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Thu., Jan. 20, 2011

Bruttles sees increase in online candy sales

A revised website and simpler product choices led to a 20 percent gain in online candy sales, said Carol Measel, owner of Spokane-based Bruttles Gourmet Candy Company.

Using BrandIT Advertising, from Spokane Valley, for site redesign and online marketing, Measel said generated sales from across the globe; those included orders from China, Great Britain, Austria, Switzerland and others, she said.

She credited simpler online order options, plus using Facebook promotions, for an overall sales increase of 20 percent during the recent holidays, compared with 2009.

The largest seller, both online and in-store, is the company’s signature peanut butter brittle. That product accounted for roughly 75 percent of all online sales. The remaining quarter was sales of butter toffee, peanut bruttle and caramels, Measel said.

Bruttles has three retail stores, in downtown Spokane, Spokane Valley and Coeur d’Alene.

Tom Sowa

Jones gets new term on regulatory panel

Spokane native Philip Jones has been reappointed to a second six-year term on the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission.

If confirmed by the state Senate, Jones will serve until Jan. 1, 2017. 

Jones, 57, graduated from Shadle Park High School and Harvard. He’s the son of Clair and Carol Louise Jones, owners of the now-closed Harvey’s men’s clothing stores in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene.

Jones was appointed to the three-member regulatory commission in 2005. The commission’s duties include reviewing utilities’ requests for rate increases. Prior to his appointment, Jones served as managing director of Cutter & Buck sportswear company in Europe and was a senior legislative assistant to former Washington Sen. Daniel J. Evans.

Jones earns $114,550 per year on the commission.

Becky Kramer

Nintendo sets date for handheld 3-D device

NEW YORK – Promising to usher in a new era in 3-D entertainment, Nintendo says its glasses-free handheld 3DS will go on sale on March 27 in the U.S. for $250. That’s the same price that the revolutionary Wii console cost when it went on sale in 2006.

The president and chief operating officer of Nintendo of America, Reggie Fils-Aime, said Wednesday the 3DS is a “truly unique experience that doesn’t exist anywhere else.”

The gadget features a touch screen on the bottom and a 3-D screen on top. It has three cameras, one facing the user and two facing outward. The latter two let you take 3-D photos, which can be instantly displayed on the screen. There’s also an accelerometer and a gyroscope. These track players’ movements and how they tilt the screen, so they can play games with motion-based capabilities or see the 3-D games from different angles.

Associated Press

Earnings roundup

EBay Inc. said Wednesday its revenue rose nearly 6 percent over last year, to $2.5 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet Research expected $2.48 billion in revenue. San Jose-based eBay earned $559.2 million, or 42 cents per share, much lower than the $1.36 billion, or $1.02 per share, it reported in the year-ago quarter.

• American Airlines parent AMR Corp. said Wednesday it lost $97 million in the fourth quarter, or 29 cents per share. That’s smaller than the $344 million loss AMR posted a year ago, and it beat the forecast of analysts, who expected a loss of 36 cents per share, according to FactSet.


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