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As the retail landscape continues to evolve, Barnes & Noble has been expanding their online product assortment and offering some very competitive pricing (even rivaling Amazon at times) in order to avoid a fate like that of the recently-departed Borders. That said, it's a good time for consumers, and I was surprised to learn that it's BABY WEEK at Barnes & Noble, and that they're offering 25% Off Hundreds of Baby Gifts and Essentials at BN.com. But that's not all. They have other great deals for parents on items for kids, and The Rock Father™ is sharing the info below...

Published in Family Savings

It's 2am and as I was updating The Rock Father™ facebook page, I happened to see a post in my feed from The Baby Gizmo Company stating that Maclaren USA was going under. Specifically, that Maclaren (famous for inventing the Umbrella stroller) had quietly filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Liquidation back in December. Bloomberg Businessweek confirms that ''on December 29, 2011, American Baby Products, Inc. filed a voluntary petition for liquidation under Chapter 7 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Connecticut.'' Maclaren USA is a "DBA" of American Baby Products, Inc. but this story gets a lot more interesting.

Published in James' Journal

''Ever get the feeling that you've been cheated?'' - John Lydon, SEX PISTOLS

On February 15, 2012 - a mere eight days ago - I posted my review of WONDER!, a 135,000 sq ft. children's mega-store in Deerfield, Illinois. In short, my family and I loved the store - er, the ''experience'' as it was more than pure retail - but the business side of me had some serious questions regarding the operation. Here's what I wrote in the closing portion of my lengthy report...

Published in James' Journal

Note: Just five days after posting this article, WONDER! abruptly closed without warning. Read my follow-up post here.

Last Monday, after a family trip to the Doctor for an ultrasound (which revealed our forthcoming ''new release'' to be a girl), my wife and daughter and I made a stop in Deerfield, Illinois to check out WONDER! - an ambitious new shopping destination geared toward children and families. While shopping might be the initial draw, it's the entertainment and service aspects of the store where WONDER! really goes above and beyond what one would expect in a children's retail emporium.

Published in James' Journal

hitLogoMy daughter loves most of the shows put out by UK-based HIT Entertainment, and currently aired here in the U.S. on SPROUT. There's FIREMAN SAM, BOB THE BUILDER, ANGELINA BALLERINA, BARNEY, and the big-money machine - THOMAS & FRIENDS. Today comes news that toymaker MATTEL has purchased HIT Entertainment for $680M (less than it was going for) rescuing the company from a vast amount of debt (and probably mis-management).

Published in James' Journal
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