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News >  Business

Amazon hopes to lure last-minute shoppers

From Wire Reports

NEW YORK – Amazon is courting last-minute holiday shoppers by extending its free-shipping deadline by one day to Friday.

Orders more than $35 are eligible for free shipping. The e-commerce company said members of its $99 annual Prime loyalty program can order by Monday for two-day shipping.

Retailers are hoping to avoid shipping snafus that occurred last year while at the same time getting the last-minute online shoppers’ dollar.

Home construction declines in November

WASHINGTON – Construction of new homes fell slightly in November, reflecting weakness in construction of single-family homes.

Builders started construction at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.03 million homes and apartments last month, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. That was a decline of 1.6 percent from October when construction activity had posted a 1.7 percent gain.

The weakness last month came from a 5.4 percent fall in construction of single-family homes, which offset a 6.7 percent rise in the more volatile apartment sector.

Korean Air exec’s rant fuels macadamia boom

HONOLULU – A Korean Air Lines executive’s tantrum over bagged nuts in a first-class cabin is drawing enough attention to give Hawaii’s $38 million macadamia nut industry a boost.

Cho Hyun-ah, an airline vice president of cabin service and daughter of the company’s chairman, ordered a flight attendant off a Dec. 5 flight from New York City after she was served macadamia nuts in a bag instead of on a plate.

The incident dubbed “nut rage” imploded her career, embarrassed her family and led to an unexpected boom in sales of macadamias in South Korea.

Some producers told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that’s also helping Hawaii, home to more than 700 macadamia nut farms and eight processing plants.

“Any type of publicity is good for the industry,” said John Cross, Hawaii Macadamia Nut Association president.

“If anything should be served on a silver tray, it should be macadamia nuts,” Richard Schnitzler, president of Hamakua Macadamia Nut Co., said with a laugh, referring to the in-flight outburst. “It’s a high-quality nut.”

Macadamias are now a household name in South Korea, and with curiosity about their taste piqued, sales are booming.

South Korea’s largest online shopping retailer, Gmarket, owned by eBay, said macadamia nut sales jumped 20-fold from one week to the next earlier this month.

T-Mobile allowing carry-over of data

NEW YORK – T-Mobile now will let customers carry over their unused cellular-data allotments.

U.S. wireless carriers have been pushing consumers into larger data plans, but they typically lose what they don’t use at the end of their billing month. Under T-Mobile’s plan announced Tuesday, customers would be able to stash what they don’t use for up to a year. It’s reminiscent of the days before wireless companies offered unlimited voice calls; some carriers were offering to roll over unused minutes into future months.

T-Mobile said with its plans, customers won’t have to guess how much data they might need. If they buy too much, they can save it.

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