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The Memo: What to know in business this week for Dec. 5

The Number: $250 million That's how much Minnesotans spent online between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, a 17 percent increase from last year. An Adobe Insights report showed the online sale day alone hit a new record of $3.45 billion nationally,...

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The Number: $250 million

That’s how much Minnesotans spent online between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, a 17 percent increase from last year. An Adobe Insights report showed the online sale day alone hit a new record of $3.45 billion nationally, and nearly half of all online retail visits were on smartphones or tablets.
All of that would appear to signal more cracks in the brick-and-mortar mainstays of Main Street, but here’s a little hope for the mom-and-pops out there - Small Business Saturday saw
$15.4 billion spent at independent retailers. If everyone in the country spent equally, that’s more than $263 million for Minnesota businesses. So despair not, ye in-person purveyors of purchasable goods (but do think about online sales, too).

The Word

“Just seeing the discussion and how civilized it was - this can be a more controversial thing - I’m really proud and pleased to see how civilized the conversation was, especially in these times of greater turmoil in the nation.” That’s Duluth City Council President Zack Filipovich talking about the most recent earned sick and safe time task force meeting. While the rest of the world burns, you betcha Duluth will be keeping its cool.

The Lead

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Cirrus Aircraft is partnering with Swiss company Breitling to create a chronometer worthy of Cirrus aviators. The chronometer - OK, it’s a watch - features subtle Cirrus designs and an engraving of a parachute-deployed plane on the back of the black titanium time machine. There are only 220 of these watches available, which retail for $4,930 each, so best act quick to beat out the owners of the more than 6,000 Cirrus planes that have been produced.

The Happy Hour

Bon Appetit magazine recently featured Northern Waters Smokehaus in its list of “Six stunning mail order food gifts that won’t reveal you can’t cook.” The national tastemaker pegged the Canal Park business as “an iconic Minnesota gourmet market” and drools over its $65 porketta made from smoke-roasted Berkshire pork and garlic, parsley and fennel. Oh wait, that’s me drooling.

The Meeting: Chamber After Hours Holiday Party

I promise not all the events I’m highlighting this month will be parties, but the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce’s holiday party ought to be a swell time. More than 300 business-minded folks are expected to shell out $10 to revel Tuesday from 4:30-7 p.m. at Black Water Lounge. Plus, I hear it’s an ugly sweater party. Oh, that’s just the sweater you wore. Sorry.
The Memo is a weekly roundup of things to know, ya know? Send business news of all kinds to biz@duluthnews.com and give brick-and-mortar business reporter Brooks Johnson a call every now and then at (218) 723-5329.

Brooks Johnson was an enterprise/investigative reporter and business columnist at the Duluth News Tribune from 2016 to 2019.
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