Today is now called "Cyber Monday." It is "Black Friday" for Internet retailers. (The one day of the year when Internet sales are the greatest.)
But before you buy that gift card, make sure the store issuing it will be in business come January. Many are going out of business or closing stores due to the tight economy. A big thanks to Kimberly Quiggle's fine "Cup O'Cheer" post for this list. These stores have announced bankruptcies, closings, or are just plain going out of business.
Ann Taylor (117 stores closing)
Bombay (closing remaining stores)
Cache (going out of business)
Circuit City (bankruptcy)
Dillard's (closing some stores)
Disney (closing 98 stores; more in January)
Eddie Bauer (closing 27 stores; perhaps more after January)
Ethan Allen (closing a dozen stores)
Foot Locker (closing 140 stores; more after January)
The GAP (closing 85 stores)
Home Depot (closing 15 stores)
JC Penney (closing a number of stores after Christmas)
Kay Bee Toys (closing more than 350 stores)
Lane Bryant/Fashion Bug/Catherine's (closing 150 stores)
Levitz (closing remaining stores)
Linens and Things (going out of business)
Lowe's (closing some stores after Christmas)
Macy's (closing 9 stores after Christmas)
Movie Gallery (going out of business)
Pep Boys (closing 33 stores)
Piercing Pagoda (going out of business)
Sharper Image (going out of business)
Sprint/Nextel (closing 133 stores)
Talbots (closing down specialty stores J. Jill and Pacific Sunwear)
Whitehall (going out of business)
Wickes Furniture (going out of business)
Wilson Leather (going out of business)
Zales (closing 82 stores and up to 105 after January)
Shop carefully, grasshoppers.
My wife and I were preparing for a rummage sale. We decided to finally put out a mirror that we'd had for many years. In fact, we'd received it as a wedding gift. But due to the garishly-colored aqua metal frame around the mirror, we could never find a room where it fit with the decor.
Shortly after our sale started, a man looking to decorate his apartment bought it from us for our asking price of five dollars.
As I pocketed his bill, he excitedly remarked, "This is a great deal! It still has the plastic covering on the frame!"
With that he carefully peeled off the aqua-colored protective plastic strip ... revealing a beautifully finished gold frame underneath.
[Pastor Tim's Illustrations]
WORD for YOUR WEEK: On our way home from church yesterday we passed a pair of trailers hauling pigs. This eventually led us to wonder where the phrase, "living high on the hog" came from. This phrase apparently relates to the price of meat on a pig. The higher up the pig you go, the better the cut of meat and, correspondingly, the pricier it is. People who could afford to buy the better meat obviously were wealthier than most and so they were said to be "living high on the hog."
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