WBEZ | sales http://www.wbez.org/tags/sales Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Sears, other stores hope for shoppers on Thanksgiving Day http://www.wbez.org/story/black-friday/sears-other-stores-hope-shoppers-thanksgiving-day <p><p>This year, some retailers are hoping for a Black Thursday in addition to a Black Friday.</p><p>The economic slump is pushing some retailers to encroach on a once sacrosanct holiday. For the first time, Sears will open Thanksgiving morning. Sears spokeswoman Natalie Norris-Howser says this is a response to what customers want.<br /><br />``Every opportunity they can take to check that one more thing off of their list, they&rsquo;re willing to do,&rsquo;&rsquo; Norris-Howser said.<br /><br />But not everyone thinks it will yield much of a payoff.&nbsp; Morningstar analyst Paul Swinand says it&rsquo;s a gamble that he usually sees from retailers that are struggling.<br /><br />``You might have just captured somebody you would have captured later in December anyway, so now you&rsquo;ve spent more money to capture the same amount of sales in aggregate over the holiday period,&rsquo;&rsquo; Swinand said.<br /><br />Many Old Navy stores will open on Thanksgiving, but most retailers are waiting till Black Friday. Carson Pirie Scott hopes people will take a little catnap after digesting pumpkin pie and head out to shop at 3:00 am on Friday.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 24 Nov 2010 06:01:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/black-friday/sears-other-stores-hope-shoppers-thanksgiving-day Sales up for NW Indiana RV manufacturers & dealers http://www.wbez.org/story/dealers/sales-nw-indiana-rv-manufacturers-dealers <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//npr/images/18-10-2010/rvlot_wide.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The RV industry, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, has had a bumpy road lately, but now it may be turning the corner.</p><p>Winnebago, one of the top manufacturers of recreational vehicles, posted stronger than expected quarterly profits Thursday. The company said its results were lifted by increased motor home deliveries, &quot;particularly in the Class A category,&quot; which can sell for as much as $300,000 each.</p><p>The last few years have been among the most difficult ever for the RV industry because of high gas prices and the recession: Manufacturers closed plants and laid off thousands of workers. But at Camp-Land RV in Burns Harbor, Ind., about 40 miles southeast of downtown Chicago, owner Al Paschen says business is picking up.</p><p>&quot;We never had a losing year through all of this,&quot; he says, &quot;and this year is turning out to be one of the better years we've ever had.&quot;</p><p>Paschen says sales are up 20 percent. That's partly due to the fact that several nearby competitors have gone out of business, leaving Paschen's Camp-Land as one of the few RV dealerships left in northwest Indiana.</p><p>But Paschen also says he thinks consumers are finally starting to feel more optimistic about the economy. And, he says, buyers are getting younger.</p><p>&quot;During the summer, we always see a lot of families, but we're seeing younger couples, too, people in their 30s, 40s,&quot; he says. &quot;The retirees have sort of been absent here for a few years.&quot;</p><p>Paschen says the hit many retirees took to their savings is keeping some of them out of new RVs. Among those who are buying, trading and and trading up, he says, tastes are changing.</p><p>&quot;Now we see them upgrading but not getting bigger,&quot; he says. &quot;In fact, we see some are getting smaller.&quot;</p><p>He points to the Earthbound model, a small, but expensive travel trailer. &quot;This one is, some people would say radical,&quot; he says. &quot;It's modernistic.&quot;</p><p>The travel trailer is made of lightweight aluminum and composite materials.</p><p>&quot;Even the doors on the cabinets ... are made of composites instead of wood,&quot; he says. &quot;This whole thing is very light.&quot;</p><p>Sleek and curvy travel trailers like the Earthbound are getting smaller and lighter so they can be pulled by cars that are getting smaller, lighter and more fuel-efficient.</p><p>Outside the showroom, on his 6-acre lot of more than 200 RVs, Paschen says even motor homes are shrinking.</p><p>&quot;This is a really small Winnebago as Winnebagos go,&quot; he says, pointing at the 26-foot Vista model. &quot;It's the best-selling Winnebago on our lot right now.&quot;</p><p>But as RVs get smaller, they are getting a lot nicer, too.</p><p>Glossy finishes on the cabinets and other high-end and high-tech features such as flat-screen TVs show that many consumers are demanding more luxurious road trips and camping trips.</p><p>Compartments that slide out on both motor homes and travel trailers create more living space inside. That's exactly what Harold and Georgia Phillips of Valparaiso, Ind., are looking for.</p><p>&quot;We're spending a lot more time in it now that he's retired; we went to Alaska last year,&quot; Georgia Phillips says. &quot;And, it's a matter of tripping over each other and we just thought this one would be more comfortable for us.&quot;</p><p>The Phillips are a little disappointed they won't be able to hit the open road in their new RV for another month or so: The model they want is on back order, a sign RVs are selling better than they have in years. Copyright 2010 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1287437179?&amp;gn=RV+Sales%3A+An+Indicator+That%27s+No+Longer+Lagging&amp;ev=event2&amp;ch=1006&amp;h1=Business+E-mail+Newsletter+Weekly,Around+the+Nation,Story+of+the+Day,Economy,Business,U.S.,Home+Page+Top+Stories&amp;c3=D%3Dgn&amp;v3=D%3Dgn&amp;c4=130603134&amp;c7=1006&amp;v7=D%3Dc7&amp;c18=1006&amp;v18=D%3Dc18&amp;c19=20101016&amp;v19=D%3Dc19&amp;c20=1&amp;v20=D%3Dc20&amp;c21=7&amp;v21=D%3Dc2&amp;c31=127088640&amp;v31=D%3Dc31&amp;c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001" alt="" /> Copyright 2010 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1287437166?&amp;gn=RV+Sales%3A+An+Indicator+That%27s+No+Longer+Lagging&amp;ev=event2&amp;h1=Business+E-mail+Newsletter+Weekly,Around+the+Nation,Story+of+the+Day,Economy,Business,U.S.,Home+Page+Top+Stories&amp;c3=D%3Dgn&amp;v3=D%3Dgn&amp;c4=130603134&amp;c7=1006&amp;v7=D%3Dc7&amp;c18=1006&amp;v18=D%3Dc18&amp;c19=20101016&amp;v19=D%3Dc19&amp;c20=1&amp;v20=D%3Dc20&amp;c21=7&amp;v21=D%3Dc2&amp;c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001" alt="" /></p></p> Sat, 16 Oct 2010 06:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/dealers/sales-nw-indiana-rv-manufacturers-dealers