Business Beat

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A Morinville flower shop has been named a finalist in the 2011 Alberta Business Awards of Distinction in the Small Business category.

The Flower Shop is one of 38 businesses across the province nominated for the provincial awards.

Earlier this year, The Flower Shop was named Best Small Business 2010 by the Morinville Chamber of Commerce. It was also named Best Small Business in 2009 as well.

“I have a really loyal client base and I think we are able to provide that customer service that a lot of the bigger places aren’t,” owner Charlene Parrent told the Gazette earlier this year.

The awards will be presented on March 4 at a gala evening at the Marriott River Cree Resort in Edmonton. Each finalist is eligible for the evening’s highest honour, the Premier’s Award of Distinction.

Retail sales in Alberta exceeded $5 billion in October, up 0.7 per cent from the previous month and six per cent over last year.

In Canada, retail sales rose slightly last month but have increased by more than $1 billion from the previous year.

Gains were reported in seven of 11 subsectors, led by a 7.4 per cent rise at gasoline stations, which was mainly attributed to higher prices at the pump.

Excluding gasoline sales, retail sales edged down 0.1 per cent.

For the third consecutive month furniture and home furnishing store sales were up 2.2 per cent while motor vehicle and parts dealers’ sales rose 0.3 per cent. Sales at new car dealers were flat, ending a run of five consecutive monthly increases.

Miscellaneous store retailers, a group that includes office supply stores, stationery stores, gift stores and pet supply stores, reported a 1.4 per cent rise in sales follow 10 months of decline.

Department stores saw a 1.2 per cent decrease last month, in part because of an increase in September.

A 0.2 per cent decrease was noted in food and beverage store sales in addition to a 0.5 per cent decrease in supermarket sales.

Following three consecutive monthly gains, sales in the clothing and clothing accessories stores subsector fell 0.8 per cent. While clothing stores and shoe stores reported decreases last month, jewelry, luggage and leather goods stores collectively saw a two per cent increase.

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St. Albert Gazette

The St. Albert Gazette has been the source for news and community information in St. Albert and area since 1961. Today the twice-weekly full-colour tabloid delivers award-winning journalism in print, online and on mobile.