In Japan, Chinese take jobs to serve Chinese visitors

By Beixi (Bessie) Xu ​ When you walk on Tokyo’s street, it is not surprising to see store signs in Chinese, hear a Chinese accent or see Chinese names on the name tags of waiters or store clerks. In nearly every store one sees Chinese clerks who speak Mandarin to help Chinese shoppers pick out […]

Best Buy shares drop on revenue decline

By Beixi(Bessie) Xu ​ Shares of Best Buy Co., Inc. slumped 4.5 percent Wednesday after the company reported a big jump in fourth quarter earnings but a decline in revenue.​ “Their sales were negative last quarter, and I think people got nervous that in a long run their sales are still going to go away […]

Target earnings slump, shares plummet

By Beixi (Bessie) Xu Target Corp.’s net income decreased 37 percent in the fourth quarter from the prior-year period due to a progression of changes in its business model. The earnings fell short of analysts’ expectations, sending the shares tumbling 12.2 percent Tuesday.​ The stock decline was due to the “significant reduction in guidance and […]

Tokyo pharmacies cater to foreign shoppers

By Beixi (Bessie) Xu Yuhong Liu, a traveler from Beijing, was shopping with his friends in Matsumoto Kiyoshi, Japan’s most popular pharmacy, near Shibuya station.​ Here he explains why: “I buy two masks for my friends, because everything is expensive in China, cosmetics in Japan are cheaper than China,” said Liu. “This one is close […]

Chicagoans and Others Prepare for Chinese New Year

By Beixi (Bessie) Xu Synga Huo, a “stay home mom” who lives in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood with her family, was wheeling several bags of groceries out of the Chinatown Market. “I buy lots of New Year’s necessities, including sweet dumplings, beef and mutton for making traditional hotpot,” said Huo. “Although we live in foreign […]

U.S. consumer confidence declined in January

By Beixi(Bessie) Xu Consumer confidence fell slightly in January as worries about the future outweighed continued optimism about the current economy. The Conference Board said its Consumer Confidence Index now stands at 111.8, retreated from a revised 113.3 in December which was the highest since August 2001. This decline didn’t meet economists’ expectation, which was […]

Chicago retailers and shoppers are ready for 7-cent tax on bags


By Beixi (Bessie) Xu Chicago retailers and shoppers are well prepared for the new tax of 7 cents on plastic and paper bags that will take effect on Feb.1. “All our employees are fully trained on what to do with the plastic bags and how to handle the restriction that is coming up,” said Shenika […]