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Date: February 15, 2010
Vol. XIII, No. 4

Printer Version


bulletCommentary: The Future for Trade Shows
bulletNew Columns This Issue
bulletTake the CLN Poll: Consumer Shows
bulletCLN Poll: Grading the Trade Shows
bulletJo-Ann: Sales Up
bulletHancock: Sales, Profits Up
bulletProblems, Again at Pearl Paint
bulletEmail: Some Areas Are Under-stored
bulletNAMTA Show News
bulletJanuary Sales: Up
bulletNeedleworkers Will "Crawl" Through Portland
bulletEmail: How To Lose Independent Store Business
bulletAn Alternative To Dumping Excess Inventory
bulletRandom Notes, Random Thoughts
bulletMiscellaneous News: Retail
bulletMiscellaneous News
bulletThe Creative Network: Job Openings
bulletChoosing a Restaurant


The commentary questioning the long-term viability of trade shows brought a wide variety of responses. Consider:

Some vendors, whose new products have already been shown and approved of by at least one chain store, spend $50,000 or more on a show hoping the chain's top execs will stop by.

A needlework company said it only exhibited at the TNNA hotel shows. Needlework already has a virtual trade show. Visit www.needleworkshow.com.

The commentary theorized if computers improve as much in this decade as they did in the last decade, retailers could stay home and visit any vendor's virtual booth any time. It's only the second month of the decade and already Google announced it was testing a system that is 100 times faster than broadband, and 3-D TV sets were unveiled at the Consumer Electronic Show.

Some vendors admitted they exhibit at a show primarily because their competitors exhibit. Others are afraid rumors will fly if they don't exhibit. Still others have been known to fly buyers to their offices.

A former CHA board member send me a memo he sent to CHA years ago suggesting the staff start considering a virtual show.

Others scoff at the concept because of the lack of personal interaction, but a CLN subscriber said she toured Steven Spielberg's Hollywood DreamWorks studio and saw a conference room with such advanced technology that a person could have a meeting with people thousands of miles away and feel like everyone was sitting at the same table – and making eye contact. GoToMeetings.com is just the start.

There are trade shows in which vendors pay $15,000, set up in a hotel room, and then are guaranteed they will have at least a 20-minute visit from each major buyer. Part of that exhibit fee pays for the buyers' hotel and plane bills.

CLN learned of an independent retailer who spent almost all of her show time in seminars and workshops. Didn't she want to see the new products? "My sales reps back home will show them to me."

The downside of all this is incalculable. The lack of networking, squeezing out independents who can't afford the fancy, yet-to-be-invented technology, the added difficulty of a new vendor breaking into the market, a touch-and-feel industry that loses its touch. The greatest value of trade shows is intangible, but as beancounters assume more and more control of the companies, they will ask, "Explain to me again why we have to spend $50,000 on a trade show?"

To read some of the reaction to the original commentary, visit Business-Wise.

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Business-Wise. So what's the future for trade shows? CLN readers weigh in with a wide variety of reactions.

Designing Perspectives. What is the state of design today? Is the influx of consumers willing to work for no pay, just happy to be published or be named a member of a design team – is that good or bad for the industry? Read both sides.

The N Files. Maria Nerius' review of the CHA consumer and trade shows. "Everyone I talked to had high hopes for 2010 and the new decade...."

Kizer & Bender. Do your clerks ask customers the right questions? Do you know the difference between savvy questions and inane comments? Here's a quick lesson.

Category Reports. A listing of the business seminars at the upcoming NAMTA show.

(Note: If you click on a column and it's not what you expected, click the Reload or Refresh button of your browser.)

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Consumer shows can teach and inspire consumers to learn a new craft or become more enthusiastic about their current hobbies. On the other hand, they can be bad for the industry if they hurt the sales of area retailers. What do you think? Overall, are they good or bad, long term, for the industry? And if they are good for the industry, who should run them? To vote, click on Industry Polls in the right-hand column or click HERE.

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A year ago, TNNA and CHA exhibitors and attendees graded the winter shows a 2.4 (on a 4-point scale, that's a C+). This year, although the mood seemed substantially better, the shows graded out virtually the same. Exhibitors rated the shows a 2.4 and attendees gave them a 2.3.

Of the 2010 exhibitors who voted in CLN's unscientific poll, 9.4% gave an A, 46.9% gave a B, 21.9% thought the shows were worth a C, 18.8% gave a D, and 3.1% flunked them.

Of vendors who exhibited in 2009 and 2010, 21.9% had a much better show this year, while 28.1% thought it was somewhat better. Less than a fifth, 18.8%, thought it was about the same, while 31..2% thought it was somewhat or much less successful.

For buyers/attendees who attended both years, 34.8% thought it was much better and 8.7% rated the shows somewhat better – but 30.4% thought the shows were somewhat or much worse for their business.

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Net sales for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 30, 2010 increased 5.3% to $602.2 million and same-store sales rose 4.4%. Traffic increased 3.0% and average ticket increased 1.4%.

Large-format store sales increased 7.9% to $323.8 million and same-store sales were up 3.1%. Small-format store sales increased 2.6% and same-store sales increased 6.1%. Retail Metrics had expected the same-store growth to be 2.0%. Internet sales through Joann.com were flat at $12.3 million.

Sewing same-store sales increased 6.0%. Non-sewing same-store sales increased 2.8% due to growth in core craft merchandise categories, partially offset by continued weakness in seasonal and custom framing merchandise categories.

Net sales for the year increased 4.7% to $1.99 billion and same-store sales rose 3.1%.

Because the results were better than expected, the company now expects fourth quarter earnings/diluted share to be $1.32 - $1.34, compared to $0.79 a year ago, and much higher than Wall Street's expectations of $0.99. Full-year earnings are expected to be $2.47 - $2.49, compared to $0.86 a year ago, and again, higher than Wall Street's. expectations of $2.11. The official 2010 earnings release and the outlook for this fiscal year, 2011, will be issued Mar. 10.

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Net sales for the third quarter ended Oct. 31 were $72.7 million, up 3.0% from a year ago. Same-store sales increased 4.0%. Operating income rose by $3.6 million to a $4.5 million profit. Net income was $3.0 million ($0.16/share) compared to a net loss of $0.3 million (-$0.02) a year ago. EBITDA was up $3.5 million to $6.1 million. Inventories were down by $10.0 million compared to the same period last year.

Year-to-date, net sales were $196.4 million compared with $198.2 million in the same period last year; same-store sales increased 0.9%. Operating income increased by $8.0 million: $4.4 million of income compared to a $3.6 million loss a year ago. The net loss was $0.1 million (-$0.01), but EBITDA was $9.2 million, an increase of $7.8 million.

Gross margin for the third quarter was 46.5% up from 43.0% a year ago, thanks to a 220 basis-point reduction in merchandise cost, a 50 basis-point reduction in freight costs, and an 80 basis-point reduction in sourcing and warehousing. Year-to-date, gross margin improved by 210 basis points to 45.8%.

Selling, general and administrative expenses for the third quarter decreased to $28.2 million (38.8% of sales) from $28.3 million (40.1% of sales). Year-to-date, SG&A expenses have been reduced by $4.6 million to $82.3 million (41.9% of sales) from $86.9 million (43.9% of sales). Third quarter reductions were driven by increased labor efficiency and reductions in ad expenses, offset by certain incremental retail operating costs. Year-to-date reductions were driven by increased labor efficiency, reduced store operating expenses, and savings of professional fees.

President/CEO Jane Aggers said, "We are beginning to experience meaningful top line improvement in combination with significant operating cost reductions. Our strong quarter and year-to-date results are a testament to the hard work of all of our associates and management team. We are cautiously optimistic that we can continue to execute our business plan throughout the remainder of the year and into 2010."

During the current fiscal year, Hancock opened three stores, closed one, remodeled five, and ended the quarter with 265 stores.

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The New York Times reported the company is closing one of its three Manhattan stores and various others, leaving the chain with only 8 stores, according to its website. Six of the remaining stores, two each in California, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, are running deep-discount sales similar to the sales at the now closed stores, the Times reported.

The chain made headlines about 11 years ago when a box being sent to the president, Bob Perlmutter, at his home in Florida broke open at a delivery service warehouse, and stacks of money fell out. That prompted a police investigation while ultimately resulted in Perlmutter serving time in prison for tax evasion. Money skimmed from the stores apparently was used to pay, under the table, contractors for his Florida home, which adjacent to the home of NFL great Dan Marino and had the largest private swimming pool in the state.

Pearl did not hire a company to conduct a store-closing sale. Instead, the company held a 50%-off sale on a Tuesday, a 75%-off sale the following Tuesday, and then a 90%-off sale and was closed in two weeks. The company did not follow the traditional ad strategy, either, using Facebook and emails instead. One subscriber told CLN, "Where else am I going to get tubes of artist-quality paint for less than a dollar? The checkout line, as you can imagine, wrapped around the store several times."

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"I have mixed feelings about seeing [Pearl Paint] go," a CLN subscriber/college art teacher on Long Island wrote. "We are very under-stored here when it comes to professional art supplies. On the other hand, they were constantly out of stock on key items and refused to order for you. 'Wait until the order comes in.' That could be months or even, literally, years, or never."

"This semester I begged my students to order online because they were very unlikely to find what they needed locally. Do the math: the 50 or so students in my class times the rest of the college, times every college, high school, independent art school, and hobbyist on Long Island – all seeking basic paint colors. That's hundreds of people all needing a tube of Cad Yellow at the same time. Yes, I'll give the local independent my list ahead of time, but I can't put my eggs all in one basket. What's a three-hour, college-level studio course with no supplies?"

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Art Materials World 2010, NAMTA’s International Convention and Trade Show, will be Apr. 15-17 in Indianapolis.

1. The Int. Art Materials Trade Assn. (NAMTA) is celebrating its 60th anniversary at its annual trade show. Edward Ellison, Editor of the Art Material Trade News, incorporated NAMTA as a not-for-profit trade association in January, 1950. The first board of directors meeting was held the following month. There Frank Peters of Favor, Ruhl was elected the first President and Ellison was elected Secretary/Treasurer. There were 17 members when the organization started; today there are 1,000 around the world.

2. The NAMTA Foundation continues its motorcycle-ride fundraiser with "Race to Indy." Teams of bikers will leave from several U.S. locations to ride to Indianapolis to attend the convention/trade show. The last two rides have raised $55,000+. Money is raised through sponsorships, donations, and on-site activities that include the Nocturnal Animals Party and a silent auction. For info and sign-ups for riding or sponsorship, visit www.namtafoundation.org, or email Leah Siffringer at lsiffringer@namta.org.

3. NAMTA created a new annual award, the Business Innovation Award, cosponsored by NAMTA, American Artist magazine and Hart Business Research. The objective is to recognize art material individuals and businesses that innovate, encourage use of the new industry study, and generate thought-provoking, useful case studies for the industry. The winners and runners-up will be recognized at the trade show's keynote presentation. For application instructions, visit www.namta.org/innovation. The deadline is 11:59 pm on March.

4. To see the complete list of business seminars at the trade show, click on Category Reports.

For information on NAMTA membership or the trade show, visit www.artmaterialsworld.com.

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Retail sales increased 3.3% compared with a year ago, according to Thomson Reuters' tally of 29 major chain stores. Analysts had expected a 2.5% gain, the L.A. Times reported. It was the biggest increase in sales in nearly two years, but January 2009 was a miserable month. "It's encouraging looking at the January data, but the caveat is January and February are very low-volume months,'' said Michael Niemira, chief economist at the Int. Council of Shopping Centers. But it does appear that the retail recovery is being sustained – it's now multiple months of pretty solid performance.''

Some same-store sales for the month: Nordstrom, +14.0% ... TJX, +12.0% ... Ross Stores, +8.0% ... Saks, +7.0% ... Kohl's, +6.5% ... Limited, +6.0% ... Gap, +5.0% ... Macy's, +3.4% ... BJ's Wholesale Club, +2.9% ... Target, +0.5% ... Costco, Flat ... Fred's, -2.0 ... JC Penney, -4.6% ... Dillard's, -5.0%.

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(Editor's note: In the right population areas, wouldn't events like this work in other product categories?)

Sixteen of Portland's independent yarn retailers are hosting a Yarn Crawl, Fri., Mar. 5 through Sun., Mar. 7th. It's a free, self-guided tour for knitters, crocheters, and other fiber artists featuring special demos, exhibits, sales, and promotions. It's sponsored by some of the most popular needle and yarn industry companies, including Portland's Lantern Moon. A special "Scavenger Hunt" involving all the retailers is also being conducted and will involve many of Portland's popular knit and crochet designers.

"Portland has so many wonderful yarn shops and the cultural awareness that supports the crafts associated with yarn and fiber," said Phyllis Howe, owner of knitting & howe, the firm producing the Crawl. "This promotion provides stitchers of all stripes with a good excuse to explore new shops, make friends with similar interests, and help stimulate the local economy."

For info on the crawl, participating stores, and sponsors, visit www.portlandyarncrawl.com or email phyllis@portlandyarncrawl.com.

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There is one thing that vendors must make certain of: If you are going to sell direct to the public [at a big discount] or dump your merchandise, even the old stuff at regional retail conventions, smart retailers will choose to discontinue your products.

A few years ago, a large vendor decided to sell one of their most popular products at Wal-Mart at a price that was below dealer cost. That company no longer has an independent dealer network, and no longer sells profitable items such as paper and embellishments because the independent stores cried foul.

Another popular scrapbook supply company was dumping discontinued product at regional retail scrapbook conventions, and now many stores will no longer deal with them. From our perspective, a household has a limited budget for supplies, and if they use it on your old product, they have nothing left for your new product that I once stocked.

I have no problem with a vendor wanting to rid itself of excess inventory, but do it right. How about letting the stores that have carried all your other products in on the special price you let Tuesday Morning receive? How about letting us know that you are going to stop selling the item in 60 or 90 days, and you are going to close out the rest?

No matter how small the percentage of sales independent stores are for a vendor, those sales represent incremental profit, or the difference between a profit and loss in today's economy. Selling direct or dumping old inventory is a sure-fire way to make us stop carrying your new lines. – Mike Dolan, Scrapbook 911 in San Antonio

(Comment: The Sierra Pacific Crafts group now has 29 corporate members operating 116 stores. That's getting close to the size of A.C.Moore's 135 stores; so if dumping excess inventory turns off independents, that's is the equivalent of losing a chain store's business.)

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Vendors have another option besides hurting the retail base by selling excess inventory to deep discount retailers, close-out firms, liquidators, and consumers at consumer shows. Give the old merchandise away and take a tax write-off.

Visit www.naeir.org to learn about the National Assn. for the Exchange of Industrial Resources, an organization that accepts excess inventory donations from manufacturers and gives those products to non-profit organizations and schools. The donor manufacturers can take up to twice the cost of the products as a federal income tax deduction.

Products are shipped to the NAEIR warehouse in Galesburg, IL. Periodically NAEIR produces a catalog of available products and mails it to member non-profit organizations.

NAEIR is a 30-year-old organization that has received and disbursed $2+ billion in unsold inventory and distributed it to 9,500+ charities and schools. Donors include Microsoft, Stanley Tools, 3M, Rubbermaid, Reebok, Gillette, Xerox and others.

Donors do not have to be huge corporations, however. CLN has seen the catalog of donated inventory produced for non-profits and it contained numerous scrapbook supplies.

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1. The Facebook hackers are at it again. As I mentioned earlier, my Facebook "friends" received an email, supposedly from me, that mentioned photos and to click on a link. Most were suspicious and didn't, but at least two did and it wrecked their hard drives. I dropped out of Facebook, but the N.Y. Times reported hackers are invading Facebook and your info isn't deleted when you drop out.

Now Facebook is sending me emails, all from different people but all saying the same thing, inviting me to click on a link. Not on your life.

2. Why does everyone arrive for the beginning of the CHA show, and so many leave before the last day? Because so many people leave early, the last day is an excellent time to talk to vendors. If you can't stay for the entire show, why not plan to attend the last three days, rather than the first three?

3. We certainly saw an increase in the "retro" look at the recent CHA show. Look for that trend to grow: The Wall Street Journal reported that "Clothing designers are taking a retro approach to fall's fashions, betting that pent-up consumer demand will take the form of a yearning for tradition. A sneak peek at sketchbooks reveals a return to some classic looks ...."

4. The CHA show revealed an increase in cooperation among vendors. For example, C&T Publishing's workshop was its third annual Stay-n-Play Café with Walnut Hollow and other vendors. The Café had six stations to try new products and techniques. Vendors shared the expenses and attendees received, in effect, six mini-workshops for the price of one.

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BONDS. MarketWatch reporter Deborah Levine cited Michaels as an example of a company whose bond prices have risen substantially. "The biggest help for companies looking to sell high-yield debt," Levine wrote, "is that financial markets are now open and liquid, meaning they can refinance as needed. Also, the sector is expected to get a boost from simple supply and demand shifts: companies have less debt to refinance this year, while investors are more interested in riskier assets with fatter yields. To read the article, click HERE.

WAL-MART. Will lay off 300 workers, primarily at its Bentonville headquarters, Arkansas Business reported, a year after it cut 700+ employees at its Bentonville and Rogers offices and a month after announcing it would cut about 11,200 jobs at Sam's Club warehouses. The layoffs are probably part of the plan, described in the the last issue of CLN, to combine its U.S. realty, store operations, and logistics divisions and reorganize them geographically into three business units: West, South, and North.

WAL-MART. Notified suppliers it is imposing new delivery deadlines for merchandise heading to its distribution centers and will penalize vendors for late deliveries. Vendors who deliver less than 90% of their loads on time during a month must now pay a 3% penalty, the Journal of Commerce reported. To read the article, visit www.joc.com/node/416490. (Comment: This announcement has some vendors scratching their heads. They're already being fined for incomplete or late shipments, or even early shipments.)

CHINA. The China Economic Review interviewed Paul Midler, the author of Poorly Made in China. An excerpt: "What disturbs me most are not the genuine accidents, but the more willful game playing that goes on in manufacturing. I am thinking here of those who placed melamine in milk, and those who replaced lead with cadmium and then said, 'You never told us not to use cadmium.' No one is really talking about certain behaviors that are common, and so you can expect to see more of the same." To read the interview, visit HERE 

ALLOWANCES. According to a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, Michaels recognized "vendor allowances of $149 million, or 3.9% of net sales, in fiscal 2008, $141 million, or 3.7% of net sales, in fiscal 2007, and $144 million, or 3.7% of net sales, in fiscal 2006. During the three fiscal years ended January 31, 2009, the number of vendors from which vendor allowances were received ranged from approximately 740 to 790...." To see the complete report, visit HERE.

GREAT BRITAIN. The Financial Times reported the Halfords Group is considering a bid for 45-store chain, HobbyCraft. HobbyCraft is owned by its founding Haskins family and is considering a potential sale or management buy-out as it looks to develop its stores. The retailer is valued at about £70m, the Times reported. Halfords Group owns retail stores in automotive, leisure, and cycling products, primarily in the UK.

DISCOUNTERS. Over the next year Dollar General says it plans to open 600 new units and create about 5,000 new jobs. (Comment: How on earth do you open 600 stores in one year?)

IMPORTS. Cargo volume at major retail container ports will be 25% percent higher during the first half of 2010 compared with a year ago, according to Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. "... retailers are clearly expecting to move more merchandise this year," said NRF VP for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold

CRIME. Two shoplifters walked out of a Hobby Lobby in Bowling Green, OH with $841.54 worth of merchandise, BG Views reported. (Comment: Granted, many of the industry's products are small, but how does one walk out of a store with that much stuff?)

STOCKS. A.C. Moore: $2.84, up $0.04 ... Hancock: $3.30, down $0.01 ... Jo-Ann: $36.50, up $1.48 ... Wal-Mart: $52.90, down $0.53 ... Dow Jones: 10,099.14, up 0.3%. (Note: All changes in price are since 1/29 and are exclusive of dividends.)

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CHA NUMBERS. According to CHA officials, the recent winter show attracted more attendees, up 300 from 6,400 last year; the number of retail buyers "increased slightly."... 100+ new exhibitors, up 40% ... The trade show exhibit space, 185,250 sq. ft., was clearly down from last year; the consumer show space was 41,288 sq. ft.

BEADS. CLN has received conflicting reports on the Tucson jewelry shows. From one manufacturer: "I just talked to suppliers at the Tucson show and the show was terrible – hotels not filled for the first time in 20 years. Margins and volume have dropped – double-digit drop in sales and double-digit drop in profits." ... From a designer: "Was the Gem show in Tucson down compared to three years ago? Of course! Was it as bad as last year's show? No. Last year I saw exhibitors who were packing up and leaving mid show (which is against the rules). I have never seen that before nor did I see that this year. This year the shows did not have as many exhibitors, but was not as significantly smaller as was the CHA show."

TOYS. U.S. toy sales dipped 0.8% in 2009 to $21.47 billion, the market research firm the NPD Group reported. In the fourth quarter the number of toys sold increased, but that was offset by retailers' promotional price cutting.

MIXED MEDIA. Interweave Press' Cloth Paper Scissors magazine launched an online community for mixed media artists at www.clothpaperscissors.com. Regular features include blogs by Cloth Paper Scissors Founder/Editorial Director Pokey Bolton, Editor Jenn Mason, Studios magazine Editor Cate Prato, Assistant Editor Barbara Delaney; excerpts from past and current Cloth Paper Scissors issues; free mixed media projects; and mixed-media videos. There will also be "Reader Challenges" and other community events, forums, and opportunities to upload and share videos.

COMPANY FOR SALE. Activity kits including Color Your Own T-Shirts and Color Your Own Posters. Many original designs including science, nature, fun, fine art, etc. Educational and fun line with solid potential, to be carried in museum, toy, specialty, and chain stores. Low purchase price which will pay for itself with the inventory included in sale. Email mn@thejnet.com for detailed info.

JOBS. Faber-Castell is looking for a full-time sales rep for the craft market (artist materials and kids craft kits). Requirements: B.S. degree in Business/Marketing; 3-5 years experience in craft-industry-related markets; 30-50% travel; proficient MS Excel and Power Point skills. Will consider candidates working from home. Submit resumes to Becky Adkins, Human Resources; call 216-643-4677; fax 216-643-4663; email becky@fabercastell.com.

BLOGS. DMC has a new blog at http://dmc-threads.com.

CLOSING. Rusty Pickle is having an inventory liquidation sale as part of its plan to cease operations. Visit www.Rustypickle.com, call 801-746-1045 or email Jeri@rustypickle.com to see what is available.

CONTESTS. Coats & Clark and Singer will cosponsor the "Best Handmade Handbag Category" for the 2010 Independent Handbag Designer Awards. Applications for the 2010 Independent Handbag Designer Awards are now available at www.handbagdesigner101.com. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony June 16 at Parsons The New School for Design. Coats & Clark also sponsored a Project Runway-type contest for students at Kent State U. Sean Rice won the "Best of Show" prize of $1,500.

CONTEST. Simplicity Creative Group is sponsoring a pattern design contest inspired by Project Runway®. Through an exclusive licensing agreement with Weinstein Co., Simplicity markets patterns "Inspired by Project Runway" and highlights them its catalog. The winning design will be produced and distributed as an "Inspired by Project Runway®" pattern in the Simplicity Pattern Collection. Various other prizes will also be awarded For details, visit www.Simplicity.com. Entries must be postmarked not later than midnight, May 12.

PAINTING. Congrats to Interactive Artist Magazine on its first anniversary. It includes video and written lessons, interactive communications, articles, a Media Library for art books and DVDs, and a Virtual Gallery for creative artworks for exhibit and sale. To submit material for publication, for subscription details, or for info on advertising, email info@InteractiveArtistMagazine.org.

CONDOLENCES. To the family of Frank Armstead, 53, who lost a four-year battle with end-stage renal disease. Frank had a 26-year career in retailing, at Woodward and Lothrup Franks's Nursery & Crafts, Craftopia.com, and the Home Shopping Network; he also worked as a marketing consultant. His brother, Charles, said, "One of Frank's gifts was that when he became your friend, he somehow became part of your family, so his network of friends is the same as an extended family." The funeral is Sat., Feb. 20 at noon at Rolling Green Memorial Park, 1008 West Chester Pike, West Chester, PA, and there will be a memorial service Sat., Mar. 20, at St Monica's Episcopal Church, 222 8th Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002, time to be determined. Donations may be made to the National Kidney Foundation in lieu of flowers.

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To see the latest, newest listings by the only personnel recruitment firm specializing in our industry click on Jobs in the left-hand column, or click HERE.

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A group of 40 year-old buddies decide that they should meet for dinner at the Gausthof zum Lowen restaurant because the waitresses have low-cut blouses and nice breasts.

Ten years later, the group meets again and decide to eat at the Gausthof zum Lowen because the food there is very good and so is the wine selection. Ten years later at 60 years of age, the group meets again and again decides to eat at the Gausthof zum Lowen because they can eat in peace and quiet and the restaurant is smoke free.

Ten year later, at 70 years of age, the group meets again and once again decide to eat at the Gausthof zum Lowen because it's wheel chair accessible and has an elevator. Ten years later, at 80 years of age, the group meets again and once again agrees to dine at the Gausthof zum Lowen because they have never been there before. 

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1. If you want a hard-copy of this issue, click on "Printer Friendly version."

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4. CLN is published the first and third Mondays of each month. Your next issue will be Monday, March 1.

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