E-tailer offers low shipping rates
NEW YORK » With gas prices high and consumers stretching shopping dollars, competition is heating up online for deals - and a discount retail site hopes to fan the flames by shipping orders for $1.95.
Chicago-based Enable Holdings Inc. launched RedTag.com on Friday and to sell retailers' excess inventory at a fixed price. Its shipping charge will undercut a similar site, Overstock.com Inc., which charges $2.95 for standard ground shipping.
"We're willing to take less for shipping because we think you'll buy five more items from us - as opposed to if we got as much as we could from you, shipping this product, you may never buy again," said Enable Holdings' CEO, Jeffrey D. Hoffman.
The site is coming online a few months after gas hit $4 per gallon, a milestone that caused many consumers to see buying online as a way to make fewer car trips, said Scott Silverman, executive director of the National Retail Federation's digital division, Shop.org.
Have work pay for continuing ed
The kids are returning to class, and so should you. Don't forget to make sure your company pays for it.
Professional development "keeps your skill level and expertise sharp, and your marketability and earning power high," said Jon Zion of the staffing firm Robert Half International Inc.
And employers gain because continuing education helps keep employees happy - aiding in retention - and new skills can build productivity.
Tuition reimbursement, he said, is one of the most competitive benefits a company can offer its employees. Make sure to mention it as a desired perk during the interview process.
But generosity has limits. For example, an MBA may boost your economic analysis skills, but enrolling with a full-time course load means you probably would not be able to work at the same time.
Also, a company might not value its accountant's desire to pursue a master's degree in social work.
"It's a quid pro quo," said Zion. "The company will provide you with the opportunity to continue your education provided you are providing a service to them."
New book offers female CEO view
Marilyn Carlson Nelson led a decade of change as CEO of Carlson Cos.
, parent of the Radisson hotel chain and T.G.I. Friday's restaurants.
Her book, "How We Lead Matters: Reflections on a Life of Leadership," is a series of vignettes on her life's learning experiences.
Among the stories: Being a pregnant securities analyst at Paine Webber (now part of UBS AG) in the '60s; hosting KGB agents at a backyard barbecue; and transforming Carlson's nearly all-male executive suite to one where 49 percent of its 1,066-person management team is female.
The 69-year-old, who joined her family's company in her 50s and stepped down in February after a decade as CEO, said her goal was to create a meritocracy at Carlson and promote inclusiveness.
She wanted to change the environment shaped by her father, the company's founder, who derided a corporate woman's council she helped form as a "pink-collar union."