43e04dafa5ca"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/486759_555148634537472_1221844265_n-580x386.jpg" title="(Photo courtesy of Dose Market)" /></span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>A chain store is a menace. Or perhaps it is a blessing. The discourse on the matter changes swiftly, but one thing&#39;s for certain: the rise of shopping local is not a trend. At its core, it is an issue of community. It is about what a community needs and what a community does not realize it needs. April Francis, founder of the monthly <a href="http://dosemarket.com/" target="_blank">Dose Market</a> understood this perfectly when she created her market, celebrating its two-year anniversary this weekend. And as her festival rose in popularity, so too have efforts in neighborhoods across the city (in Wicker Park, Logan Square and West Loop) to address the questions, concerns, and curiosities of local consumers. Where is this coming from? Who made this? Why should I care?</span></p><p dir="ltr"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/200-580x386.jpg" style="float: right; height: 192px; width: 288px;" title="(Photo courtesy of Dose Market)" />The rise of local markets coincides with the rise and re-emphasis of shopping local. What does it mean to shop local? Well in many minds, it is not solely about purchasing from a neighborhood store. The idea of local could expand easily to regional. Goods made in Michigan or Indiana might not be as close as something made in the heart of the city, but it&rsquo;s a better representation of supporting the community and lowering costs and environmental impact of transportation than purchasing from across the country or the globe.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-1ad6e89e-1ebf-1c11-8542-66368b1cb67e">&ldquo;My whole life I&rsquo;ve just been fascinated with small business owners,&rdquo; Francis said. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>Dose Market entered the consciousness of Chicagoans and quickly grew in popularity due to its attention to the taste levels of its customers and the changing needs of its sellers (or Dosers, as the market likes to call them). Francis and her team try to &ldquo;curate&rdquo; a mix of Dosers for each event. Sellers can apply online or are found through recommendations and personal emails. Finding the perfect mix of sellers is key to make each month&rsquo;s market a success. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>&ldquo;If we didn&rsquo;t curate Dose, we wouldn&lsquo;t get the mix of sellers and we wouldn&rsquo;t get the mix of products we want,&rdquo; she said. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>By working the markets, the local business owners have also been able to thrive and succeed by adapting to the wants of their customers. That&rsquo;s the great thing about small businesses and the great thing about the rise of these markets. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>&quot;[Each new event] gives people the tools and ability to thrive and succeed at what they&rsquo;re doing,&rdquo; Frances said. &ldquo;It is the perfect storm.&rdquo; </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>Dosers get real face time with their customers. It is a mutually-beneficial experience. More than just faceless transactions, it is a way for customers to know more about the things they buy and business owners to know more about the people that want to buy their goods.&nbsp;</span></p><p dir="ltr"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/bellwether_header_4inch.jpg" style="float: left;" title="(Logo courtesy of Bellwether)" />The latest market to enter the fray is <a href="http://followbellwether.com/" target="_blank">Bellwether</a>. Founded by creators of the Renegade Craft Fair and The Vintage Bazaar, Bellwether separates itself from other markets by creating an event that expands beyond what can just be bought and sold. The founders describe the event as a market, happening and feast. Most other markets weigh heavily in one area or the other in terms of themes. Dose Market, while featuring a strong number of food options, relies heavily on well-crafted goods and local designers. Fete Market, which recently ended in second event, was a &ldquo;foodies&rdquo; dream from day one.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Bellwether is our version of taking the best of all of these [specific markets] and whipping it up into a creativity explosion,&rdquo; co-founder Mat Daly said.</p><p dir="ltr">Beginning this weekend at The Hideout and moving to the Garfield Park Conservatory in September, Bellwether will feature intimate musical performances, film screenings, food vendors, libations, art installations and a selection of different regional purveyors. The market will also offer games, classes in terrariums and yarn spinning, and a special brunch at local restaurant Ada St.</p><p dir="ltr">Tortoise&#39;s Jeff Parker is among the performers and WBEZ&#39;s Tony Sarabia will DJ.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Bellwether is<span>&nbsp;</span>way more than a market,&rdquo; Daly said. &ldquo;It&#39;s experiential and ever-changing.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-1ad6e89e-1ec0-0801-d198-c731697f56d6">These markets create a hub for what is happening locally. One can be surrounded by people with the same interests. It is a heady realization.&nbsp;<span id="docs-internal-guid-1ad6e89e-1ec1-090f-825f-c1e8f65f21a3">They fuel the senses and</span></span><span id="docs-internal-guid-1ad6e89e-1ec1-9efc-310f-05d90bf6fca8">&nbsp;introduce Chicagoans to the passions and projects of the people around them, further connecting them to the communities in which they live. Rather than existing in a depersonalized and solely commodified culture, customers are given the chance to interact with and better understand makers and their products.&nbsp;</span>This question remains important: who makes the things I love? Returning to our roots, we can now truly know.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Dose Market returns to the River East Art Center on Sunday, June 9. Tickets are $10. Bellwether runs from Saturday, June 8 through Sunday, June 9 and has a suggested donation of $10.</em></p></p> Fri, 07 Jun 2013 07:55:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-06/store-next-door-rise-local-markets-107583 Why I'm on Team Nordstrom http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-10/why-im-team-nordstrom-103167 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP318316543424.jpg" style="height: 368px; width: 620px; " title="Nordstrom: Keeping department store shopping hip and relevant. (AP)" /></p><p>When my mom used to take me clothes shopping, we had a bit of a disagreement over where to shop. I would have preferred to go to individual stores like the Gap, Banana Republic or Old Navy (ignore the fact that those are basically the same store). But my mom preferred department stores like Bloomingdales, Saks or Marshall Fields (RIP) because they had good service, good quality, a wide variety &mdash;&nbsp;and because she had credit cards there. I didn&rsquo;t like the department stores, though, because they felt too old-fashioned to me. I felt like I rarely saw girls my own age the department stores. You didn&rsquo;t buy &ldquo;pants&rdquo; at department stores, you bought &ldquo;slacks.&rdquo; Department stores were staffed by disapproving older women, played fusty muzak, had headache-inducing lighting and were organized in confounding and monotonous ways.&nbsp;</p><p>I felt that way until I discovered Nordstrom. Nordstrom has everything that&rsquo;s good about a department store, I.E. everything under one roof, but somehow manages to make shopping a fun experience. I&rsquo;m not a consumer genius so I&rsquo;m not sure exactly what it is but I think it&rsquo;s a combination of their lighting (bright but not blinding), layout (open, without that never-ending college-library circular maze feel) and selection (wide but not overwhelming, like someone actually decided there were items they would not show or sell you).<br /><br />Good service exists at Nordstrom, too, even if you don&rsquo;t look all rich and fancy the way things often go at Neiman Marcus (AKA &ldquo;Needless Markups&rdquo;&mdash; haha, up here, high five!). I&rsquo;ve had Nordstrom salesgirls go above and beyond the call of duty to help me track something down, or find something I needed but couldn&rsquo;t articulate, or even suggest something I would have never tried before, but without making me feel like a chumpy walking commission.<br /><br />Most importantly: Nordstrom gives you cash for returns. There&rsquo;s something really wonderful about turning a piece of merchandise you don&rsquo;t want into some cash you actually need. It&rsquo;s like Nordstrom is the realistic, considerate wedding guest who knows the bride and groom could always use cash; if they want to spend it on boots, fine, but if they need to put it towards dog food, that&rsquo;s OK too.<br /><br />But now I have another reason to feel good about shopping at Nordstrom: The company has made a point of openly supporting gay marriage, stating so in <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-la-fi-mo-nordstrom-gay-marriage-20121015,0,7541326.story">a company-wide memo</a>.<br /><br />I admit I am not the most conscientious shopper when it comes to supporting or not-supporting organizations based on their belief systems (it&rsquo;s easy for me not to patronize Chik-Fil-A mostly because of the calories and tummyache). I would have continued to happily shop at Nordstrom had it failed to ever make a public announcement on its stance on gay marriage. But I admire the company president and executives for taking a public stance on equality, probably just because they really didn&rsquo;t have to. The store will undoubtedly lose some shoppers, and it may gain a few new customers, but I think more important are the consumers who probably never expected that shopping at a department store would make them think twice about marriage equality, the ladies who go to Old Orchard Mall on weekend afternoons or the teenagers cruising the Uggs collection. It&rsquo;s nice knowing that they might give this topic a second thought while they&rsquo;re pulling out their credit cards.<br /><br />So there&rsquo;s a new way that Nordstrom is keeping department store shopping hip and relevant. Getting cash back for returns is still probably my favorite thing about the chain, but taking a public stance on inclusion is pretty cool, too.</p></p> Wed, 17 Oct 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-10/why-im-team-nordstrom-103167 Ethics Moment: I consume, therefore I am http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-12-14/ethics-moment-i-consume-therefore-i-am-94878 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-December/2011-12-14/black friday_flickr_steve rhodes.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Before the secret behind Santa was revealed to us by an older sibling or a loud-mouthed classmate, the magic of the holidays were untarnishable. Now, the season seems a little less jolly, focused mainly around getting the best deals to give the best presents that may cost more than we can afford.&nbsp;</p><p>Professor Al Gini confirms that holiday spending has become a critical measurement of national and global economic health. The majority of the year's retail sales will, in fact, happen within a month of Christmas. However, there are other aspects of the holidays that can be appreciated and enjoyed in the company of others.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/D2prdLwAvfg" width="560" frameborder="0" height="315"></iframe></p><p><em>Al Gini is a professor of business ethics and chair of the department of management at Loyola University Chicago. He is also the co-founder and associate editor of </em>Business Ethics Quarterly<em>, and the author of several books, including </em>My Job, My Self<em> and </em>Seeking the Truth of Things: Confessions of a (catholic) Philosopher.</p></p> Wed, 14 Dec 2011 15:28:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-12-14/ethics-moment-i-consume-therefore-i-am-94878 Shop 'til you drop http://www.wbez.org/blog/john-r-schmidt/2011-11-25/shop-til-you-drop-94177 <p><p>For over a century, the day after Thanksgiving has been the busiest shopping day of the year. Let's go back and look at Black Friday thirty years ago--November 27, 1981.</p><p>The big news in Chicago was that the federal government had given the green light, and the city was set to host a World's Fair in 1992. The other major story was about Harry Caray, the Sox TV broadcaster. He was moving north, and would be doing the Cubs games next summer.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" height="324" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-18/11-25--Michigan Avenue.JPG" title="" width="495"></p><p>The weather had been warm, so shoppers were turning out in large numbers. Over a million people jammed the State Street Mall, and sizeable crowds were seen on North Michigan Avenue. Ford City reported a record 60,000 shoppers. Woodfield, Oak Brook, and Old Orchard were also having a busy day.</p><p>Shopping styles varied. The country was pulling out of a recession, and some retailers noted that customers were buying fewer--but more expensive--Christmas gifts. Other people were just looking for a bargain. That was good news for Goldblatt's, which was shutting down its last fourteen department stores.</p><p>Every retailer seemed to have a special sale. Rose Records was featuring Barbra Streisand's "Memories" album and "The Jacksons Live." If you wanted a book, Kroch's &amp; Brentano's offered a coffee-table volume <em>The Royal Wedding of Charles and Diana</em>. Polk Brothers' big item was a 25-inch RCA color TV with remote control, for $598.</p><p>Of course, a few shoppers were interested in the latest in electronics. Polk's was also selling a state-of-the-art RCA video cassette recorder for $598. An electric typewriter was available for $274. And at Oak Brook, the local computer store had slapped a $530 discount on the Apple Family System. The new, low price was $2,095.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" height="322" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-18/11-25--Season%27s%20Greetings.jpg" title="" width="495"></p><p>Toys remained traditional in 1981. Dolls and air rifles, puzzles and action figures were being advertised. A good portion of the kids' merchandise was connected to the "Dukes of Hazzard" TV series.</p><p>As the sun started to go down, a happy throng gathered at State and Wacker. Mayor Jane Byrne pushed a button. In front of her the city's 70-foot Christmas tree burst into light, and all down the State Street Mall, 100,000 white lights glistened.</p><p>The crowd cheered. It was the Christmas season in Chicago!</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 25 Nov 2011 13:15:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/john-r-schmidt/2011-11-25/shop-til-you-drop-94177 Economists predict big turnout for Black Friday sales http://www.wbez.org/story/economists-predict-big-turnout-black-friday-sales-94347 <p><p>Retailers opened their doors early this morning to Black Friday shoppers, and some economists say after a year of economic turbulence, this might be the busiest one in years.</p><p>"The timing just couldn't be worse," said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial in Chicago</p><p>Swonk said after a year of record gas prices, stagnant wages, high unemployment and volatile stock market swings, consumer confidence has plummeted. As a result, she said people are planning to spend less on Christmas gifts this year.</p><p>Meanwhile, Mara Devitt, who's with a Chicago-based retail consulting firm, said shoppers looking for the best deals on popular items could make this Black Friday one of the busiest in recent years.</p><p>"Because of all of the economic pressures plus the way the retailers have made it more accessible it's going to make for a much more exciting and busier black friday this year," said Devitt.</p><p>Both Devitt and Swonk said retailers are anticipating improvements on sales from last year, but they credit that to shoppers buying necessities for themselves rather than gifts for others.</p></p> Fri, 25 Nov 2011 11:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/economists-predict-big-turnout-black-friday-sales-94347 Where mad scientists shop http://www.wbez.org/blog/clever-apes/where-mad-scientists-shop <p><p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 488px; height: 341px;" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2010-December/2010-12-22/rsz_1293040629370_0a012.png" title="" alt="" /></p><p>When you live in a city like Chicago, there are cool places that you hear a lot about but never manage to get to. For Gabriel and I, <a href="http://www.sciplus.com">American Science and Surplus</a> was one of those places. It's a store that sells all sorts of science-related goodies and seems like the perfect place for Clever Apes to congregate. &nbsp;It was almost criminal that two guys who work on a science show hadn't been there. So, a couple weeks ago, we went to check it out.</p><p>Owner Philip Cable was nice enough to show us around the location on the Northwest Side. Cable took over the operation in 2000, but the business has been around since &quot;<a href="http://www.sciplus.com/manifesto.cfm">about 1937</a>.&quot; Click on the audio slideshow below to hear our interview with Cable and see the store.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><object width="500" height="430" id="soundslider" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000"><param value="http://audio.wbez.org/soundslides/Clever_Apes_Slideshow/soundslider.swf?size=1&amp;format=xml&amp;embed_width=500&amp;embed_height=430" name="movie" /><param value="always" name="allowScriptAccess" /><param value="high" name="quality" /><param value="true" name="allowFullScreen" /><param value="false" name="menu" /><param value="#FFFFFF" name="bgcolor" /><embed width="500" height="430" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="sameDomain" menu="false" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" quality="high" src="http://audio.wbez.org/soundslides/Clever_Apes_Slideshow/soundslider.swf?size=1&amp;format=xml&amp;embed_width=500&amp;embed_height=430"></embed></object></p></p> Wed, 22 Dec 2010 19:07:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/clever-apes/where-mad-scientists-shop Carol Moseley Braun tours 87th Street on Black Friday http://www.wbez.org/story/news/economy/carol-moseley-braun-tours-87th-street-black-friday <p><p><span style="font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;">Chicago mayoral candidate Carol Moseley Braun is spending Black Friday touring a commercial corridor on 87<sup>th</sup> Street.</span>&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;">November 27<sup>th</sup> is nationally dubbed Small Business Saturday.&nbsp; Organizers said it&rsquo;s a way to support local commerce as the holiday shopping season commences.&nbsp; </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;">Essential Elements on east 87<sup>th</sup> Street is a clothing store that&rsquo;s participating. It&rsquo;s also one of the merchants Moseley Braun visited near Stony Island. </span></p> <div><span style="font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;">&quot;The businesses in the neighborhoods need as much attention and help as downtown. And while it&rsquo;s great to shop &ndash; we&rsquo;ve got great shopping in the Loop and down North Michigan. At the same time there&rsquo;s some great stores in the neighborhoods as well,&quot; Moseley Braun said.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;">She said the city should leverage the private sector to invest in small, neighborhood businesses.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div></p> Fri, 26 Nov 2010 20:58:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/news/economy/carol-moseley-braun-tours-87th-street-black-friday Illinois targets shoppers abusing accessible parking spots http://www.wbez.org/story/news/local/illinois-targets-holiday-shoppers-abusing-accessible-parking <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//Handicapped Parking Spot.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Searching and circling for a parking spot this holiday season? If you're among the legions of drivers and shoppers desparate to find a place to park, beware:&nbsp; Illinois is cracking down on people who illegally park in accessible parking spaces.</p> <div>Secretary of State Police were out on Friday giving tickets to holiday shoppers who shouldn&rsquo;t be parking in spaces reserved for those with disabilities.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The police were combing the parking lots across the state. Locally, officers were at Woodfield, Oak Brook and Orland Park malls.</div><div>&nbsp;&nbsp;</div> <div>&quot;Primarily this is part of our annual enforcement detail that we conduct especially around the holiday season to get the message across to the public that spaces are reserved for persons with disabilities,&quot; said Bill Bodgan, disability liaison for the Illinois Secretary of State.&nbsp; &quot;They should be left open to those that truly need them.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>But Bogdan says abuse escalates during the holiday season.</div><div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The fine for parking without an accessible placard or disability license can be up to $350.</div></p> Fri, 26 Nov 2010 17:34:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/news/local/illinois-targets-holiday-shoppers-abusing-accessible-parking