Remember the great blizzards of 1966, 1993, and all those other Nor’easters? They made for the need for snowmobiles. Lots. But over the years, fuel prices, competition, and warm winters have put many snowmobile brands off the market. Some brands, like Arctic Cat, returned. The Arctic Cat company was once popular, went bankruptMORE HERE

SAN ANTONIO – Sears has opened a new spin-off concept, the Die Hard Auto Center. Of course, Die Hard is a strong Sears brand, and this news is just coming off Sears’ sale of Craftsman for an astounding $775 million to Black & Decker. Currently, Sears Holdings is on trackMORE HERE

There is a large amount of room in the marketplace for small, regional, handcrafted fashion and craft brands. One of the many surviving leather companies is J.W. Hulme of St. Paul, Minnesota. They make excellent leather goods, including bags, briefcases and wallets; it’s a luxury approach with a simpler, less fashionMORE HERE

That Arby’s CEO Paul Brown has joined the board of JCPenney has got me thinking. After JCPenney brought back appliances, why not bring reintroduce food? Part of the old joy of going to department stores was the element of surprise, and options for repeat visits. One way to do that is a restaurantMORE HERE

Uniforms are the original way to rebrand an institution. From Roman soldiers to Olympic athletes, clothes make the man. And the woman. And the institution. Alitalia figured this out in a stylish rebranding. Late this spring, the national airline of Italy unveiled a new branding campaign with its central identity createdMORE HERE

There are a large number of helpful websites that detail retail history. While Wall Street has finally understood the dangers lurking in American retail, these websites have been detailing what has been happening, some of them for the last decade. Many of them also have ideas and answers and solutions, shouldMORE HERE

As American companies have abandoned their legacy and sold out or turned into ever larger monopolies, new companies, often non U.S., have reaped the great rewards. One such story is Rockwell, which was one of the stellar brands of the United States space program, and best known and most trusted industrialMORE HERE

In the 1970s and 1980s, the little rounded atomizers of Neo-Synephrine were ubiquitous in medicine cabinets, a bulbous white bottle with a colored top, in either blue or green. I think, and perhaps this is just a false memory, though it really does not matter, that Mrs. Nold, my firstMORE HERE

Sometimes, the best things are not necessarily the most expensive, or easy to find. Such is the case of the Bic Round Stick Grip, a pen I consider one of the best pens ever. Of course, Marcel Bich & Edouard Buffard’s original great pen is the 1950 vintage Cristal, thatMORE HERE

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. – Kmart, a unit of Sears Holdings, has struggled for the last two decades. In the last two years, management has tried to give the brand focus, all the while suffering from old stores and less viable locations. This month, more bad news came as more storeMORE HERE