Falling gas prices raise holiday spending prospects

By Melissa “Missy” Enaje

Santa might have to work overtime this holiday season as retail sales surged in November by a stronger-than-expected 0.7 percent, up more than 5 percent from a year ago, the Commerce Department reported. A sharp drop in energy prices is giving consumers more spending power and they appear to be using it. Continue reading “Falling gas prices raise holiday spending prospects”

Maya Mueble brings modern furniture with a Latin American flare to Chicago

By Melissa “Missy” Enaje 

Walk past the storefront of Maya Mueble in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood and its one-of-a-kind designs might catch your eye: the intricate hand-crafted iron and vinyl chairs that line up behind the glass windows burst with radiant blue and tangy-orange hues.

Continue reading “Maya Mueble brings modern furniture with a Latin American flare to Chicago”

Target Corp. scores profit rebound in latest quarter

The Target store on East Madison and State Street in downtown Chicago gears up for the crucial holiday shopping season. (Melissa Enaje/ Medill News Service)
The Target store on East Madison and State Street in downtown Chicago gears up for the crucial holiday shopping season. (Melissa Enaje/ Medill News Service)

By Melissa “Missy” Enaje

Target Corp.’s shares soared more than 6 percent Wednesday after the retail giant reported stronger-than-expected third-quarter earnings. The results — the best for the company since a costly computer breach marred its 2014 holiday shopping season — were fueled by strong sales in both the U.S. and Canada.

Continue reading “Target Corp. scores profit rebound in latest quarter”

Take Back Chicago takes on the Chicago Loop

By Melissa “Missy” Enaje

Community members from twenty local non-profit organizations and unions rallied in downtown Chicago on Tuesday to push for a higher minimum wage, Chicago Housing Authority reform and an elected school board. Continue reading “Take Back Chicago takes on the Chicago Loop”

Coach Inc.’s bid to revitalize its brand isn’t in the bag

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

By Melissa “Missy” Enaje

A successful retail brand can usually rely on walking human billboards to increase awareness of its products. Need proof? Take a look at consumers in any major metropolitan region, where pricey logos adorn shoes, handbags and even tech products.

Continue reading “Coach Inc.’s bid to revitalize its brand isn’t in the bag”

Exelon plans clean-energy test plant

The power system Exelon Corp. is incorporating into its latest natural gas development. Courtesy of Net Power LLC website.
The power system Exelon Corp. is incorporating into its natural gas test plant. Courtesy of Net Power LLC website.

By Melissa “Missy” Enaje

Chicago-based energy provider Exelon Corp. has joined with two partners to build a demonstration power plant that will generate electricity from natural gas while eliminating all air emissions, including carbon dioxide.

Continue reading “Exelon plans clean-energy test plant”

The rise of the “athleisure” brand: how companies are tapping into women consumers

By Melissa “Missy” Enaje

The lifeline for fashion trends varies depending upon the season, but retail sporting-good companies are banking on the longevity of a particular consumer market: “athleisure” or retail goods focused on women and their athletic and leisure pursuits.

“You are seeing retailers take away from other categories or other areas of the store to make room for sports apparel, just because it’s on fire,” said Poonam Goyal, Bloomberg Intelligence U.S. retailing senior analyst, “growing much faster than the rest of their apparel.” Continue reading “The rise of the “athleisure” brand: how companies are tapping into women consumers”