Search

Sunday
Feb142016

Census Bureau: Bookstore Sales Rebound

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Bookstore sales are on the rise in the U.S, according to new data released by the Census Bureau.

The data shows sales at bookstores increased by 2.5 percent in 2015, which is the industry’s first such increase since 2007.

At the same time, eBook sales declined last year, as noted by Publishers Weekly.  Overall from January to September 2015, eBooks were down 11 percent, and most of that decline came in sales of children’s or young adult books.  Meanwhile, sales of paperbacks grew by 13 percent over the same period.

Still, publishers say eBooks aren’t going anywhere despite their decline.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Feb132016

Key to the Perfect Proposal Could Be Your Hotel Concierge

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The pressure to create the perfect marriage proposal is harder than ever before. But there's help for men, and many women, looking to get down on one knee to ask their loves the question of a lifetime -- especially if you're looking to propose while traveling.

Hotel concierges can help plan the picture perfect proposal, figuring out all of the details, including location, activities and even capturing the moment by hiring professional photographers.

Munette Maduro, the public relations and marketing manager of Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino told ABC News that the hotel's onsite concierge can help anyone struggling to come up with ideas "compliments of the hotel."

"We can help you with everything. We can help you plan an engagement because we already have the contacts," Maduro explained. "Local vendors aren't easy to contact on their own. We know the best -- the best cake makers, florists, photographers."

Maduro also said the concierges can also ensure you drop down on one knee at the perfect time of day.

"They'll have the best backdrop if they plan to propose at sunset because it's the best sunset you'll ever see. You'll automatically be really romantic," she added. A concierge can also help you plan a "dinner on the beach, combine it with spa treatments, or we can arrange for you to have rose petals on the bed when you arrive. We can arrange the whole package."

Casa Marina in Key West, Florida
If you're looking for a beach-side proposal, the concierge at Casa Marina can tap the hotel's sand castle artist-in-residence, who has created life-sized sand castles of all designs for proposals. The concierge can essentially be the hotel's director of love, and can arrange for a private helicopter tour for a sky high engagement.

Waldorf Astoria in Orlando, Florida
Want to propose with a touch of Disney magic? If you grab a table for two at the hotel's Bull & Bear steakhouse, you can pop the question while overlooking the Epcot Center. The maître d'hôtel can also "serve" your engagement ring on a special dessert platter right before the park's nightly fireworks display.

Aria Hotel in Budapest, Hungary
If you want a proposal and a view, check out Aria Hotel's "love nest" in the hotel's HighNote SkyBar. The hotel's rooftop offers amazing 360-degree views of the capital city where you can view Budapest's famed palaces and monuments. The hotel's concierge can also arrange for flowers, candles, balloons and a string quartet for your proposal.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Feb132016

Kohl's Cuts 3 Top Leadership Positions 

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Amid sluggish sales and a declining share price, Kohl's Corp. has cut three high-level leadership positions.

On Thursday Kohl's chief digital officer, senior vice president of store environment and development, and senior vice president of communications and public relations were told their positions were being cut, according to MarketWatch.

The move comes as part of a reorganization method, according to a Kohl's spokeswoman, with talks of sale to a private-equity firm. 

Overall sales growth for the department store has been flat with profits decreasing. Stores that have been opened for at a least a year have experienced declines in their sales as well for the last two years.

The company will report its full-year earnings at the end of the month.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Feb132016

Whisper App Reveals Most Romantic State in the US

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Whisper, the app popular for spilling your deepest hopes, dreams and secret wishes, crunched its trove of data to find out the most romantic state in the U.S. and what people are really talking about in the lead-up to Valentine's Day.

Looking for a set of love words including "soulmate," "romance" and "heart and soul," Whisper's data scientists scanned a trove of 2 million messages from Jan. 1 to Feb. 11 to find out which state was most frequently in the mood for love.

It turns out New Hampshire, also known as the Granite State, has the most amorous users on Whisper, followed by Maine, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Arkansas.

Whisper's team also looked at the top 40 words associated with Valentine's Day. While "want," "shy" and "guy" came out on top, there was one big surprise in the top 40 words associated with V-Day -- "Deadpool."

The Marvel superhero movie comes out on Valentine's Day weekend -- and it seems some Whisper users are making plans to include the Ryan Reynolds flick in their Valentine's Day plans.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Feb132016

JPMorgan Chase CEO Makes $2.2 Million By Buying Stock

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co., earned himself more than $2 million in a day after investing millions in his own company.

According to Bloomberg News, Dimon paid $26.6 million for 500,000 shares of JPMorgan Chase. During trading Friday, the bank's shares climbed 8.3 percent, a leap Bloomberg News characterizes as the largest in one day since November 2011.

Dimon made about $2.2 million off of the stock growth.

The 59-year-old CEO has run JPMorgan Chase for nearly 11 years. He currently holds 6.75 million shares of the bank's stock.

Bloomberg News quotes a person with knowledge of his thinking Dimon purchased the additional shares "because he believes the stock is cheap after a worldwide rout in equities."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Feb122016

US Stocks, Oil Prices Surge After Volatile Week

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Investors are breathing again after this rocky week ended with strong gains among the major indexes and oil.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 313.66 (about 2 percent) to close at 15,973.84.

The Nasdaq jumped 70.67 (more than 1 percent) to end the session at 4,337.51. The S&P 500 closed at 1,864.78, up 35.70 (nearly 2 percent) from its open.

Crude oil soared about 12 percent, having its best day in seven years, as prices hovered around $29 a barrel.

Bank shares also saw major gains with JP Morgan Chase closing over 8 percent higher and Goldman Sachs Group Inc finishing nearly 4 percent higher. Deutsche Bank AG climbed 12 percent after announcing a bond buyback on Friday totaling $5.4 billion. The plan will include buying back about $3.4 billion in euro-denominated unsecured bonds and $2 billion in dollar-denominated bonds.

Shares for Wynn Resorts jumped almost 16 percent after its quarter four earnings released on Thursday beat investors' expectations. Revenue for its Las Vegas operations gained almost 4 percent to hit $391.2 million. Wynn shares have fallen more than 50 percent since early 2015.

Americans are still spending money, despite the rocky market, as January's retail sales helped push stocks higher on Friday. According to a January report from the Commerce Department, retail sales and restaurant sales went up 0.2 percent for the month. Retail sales for December were also adjusted with the previously reported 0.1 percent drop changing to a 0.2 percent gain, making January the fourth consecutive month of retail sales growth.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Feb122016

Shake Shack Announces Plan to Build St. Louis Location

iStock/Thinkstock(ST. LOUIS, Mo.) -- St. Louis is getting its first Shake Shack.

On Friday, the food chain announced plans to build its first restaurant in St. Louis, Missouri next year in the heart of the Central West End.

Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group and founder of Shake Shack, is a St. Louis native who said he drew inspiration from the city when he first started Shake Shack in a kiosk in New York City's Madison Square Park.

“I learned the meaning of hospitality while growing up in St. Louis, a lesson that has shaped my life and career,” said Meyer in a statement. “When I jotted down the first Shake Shack menu, it was my favorite childhood food memories that most inspired me, and I’m thrilled that Shake Shack has at last found a home in my hometown.”

Shake Shack's shares jumped over 3 percent at the close on Friday after the announcement.

The restaurant chain has 48 locations in the U.S. and 35 worldwide.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Feb122016

Spotify Will Turn Your Valentine's Day Message Into a Playlist

Spotify(NEW YORK) -- Spotify has a cool Valentine's Day tool that will turn your secret message into a playlist.

The music streaming service tends to have some fun with the holidays (remember the Thanksgiving turkey timer?) and this year's Valentine's Day celebration is no exception.

A dedicated "Love Notes" site will walk users through three steps to get the perfect playlist and deliver a hidden message.

The first step: Choose just how spicy you want your playlist to be. Spotify offers five options: "Just the Way You Are," "Call Me Maybe," "Smooth Operator," "Let's Get It On" and "Bump N' Grind."

Next, pick up to three music genres to include in the playlist.

Finally, write a secret message for the recipient. Each letter in your message will correspond to a song, creating a cool acrostic poem and playlist. (Spotify is capping messages at 54 characters.)

After you've settled on your message and songs, Spotify will let you blast your love note on social media or keep it private with a link to send to the object of your affection.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Feb122016

Most Popular Valentine's Day Gift Searches by State

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Are you still trying to figure out what to get your special someone for Valentine's Day? You're not alone.

Real Estate search site Estately analyzed Google trends to determine what Valentine's Day gifts people search for the most by state.

Ryan Nickum, who created the infographic for Estately, told ABC News that he was excited to see the reactions to the data from people around the nation.

"There was quite a bit of conversation on Twitter about the article after it was posted from certain regions," Nickum said.

While flowers and chocolates were highly rated searches in a large number of states, there were some states that had more creative Valentine's Day-related searches, such as Massachusetts, which had a high search rate for couple's cooking classes, and Washington, which had a high search rate for bear skin rugs.

Nickum's personal favorites included the state of Montana, which had a high search rate for lobster tails, and the state of Iowa, which had a high search rate for tandem bicycles.

Check out the entire Valentine's Day gift search list at Estately's website here.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Feb122016

Instagram to Start Counting Video Views to Lure More Advertisers

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Instagram is about to give itself another social media makeover.

The Facebook-owned photo sharing app announced this week it will begin counting video views, meaning users can now see how many people have actually viewed their content. Currently, the number of "likes" is displayed below a video, but soon the number of views will be displayed instead, according to a blog post from Instagram.

Instagram will count a view if a video has been watched for a minimum of three seconds -- the same metric used on Facebook. The company said it plans to roll out the changes to users in the coming weeks.
 
In the blog post, Instagram wrote, "From seeing the world’s moments as they happen to checking out a brand’s new shoe line, people are consuming more and more videos every day. In fact, over the last six months, the time people spent watching videos on Instagram increased by more than 40 percent."

Instagram has two video products: Hyperlapse, which takes sped up videos, and Boomerang, which takes a burst of photos and stitches them together into a video that plays forward and backward on a continuous loop.

Counting views will allow Instagram to also better connect with advertisers to show the value of a video advertisement. Nielsen data found that on Facebook, as much as 47 percent of the value in a video campaign was delivered in the first three seconds, while nearly three-quarters was delivered in the first ten seconds.

The change is the latest shake-up in the world of social media. Twitter announced earlier this week it would begin showing tweets out of chronological order based on an algorithm.

In the coming weeks, Twitter users can turn on the feature in their settings. When logging onto Twitter, users will see the tweets that Twitter's algorithm believes the user is most likely to care about at the top of their timeline, going in reverse chronological order as they scroll down the new timeline.

Twitter's real-time stream will then be displayed underneath in the same reverse-chronological order, allowing users to also keep track of real-time discussions on Twitter.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.







ABC News Radio