The Shopping Party May Be Over

Retailing Chains Caught in a Wave of Bankruptcies

The consumer spending slump and tightening credit markets are unleashing a widening wave of bankruptcies in American retailing, prompting thousands of store closings that are expected to remake suburban malls and downtown shopping districts across the country.

Since last fall, eight mostly midsize chains — as diverse as the furniture store Levitz and the electronics seller Sharper Image — have filed for bankruptcy protection as they staggered under mounting debt and declining sales.

But the troubles are quickly spreading to bigger national companies, like Linens ‘n Things, the bedding and furniture retailer with 500 stores in 47 states. It may file for bankruptcy as early as this week, according to people briefed on the matter.

Even retailers that can avoid bankruptcy are shutting down stores to preserve cash through what could be a long economic downturn. Over the next year, Foot Locker said it would close 140 stores, Ann Taylor will start to shutter 117, and the jeweler Zales will close 100.

For the entire article go to NYTimes.com

Corra thinks the shopping party may be over. At least for awhile. With nearly 70% of this nation’s economy relying on consumerism, it is small wonder in rough times that national chains are closing stores or filing Chapter 11.

Perhaps this is a time for reassessment. Perhaps it is time to figure out what you, the consumer needs, and what you don’t need. Will this new pair of shoes improve you life that much? Will the new whatever it is bring considerable smiles, or make dating any easier? Is that fact that you shop to you drop really what a mate is looking for?

Corra can go on forever, about fancy cars and fancier meals. We must question what is programmed as desirable behavior and what is really satisfying and gratifying. Not to be priggish here, but we are in a terrible downtown and more bad news is still ahead. Perhaps it is time for a national reassessment, a time when we start complaining about the predator nature of other countries and discipline ourselves.

Who knows, maybe in the end, we will find more satisfaction with each other as people, and not merely as accessories used to promote what often amounts to a lot of nonsense. Like junk food, it may feel good going down, but later, when the bill arrives, you end up with heartburn.

Looking Good, Naturally. Check Yourself Out.

Your health in many ways can reflect in your general appearance. Be it your skin or body, the term ‘you are what you eat’ is the perfect way to describe the importance of a balanced and healthy diet that will leave you feeling naturally beautiful both inside and out.

Beauty is something that most women and in some ways men consider often throughout ones lives. In search of a better appearance men and women spend thousands on make-up, clothes, tanning products etc. The drive to be attractive is present in nearly all people, whether they admit it or not.

The problem is most forget the vital key to this secret. Whilst many of us are consumed in means to improve our looks, a natural approach to this is often overlooked. There are many of us prepared to pay for a make-over, whilst eating a greasy take-away.

When looking at general health on the whole, the only way to look good and fell better is to use natural health products, this rule applies for both: Psychological and physical reasons.

For the entire article go to Los Angeles Chronicle

Corra is a big believer in natural products. You can look good and avoid some very serious diseases that can occur when using products with dangerous additives. The Environmental Working Group is a terrific site for researching what products are harmful and which are not.

There are a number of chemicals that have harmful side effects. Some will cause skin rash or irritation. Fragrances can make your head itch, bring on more skin rashes and otherwise make your day miserable. More often than not, the users aren’t even aware of what is causing their ciscomfort.

In worse case scenarios, chemicals can cause serious diseases. But then with idnviduals, even natural fragrances and additives cause cause people to break out, start sneezing, work on any variety of sensitivities. But the main thing about the natural ingredients is they may cause these sensitivities but for the most part they won’t leave you truly ill or dead.

After all, you are buying skincare and haircare products because you want to look good and not dead. You want to be attractive, feel good about yourself and feel good about what you are doing to the environment, your own and that of the universe.

And as this article attests, eat right. Eating right is so important. Eating right and eating correctly. Good table manners don’t hurt, either. Talk about a dying tradition. But I digress.

Eat the right food. Food that sits well. Food that tastes good, for sure, but that is healthy. There is enough junky food out there, not just junkfood, but food laced with dangerous additives to fill a waste dump. Think not? Think China and the lousy additives that have proven toxic and have killed pets throughout this fair land of ours. You really think you are not getting some dangerous stuff added to your…well…Chinese Food?

So be smart. Eat natural. Go to the farmer’s market on weekends. That’s right, pick yourself up and get out there. Buy food that is locally grown and has no sprays. Your body will thank you, and so will your lover who, if you do things right will be craving your body.

It’s the smart thing to do.

In Vino Veritas – but can it be Love?

According to the Irish Independant, irish single will have a novel way to interact and find dates.  www.winedaters.ie  give singles a chance to mingle at wine tasting events.  The services sounds like a great new to way to get dating offline again.  Instead of running through the standard get-to-know-me questions and winks on match.com etc., this group sounds like they are getting the magic of introduction back into the event arena.  Sorry shy guys, this event is for sharks.

 The wines act as ice-breakers to get everybody chatting and interacting,” said David, who believes the new experience will be a huge hit with the Irish public.