|August 15, 2012||Tupelo Furniture Market celebrates silver anniversary||no comments|
|August 08, 2012||Cici's Pizza in Tupelo closed||4 comments|
|August 07, 2012||Redesigned Corolla, Prius production in Blue Springs?||1 comments|
|August 07, 2012||Here's a tip for bigger tips... wear red||no comments|
|August 02, 2012||Furniture Brands sales fall, loss widens||no comments|
|August 01, 2012||Money available to help promote food, ag exports||no comments|
|July 30, 2012||Taylor's Seafood ribbon-cutting in Ripley Thursday||no comments|
|July 20, 2012||Sephora coming soon to JCP at mall||no comments|
|June 28, 2012||Forbes features Toyota Mississippi plant||no comments|
|June 27, 2012||House nixes amendment to cut Essential Air Service||no comments|
If you haven't heard, the Tupelo Furniture Market is celebrating its 25th anniversary this week during its fall market.
Lots of people and celebratory events are going on. And if you haven't gotten a copy of today's Daily Journal, there's a special 12-page section on the market. There are stories about this fall market, as well as history of the market. And a few blasts from the past.
You can also see the special section at this link (click here).
There's also a preview story about the market in today's edition. Here's an excerpt:
Celebrating its 25th year, TFM officially begins Thursday and ends Sunday. Market officials say the buzz surrounding the silver anniversary has led to strong buyer registration and exhibitor interest.
The market said earlier this month it expects its best attendance in nearly 10 years.
More than 100 new exhibitors will show at the market, and seven companies expanded their showrooms.
“We’re excited about this market and the interest that’s been shown,” said TFM Chairman V.M. Cleveland.
Unfortunately, we have a business obit to post: Cici's Pizza in Tupelo has closed.
This message was posted on the door:
Dear CiCi's Guests:
Thank you for your support over the last 13 years. It has been a pleasure and an honor to serve you all. For the last four years we have struggled and fought to keep the business open and to make a go of it. Unfortunately, we have lost that fight. CiCi's Tupelo is now Closed.
I am thankful that I had the opportunity to work with so many wonderful people. I hope in some way that I have left them, as well as you, some fond memories here.
Thank you again.
– Ron Solomon
According to Automotive News, the redesigned Toyota Corolla will begin production at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi in Blue Springs starting in fall 2013.
Says the magazine:
"Expect livelier design above the rocker panels and a more stylish interior layout. But the chassis – and the car's numb suspension – will remain mostly the same. A new transmission family is in the works, with gearing designed to stretch fuel economy. But the existing engine will carry over, with the possibility of more advanced engines coming with the midcycle change planned for the 2016 model year. Weight-saving is a priority."
Later in the article, which talks about Toyota's product plans for the next few years, is this interesting tidbit about the Prius. You'll remember when Toyota first announced in 2007 it was building the Blue Springs plant that it would build the Highlander. Then in 2008 it switched to the Prius, then in 2010 said it would be the Corolla.
Speculation has always been that TMMMS would eventually build a second model of some kind, likely the Prius, according to many in the auto industry.
So, says Automotive News, Toyota has a full redesign for the Prius in 2014 for the 2015 model year:
“Because it shares much of its chassis layout with the Corolla, the next-generation Prius could be assembled at Toyota's new plant in Mississippi, where Corollas are built.”
So of course we called our friends at Toyota Mississippi to see what they might have to say.
TMMMS spokeswoman Emily Holland said the plant is currently building the 2013 model year Corolla.
"Unfortunately, we do not coment on future model production or sales," she said.
As for possible future Prius production, she said, "we would be delighted to have Prius production in Blue Springs, but there are currently no plans to build that vehicle in our facility."
Well, it works if you're a woman, according to a study in this report (click here) in the British Mail newspaper.
Here's an excerpt:
Waitresses who wear red get up to 26 per cent extra in tips than they would wearing other colours, researchers claimed today.
However, the team that the sexes tip very differently - with the bigger tips coming only from male customers.
No matter what colour they wear, female diners will give the same kind of amounts for service every time. Yet men, whether they realise it or not, add anything between 15 and 26 per cent more to a waitress in red than they would if it was the SAME waitress wearing a different colour.
The test was simple. Take 11 waitresses in five restaurants over a six week period and ask them to wear the same kind of tee-shirt every day but alternate the colours.
We should test that theory out, shouldn't we?
Furniture Brands International said its second-quarter sales were $265.5 million, down 10.4 percent from the $296.2 million recorded during the second quarter last year.
Also, the parent of Lane Furniture said its loss for the period was $6.8 million, or 12 cents a share, compared to $6.6 million, or 12 cents a share a year ago.
Highlights from a Furniture Brands news release:
Ralph Scozzafava, chairman and CEO of the company said, "We continue to make proress with our ongoing cost and efficiency oefforts. Our ability to deliver second-quarter operating results that were flat to the prior year period despite the decreased sales volume is a result of these efforts. As we continue to improve our efficiency, we are also focused on driving sales through new product offerings that are updated, relevant and offer value to the customer. We are seeking broader acceptance of this newer product, which has contributed to our increased order backlog at the end of the quarter. We also remain disciplind on the capital allocation front as we work toward our goal of improving our operating results and generating positive free cash flow in 2012."
Gross profit for the quarter was $64 million and gross margin was 24.1 percent, compared to $73.4 million in gross profit and 24.8 percent gross margin in the prior-year period. The decrease in second-quarter 2012 gross margin was primarily due to additional clearance of older inventory and product that is being replaced, decreased retail margin and lower plant utilization, partially offset by lower costs resulting from prior cost reduction activities.
The company had an operating loss of $5.8 million as compared to an operating loss of $5.8 million in the prior-year period.
The company ended the quarter with a cash balance of $19.1 million and a debt balance of $77 million.
Furniture Brands was kind enough to send its earnings release at 7:25 this morning, also announcing that a conference call discussing the results would follow at 7:30.
Got a small business and want to get help exporting your food or agriculture product?
There's some money avaiable from a nonprofit group, but funds are limited.
Here's a press release from the Southern United States Trade Association, or SUSTA:
Applications are being accepted through the Southern United States Trade Association for funding assistance to help companies promote their food and agriculture products internationally.
SUSTA began accepting applications today for the upcoming year.
SUSTA, through the federal Market Access Program, reimburses companies up to 50 percent of their export promotional costs – such as product advertising in foreign markets, exhibiting at international trade shows and adapting their product labels for foreign laws – to help them become competitive in global markets.
Last year, companies enrolled in SUSTA’s programs exported more than $41 million in American food and agriculture thanks to the funding and assistance.
The Market Access Program is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), and SUSTA directs MAP funds to small- and medium-sized companies based in the southern U.S.
To be eligible for the MAP Branded program, companies must be considered small according to U.S. Small Business Administration standards, have yearly sales of at least $100,000 and promote a brand-name product that is of at least 50 percent U.S. agricultural origin. Companies located in any of SUSTA’s member states can apply for funding. Those states are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.
Companies applying for MAP Branded funds can get started by completing a prequalification form on SUSTA’s web site, www.susta.org. Additional information is available from these states’ Department of Agriculture or from SUSTA at (504) 568-5986.
Taylor’s Seafood in Ripley will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday at 1 p.m.
It’s located in the building commonly known as Green Old Field on Cotton Gin Road.
The owners of the restaurant are James and Pansy Taylor and Larry Malone, who also arethe original owners of Taylor’s Place Seafood Buffet in New Albany.
Taylor’s Seafood in Ripley opened yesterday with a Sunday buffet lunch.
The seafood buffet is every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Items on the buffet will include steak, catfish, shrimp, oysters, crab legs, frog legs, quail (fried and grilled), fried green tomatoes, scallops, stuffed crab and more.
For more information, call 837-3017.
Says it right there on the sign on the dustwall: Sephora is opening Oct. 5, inside JC Penney at The Mall at Barnes Crossing.
We haven't been able to get a lot of details yet, but we got this response from the public relations firm for JCP. You can tell by the exclamation points:
"Thank you for your interest in Sephora inside jcpenney! We are very excited to expand our presence in the Tupelo area this October! We will be sure to be in touch closer to the opening date and add you to our distribution list so that you have all pertinent information. We’d love to have you come into the new store when it’s almost opening time!"
So those of you who don't know much about Sephora (like me), here's info from its website:
Sephora is a visionary beauty-retail concept founded in France by Dominique Mandonnaud in 1970. Sephora’s unique, open-sell environment features an ever-increasing amount of classic and emerging brands across a broad range of product categories including skincare, color, fragrance, body, smilecare and haircare, in addition to Sephora’s own private label.
Today, Sephora is not only the leading chain of perfume and cosmetics stores in France, but also a powerful beauty presence in countries around the world.
To build the most knowledgeable and professional team of product consultants in the beauty industry, Sephora developed “Science of Sephora.” This program ensures that our team is skilled to identify skin types, have knowledge of skin physiology, the history of makeup, application techniques, the science of creating fragrances, and most importantly, how to interact with Sephora’s diverse clientele.
Owned by Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH), the world’s leading luxury goods group, Sephora is highly regarded as a beauty trailblazer, thanks to its unparalleled assortment of prestige products, unbiased service from experts, interactive shopping environment, and innovation.
Sephora inside jcpenney - jcpenney began opening Sephora inside jcpenney stores in October 2006. That original launch has turned into a phenomenon. Today, there are Sephora locations in jcpenney stores nationwide. These stores are smaller than a normal store with approximately 1,500 square feet but they are located in the center of the store and feature the signature Sephora look and beauty offering.
Nice job by Micheline Maynard of Forbes in getting access to the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi plant in Blue Springs, and a nice story on the Japanese automaker's "radical" new design for its assembly plant.
Here's a link to the Forbes story (cllck here).
And here's an excerpt:
Even by Toyota’s innovative manufacturing standards, its newest factory looks nothing like any car plant that’s come before it. You can see straight up to the ceiling and across every row on the line. Workers pluck parts from prestocked boxes already arranged in the order they need them. The clanking of machinery overhead, the piles of parts next to the assembly line, cars stretched end to end – that’s all gone, replaced by a hushed bustle familiar to anyone who works in a busy office.
But even more stunning than the quiet is the location. This isn’t Japan. The $800 million plant–the most advanced of all 65 the company owns or operates worldwide – sits atop the red, clay-rich soil of Blue Springs, Miss., 20 minutes from Elvis’ birthplace.
Blue Springs represents more than just cranking out Corollas – it’s a statement for a company that always put Japan first and everyone else second and a potential blueprint, given Toyota’s clout, for how cars will be built going forward.
The House late Tuesday voted down and amendment by a tea party-backed Republican from California, Tom McClintock, to slash the Essential Air Service program.
EAS provides subsidized air service to mostly rural communities across the country. Among them are Tupelo, Greenville and Hattiesburg/Laurel in Mississippi.
It was a bipartisan vote to defeat the amendment, 238-164, with many tea party conservatives voting to kill it.
Alan Nunnelee was the only Mississippi congressman to vote for the amendment. Fellow Republicans Gregg Harper and Steven Palazzo, along with Democrat Benny Thompson, voted against the measure.
More from the Associated Press:
.... the Essential Air Service program, which subsidizes flights to 120 communities in 35 states in the continental U.S. and Puerto Rico and 43 towns in Alaska.
The vote came as the House debated a $107 billion transportation spending bill for the budget year beginning Oct. 1.
Republicans controlling the House had voted to eliminate the oft-criticized program last year while they considered renewing federal aviation programs, but a coalition of Democrats and Republicans representing rural America reversed the move in the Senate.
Despite modest changes to the program enacted earlier this year, its budget now would reach a new high — to $214 million — under Tuesday’s legislation. McClintock’s amendment would have eliminated $114 million in direct taxpayer subsidies; he was blocked under House rules from attacking $100 million in subsidies automatically financed by “overflight” fees paid by aircraft that fly over the U.S. but don’t take off or land here.
Supporters of the subsidies say having access to air service is crucial to the economies of rural towns.
“This program plays a key role in the economic development in many rural communities by ensuring that air service continues,” said Rep. Tom Latham, R-Iowa.
In fact, the wide reach of the program contributes to the sweeping support it gets, both from Democrats but also from conservative Republicans who suspend their anti-big government rhetoric when their districts are affected.