Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in wp-settings.php on line 472

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in wp-settings.php on line 487

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in wp-settings.php on line 494

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in wp-settings.php on line 530
BusINess » Rob Earnshaw

Posts Tagged ‘Rob Earnshaw’

Hobart Borders to close as company files for bankruptcy

Borders is closing about 200 of its 642 stores over the next few weeks, including its Hobart store at Westfield Southlake mall, shown here, after filing for bankruptcy Wednesday. (Photograph by John J. Watkins, File/The Times.)

Borders is closing about 200 of its 642 stores over the next few weeks, including its Hobart store at Westfield Southlake mall, shown here, after filing for bankruptcy Wednesday. (Photograph by John J. Watkins, File/The Times.)

Borders is closing about 200 of its 642 stores in the next few weeks, including its Hobart location, after filing for bankruptcy Wednesday.

The Borders location at Westfield Southlake mall in Hobart is among those slated to close, according to a list posted on the company website.

“As part of the filing, Borders plans to take a store reduction program, which this store is a part of,” company spokesman Donald Cutler said.

The company took into account economic conditions, cost structures and each location’s viability when it was deciding which stores to close, Cutler said.

The bookseller has struggled with crushing debt and sluggishness in adapting to a rapidly changing industry.

“We do appreciate the loyalty of our customers over the years and look forward to welcoming them into the stores that remain part of the community in general and also online at Borders.com,” he said.

“Over the next several weeks, (the closings) will take place, and customers can continue to use their gift cards and coupons as usual in all the stores.”

Shoppers at the Hobart Borders were surprised Wednesday when they learned of its impending closure, which comes just a few months after another major bookseller, Barnes & Noble, closed its doors across the street in Hobart.

Brian McGue, of Chesterton, said he was surprised because “bookstores always seem busy.”
Read the rest of this entry »


Officials give preview of Volt, Think City cars

A 2011 Chevrolet Volt sits in front of Avalon Manor in Hobart on Tuesday as part of the South Shore Clean Cities annual meeting. A Think City car also was on display as part of the preview of electric vehicles. Automaker representatives touted the economic and environmental benefits of the vehicles. (Photograph by Kyle Telechan/The Times.)

A 2011 Chevrolet Volt sits in front of Avalon Manor in Hobart on Tuesday as part of the South Shore Clean Cities annual meeting. A Think City car also was on display as part of the preview of electric vehicles. Automaker representatives touted the economic and environmental benefits of the vehicles. (Photograph by Kyle Telechan/The Times.)

Two new electric vehicles made their 2011 Northwest Indiana debut Tuesday at the South Shore Clean Cities annual meeting.

The Chevrolet Volt and the Elkhart-made Think City were parked outside Avalon Manor for guests to view and test-drive. Inside, representatives from the manufacturers touted the economic and environmental benefits of the vehicles.

Larry Speicher, General Motors regional manager, said the marketing strategy for the Volt is “more car than electric.”
Read the rest of this entry »


Bringing NWI online community offline

NWITweetup organizer Nat Finn checks his phone at the group's January meeting at Northwoods Restaurant in St John. (Photograph by Tim Hunt/The Times.)

NWITweetup organizer Nat Finn checks his phone at the group's January meeting at Northwoods Restaurant in St John. (Photograph by Tim Hunt/The Times.)

Bringing the region’s online community together offline while helping local businesses learn how to use social media as an effective marketing tool is the goal behind monthly “tweetups” happening in Northwest Indiana.

The gatherings provide a stimulating meeting place for local marketers and designers, said NWITweetup organizers Kathy Sipple, and Dave Woodson and Nat Finn.

“Tweeting and social media in the region will grow with people’s understanding of it,” Finn said.
Read the rest of this entry »


Restaurant owners’ reaction mixed to proposed smoking ban

Mellow Brew Cheesecake owner Timothy Hendrickson doesn't allow smoking in his Dyer business, but he doesn't think the state should dictate the decision. He thinks it should be up to the business owners. (Photograph by John J. Watkins/The Times.)

Mellow Brew Cheesecake owner Timothy Hendrickson doesn't allow smoking in his Dyer business, but he doesn't think the state should dictate the decision. He thinks it should be up to the business owners. (Photograph by John J. Watkins/The Times.)

Indiana restaurants aren’t among the exemptions to the proposed statewide smoking ban, but many proprietors are making the decision to go smoke-free for themselves.

For many of them, their concern is it remains their decision—not the government’s.

Timothy Hendrickson doesn’t allow smoking at his Mellow Brew Cheesecake House in Dyer, but he prefers nobody make that decision except for him.
Read the rest of this entry »


Entrepreneur initiative underway

A venture to accelerate growth of the entrepreneurial network of Northwest Indiana is underway.

JumpStart, funded by the U.S. Economic Development Association and partnered with the Knight Foundation, is developing a Regional Entrepreneurship Action Plan in Northwest Indiana.

A presentation of the initiative went before the Northwest Indiana Economic Development District on Friday in Portage.
Read the rest of this entry »


Bears merchandise not exactly flying out the door

Tom Palinca, store manager at Magic Sports shows off some of the Chicago Bears apparel on display at the sports clothing store. The Bears will meet the Green Bay Packers on Sunday for the NFC championship. (Photograph by John Luke/The Times.)

Tom Palinca, store manager at Magic Sports shows off some of the Chicago Bears apparel on display at the sports clothing store. The Bears will meet the Green Bay Packers on Sunday for the NFC championship. (Photograph by John Luke/The Times.)

What some are calling the biggest game in Chicago Bears history may not be translating into increased sales of the team’s merchandise, according to a local proprietor.

“It’s not like 2006 at all,” said Magic MacKeigan, owner of Valparaiso’s Magic Sports, speaking about Sunday’s Bears-Packers game compared to Chicago’s Super Bowl run four years ago. “The Bears-Colts Super Bowl was our best January ever.”

MacKeigan believes that fans have remained skeptical about the Bears despite their recent winning ways.
Read the rest of this entry »


Ugly sweater company is wearing well

Kevin Wool, from left, Adam Paulson and Brian Miller, co-owners of UglyChristmasSweaterParty.com, stand on a pile of sweaters Wednesday in their St. John headquarters. The trio runs the website where users are able to order a variety of ugly Christmas sweaters. (Photograph by Kyle Telechan/The Times.)

Kevin Wool, from left, Adam Paulson and Brian Miller, co-owners of UglyChristmasSweaterParty.com, stand on a pile of sweaters Wednesday in their St. John headquarters. The trio runs the website where users are able to order a variety of ugly Christmas sweaters. (Photograph by Kyle Telechan/The Times.)

It’s becoming the “Halloween of Christmas,” and at the forefront of it all are three friends from Northwest Indiana who are witnessing their fun blog idea from a few years ago turn into one “ugly” little empire.

UglyChristmasSweaterParty.com was founded by Adam Paulson and Kevin Wool, of Crown Point, and Brian Miller, of St. John. “Team Ugly” is celebrating its second Christmas selling a gaudy product by the truckload.
Read the rest of this entry »


Crown Point grad building Web-based empire

Jake Nickell, a Crown Point High School graduate and founder of Threadless, an online T-shirt company, was inspired to start the business after entering and winning an online T-shirt design contest. Threadless turned into a multimillion-dollar Web-based business and led to two retail stores in Chicago. It is celebrating 10 years in business. (Photograph by Heather Eidson/The Times.)

Jake Nickell, a Crown Point High School graduate and founder of Threadless, an online T-shirt company, was inspired to start the business after entering and winning an online T-shirt design contest. Threadless turned into a multimillion-dollar Web-based business and led to two retail stores in Chicago. It is celebrating 10 years in business.
(Photograph by Heather Eidson/The Times.)

While a student at Crown Point High School, Jake Nickell provided technical support for an Internet provider in the city’s downtown square. Now the 30-year-old owns a Chicago-based company whose business model has been taught at Ivy League schools.

Threadless is a business that “was never intended to be a business,” Nickell said.

In 2000, Nickell was working as a full-time Web designer and was enrolled part time at the Illinois Institute of Art when he entered and won an online T-shirt design competition. Read the rest of this entry »


Business students gain real-world experience

Jessica Taggert, a senior Indiana University Northwest business student from Hobart, explains to her client company and her fellow classmates Wednesday night at the Gary campus how social networking websites such as Facebook can help a business promote itself. During the fall semester for their consumer behavior course, IU Northwest students worked in groups to develop advertising campaigns for five local businesses. (Photograph by Dan Shelton/The Times.)

Jessica Taggert, a senior Indiana University Northwest business student from Hobart, explains to her client company and her fellow classmates Wednesday night at the Gary campus how social networking websites such as Facebook can help a business promote itself. During the fall semester for their consumer behavior course, IU Northwest students worked in groups to develop advertising campaigns for five local businesses.
(Photograph by Dan Shelton/The Times.)

A collaboration between students from Indiana University Northwest’s School of Business and Economics and local businesses was a lesson in symbiosis.

During the fall semester for their consumer behavior course, IU Northwest students worked in groups to develop advertising campaigns for five local businesses.

The project allowed them to learn more about a consumer’s decision-making process while they worked with each company’s point person and assessed the business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
Read the rest of this entry »


Valparaiso High grad co-authors corporate blog book

Valparaiso native Chantelle Flannery is co-author of <em>Corporate Blogging for Dummies</em>, a book that shares corporate blogging tricks of the trade and how to establish a strategy and measure the blog's success. (Photograph by The Times.)

Valparaiso native Chantelle Flannery is co-author of Corporate Blogging for Dummies, a book that shares corporate blogging tricks of the trade and how to establish a strategy and measure the blog's success. (Photograph by The Times.)

A 2001 graduate of Valparaiso High School who earned degrees at Purdue and Indiana universities has co-authored a book geared toward helping businesses and companies use a social media tool to become more productive and effective.

Corporate Blogging for Dummies, by Valparaiso native Chantelle Flannery and Douglas Karr, is now available at bookstores and Amazon.com.

“It’s kind of a shift in thinking from people looking at blogging as a political or personal thing,” Flannery said. “It’s the start of companies engaging online with the benefits of using a blog as a platform.”
Read the rest of this entry »