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Eric Spangenberg knows he's too old for Abercrombie and Fitch. He knows as soon as he smells it.

The store's signature fragrance, Fierce, is a mixture of citrus and musk. It's a combination that Spangenberg, 55, says is clearly targeted toward a specific demographic: a young one.

It's called scent marketing — when a business chooses a specific scent to attract customers and boost sales, and it has become widely popular in the last several years, he says.

Walk into a row of greenhouses in rural Britain, and a late English-winter day transforms to a swampy, humid tropical afternoon. You could be in Latin America or sub-Saharan Africa, which is exactly how cocoa plants like it.

"It's all right this time of year. It gets a bit hot later on in the summer," says greenhouse technician Heather Lake as she fiddles with a tray of seedlings — a platter of delicate, spindly, baby cocoa plants.

Fashion Week looks glamorous, but as it drew to a close in Paris last Wednesday — following shows in New York, London and Milan — it became clear that the runway has become a racetrack.

The pace of the multibillion-dollar fashion industry has changed in recent years from luxurious to laborious. Even the seasons have accelerated.

In the heart of California's Central Valley, a vast expanse of orchards, vineyards, and vegetable fields, lies a small collection of aging peach trees. Farmer Mas Masumoto's decision to preserve those trees, and then to write about it, became a symbol of resistance to machine-driven food production.

Yet the Masumoto farm's story isn't just one of saving peaches. It's become a father-daughter saga of claiming, abandoning, and then re-claiming a piece of America's agricultural heritage.

Earlier this month, the flooring retailer Lumber Liquidators got the kind of attention companies dread. CBS' 60 Minutes did a story saying the company's products have unsafe levels of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.

fotolia, KostaKostov

A report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says that the leaders of the Cultural and Entertainment Capital Needs Task Force are calling for a regional tax to support cultural institutions in the area.  That is reportedly in the draft of the final report the task force plans to issue.

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper has directed his Department of Consumer Affairs to look into reports that some African-American customers at the Ritz-Carlton in Charlotte were recently subjected to unwarranted fees.

Too many consumers have learned the hard way that their credit rating can be tarnished by medical bills they may not owe or when disputes delay insurer payment. That should change under a new policy agreed to this week by the three major credit reporting agencies.

Many are calling it the second battle over Waterloo — and this time, France won. A two-euro coin commemorating the bicentennial of Napoleon Bonaparte's defeat will not be widely released, after France objected to what it called a "negative symbol."

From Brussels, Teri Schultz reports for NPR:

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