Marvelous Girl Has Moved!

Posts Tagged ‘business

I’m usually a big fan of Nordstrom, but my recent transaction with the company has made me NEVER want to shop there again!  Why you ask?  Because it took six weeks, ten phone calls to customer service, three calls to UPS and a letter to Nordstrom’s corporate headquarters to get the coat I purchased!!

I don’t know about you, but I find that sort of service unacceptable.  I ordered my coat on Sept. 20 and didn’t receive it until Oct. 30 , when I was told it would arrive in 5-8 business days! 

So what went wrong?  Apparently the coat left the Nordstrom’s warehouse via UPS.  From there, UPS “tried” to deliver the package to my second-story apartment but couldn’t find my unit (out of an eight-unit building).  Shocking, I know. 

Seeing that the UPS carrier was too lazy to walk up a flight of stairs – that’s a story for another day – there was no package notice left to alert me that the coat was sent back to Nordstrom. 

So, Nordstrom sent out ANOTHER coat and the cycle with UPS started all over again.  But here’s the kicker…Nordstrom failed to inform me (the customer) of the status of my order.  So in the meantime, I’m calling the company’s customer service and getting the runaround.  On three occasions customer service promised me the package would arrive the next day and it never did.  On two occasions they promised me a return phone call and never called back – infuriating!

Finally, four weeks after my purchase I got a UPS slip on my apartment door saying the package couldn’t be delivered.  I called UPS and they said the package had been sent back to Nordstrom.  So I called Nordstrom and they finally explained the troubles they were having with shipping and asked me for an alternative address to ship the coat (which they should have done weeks prior).  I gave them my work address and the package still didn’t show up for another 10 days!

The most disturbing part of this whole story is that I probably would never have received my coat had I not been such a squeaky wheel.  Also, I had asked for a refund for all the time I spent tracking down this coat (40 days) and Nordstrom wouldn’t give me one.  If I were you, I’d think twice when ordering from this company.  Unless you have the time to order you swimsuit in February so it’s there by June.

And let’s not let UPS off that easy.  The icing on the cake is that I got a UPS delivery a week later to my second-story apartment.  What’s that all about?!  Do their carriers pick and choose the packages they want to deliver?  If Nordstrom was smart it would switch to Fed-Ex.

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cosmeceuticalsWhile the $60.37 billion cosmetics industry on track to decline 1.2 percent in 2009, the niche market of cosmeceuticals is expected to increase 7.7 percent, according to industry research firm IBISWorld.  Now accounting for $3.5 billion in revenue, cosmeceuticals have become a prospective growth area for businesses operating in the mature cosmetics industry.

“The development of new product categories like cosmeceuticals and dermocosmetics has grown considerably in the last five years, driven by America’s obsession with anti-aging and wellness,” said Toon van Beeck, senior analyst with IBISWorld.  “Companies are taking the opportunity to manufacture more of these high-margin products which typically generate profits greater than the industry average of 10 percent.”

As a result of the burgeoning growth and demand for cosmeceuticals, retailers from department stores to big box stores have looked to shelve products like anti-wrinkle creams, bleaching agents and medicated lotions.  The existence of these niche products means that small retailers like SkinCeuticals, Her Walk, and Dermelect Cosmeceuticals can enter and successfully operate in an environment that is exhibiting strong growth and observes less competitive pressures.

Additionally, cosmeceuticals command a premium price because consumers perceive the ingredients as being expensive and uniquely manufactured, with research and development (R&D) accounting for the majority of costs.  However, R&D only represents about two percent of the industry’s cost structure, while the selling, general, and administrative costs (mostly marketing) represent a staggering 21 percent.

“Because the profit margins are higher on cosmeceuticals, companies have more money to spend on marketing,” adds van Beeck.  “Businesses must continually convince buyers of the product’s benefits and break through competitive clutter to increase their sales.”

By 2011, IBISWorld predicts the industry will rise beyond $4 billion, and will continue to grow at near double digit rates for quite some time. Growth will continue to revolve around the perceived health advantages of cosmeceuticals in addition to the traditional cosmetic benefits.

“Manufacturers and retailers will continue to fuel demand for cosmeceuticals by developing and marketing a steady stream of new products,” said van Beeck.  “New products in the pipeline present solid opportunities to bolster bottom lines and build customer loyalty, re-inventing the mature cosmetics industry.”

Photo by LotusHead
Photo by LotusHead

When is the last time you had a sexy evening with your man?  Between kids and work, we often forget that the men in our lives need attention too.  So why not plan and Ultimate Night of romance to show him just how much he’s desired. 

Ultimate Nights, a Miami-based company specializing in luxury lifestyle and romance products, has recently released some products that will surely make for a sizzling evening:

Ultimate Instinct ($13.50)  – a unisex pheromone-released cologne, that works with the male and female body chemistry to create individual unique scents. Considered the most powerful attractant for humans, pheromones work as seductive properties to attract members of the opposite sex.  It’s 100 percent pure oils with no mineral oil, fillers or cutting agents.  You’ll love the smell of it…and more importantly so will he!

Aromatherapy Soy Candles ($9.50-22.00)  – these elegant jar candles are comprised of 100 percent highly scented soy and grapeseed oil.  With the perfect marriage of his and hers fragrances, like vanilla bean and tobacco, the candles permeate the room and lend themselves to a relaxed serene environment, perfect for an intimate evening together.  The candles come in range of enticing monikers including Inspiration, Devotion, Desire and others. 

Zen Massager ($29.00) – This massager is so small it fits in the palm of your hand – so you can take it anywhere.  Perfect for relieving neck tension and muscle soreness, the Zen Massager offers a one-touch push button control that will surprise and delight your honey.

Whether you’re looking to surprise your man or for a great bridal shower gift for your girlfriend, these Ultimate goodies, along with a variety of other bath, body, lifestyle and romance products, are available for purchase at www.ultimatenightsparty.com/order.asp.  Business opportunities and Party Hostess Information can also be found at  the website. 

aerovation easy travel trolley bag tsa approvedI don’t know about you, but I cringe at the thought of flying because it’s become such a laborious process.  Going through security is the absolute worst because I’m always fumbling to get my laptop out of its case so it can be put through the scanner.  Well I found an easier way…

Recently I traveled from the U.S. to Australia with an Aerovation® CPF® Trolley Bag, and I never had to remove the laptop from my bag!  How is this possible?  Because the Trolley was designed TSA friendly! — marvelous right?!

Here’s how it works: 

  • Your laptop computer goes in the bag’s designated laptop compartment.  Your accessories and personal items go in the other compartment. 
  • When you get to the scanning tunnel leave your laptop in the bag.  Just swing the laptop compartment open and lay the flattened bag on the belt (See photo). 
  • When you get to the other side simply grab the handle and go!

It seems too easy, I know.  But this bag worked for me in two countries.  In the U.S. I simply told the attendant my bag was TSA approved and they let me pass without further questioning.  In Australia, they recognized the bag immediately and let me right through.  It’s so easy and hassle free.  You’ll love it…especially if you travel a lot for work.

The Aerovation® CPF® Trolley Bag is available at http://www.aerovation.com/ for $199. 

Happy traveling,
Marvelous Girl

Photo by coloniera2

Photo by coloniera2

Despite an ailing economy, pet owners are showing they are more than willing to splurge when it comes to the health and happiness of their animals. According to industry research firm IBISWorld, the pet business is expected to generate $51.6 billion this year, an increase of 1.3 percent from 2008, with trends in health and nutrition altering the market.

Veterinary services are forecasted to grow the fastest, at an average annualized rate of 4.3 percent in the next five years—accounting for an estimated $22.3 billion in revenue this year.

“Pet healthcare is a big business, as awareness in health is driving growth in this area” said George Van Horn, senior analyst at IBISWorld.

Veterinary practices are now expanding their range of services in order to cater to the health-related needs of animals. Chiropractics, ophthalmology, dentistry, and dermatology, to name a few, are becoming more readily available.

Pet Food production can expect steady growth in the next five years, and is projected to generate approximately $15.2 billion this year. This sector is also being affected by and adjusting to trends in natural and organic products. In recent years, over half of all pet-owners have shown concern in what their pets are eating, causing a greater shift in demand for premium pet food—ranging from breed-specific brands, to weight-loss diets, to special or natural-ingredient foods claiming nutritional benefits.

The Pet Grooming and Boarding sector, expected to generate $2.69 billion this year, is comprised primarily of pet-care, training, and pet-sitting—all of which are experiencing growth within the industry. Such practical services accommodate convenience to the increasingly busy American lifestyle, and pet stores are starting to incorporate these services in recognition of this growing need.

Pet stores are expected to generate revenue of $11.45 billion this year.  Live animal purchases contribute the least in sales, and this will continue its decline as companies become socially responsible in response to ethical concerns surrounding puppy mills, as well as overpopulation issues of homeless animals in shelters. Major pet store retailers now affiliate themselves with organizations that help dogs and cats with adoption. For instance, PETCO now hosts an in-store adoption center, introducing the philosophy “Think Adoption First.”

In 2009, the population of dogs and cats as pets is approximately 169 million, which has increased roughly 2.4 percent since last year. Of those, 18 percent of cats and 10 percent of dogs have been adopted from animal shelters.

“Americans consider their pets as members of the family, making businesses that cater to our four-legged friends a stable, growing market,” said Van Horn.


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