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Published December 18, 2010, 12:00 AM

Trade Talk: Moorhead firm makes Fargo top sales prize

In the wake of the curious case of the Pennsylvania candy company that sent its employees to Fargo instead of Hawaii after failing to hit its sales goals, one local firm is vowing to turn the tables.

In the wake of the curious case of the Pennsylvania candy company that sent its employees to Fargo instead of Hawaii after failing to hit its sales goals, one local firm is vowing to turn the tables.

In case you missed it, Bethlehem, Pa.-based Just Born – a candy company that makes Mike and Ikes, Hot Tamales, and Peeps – dangled a “Glengarry Glen Ross”-style incentive for its sales staff: First prize is a trip to Hawaii; second prize is a trip to Fargo (thankfully, to the best of our knowledge, nobody got fired for finishing third). The staff wound up in Fargo after missing its target and made the best of it.

Well, Moorhead-based Absolute Marketing Group apparently didn’t take kindly to the use of Fargo as a de facto punishment destination. The company announced it will keep its employees in Fargo if they hit their 2011 goals – “Sometimes we don’t take advantage of the fabulous experiences in our backyard,” says marketing adviser MacDalton Berns – but send them to Bethlehem, Pa., if they don’t. There, presumably, they can catch up with their Just Born candy counterparts. “I am pretty sure they’ll have some good stories to tell about their trip to Fargo,” Berns says.

We’ll have to wait until next year to see if the company follows through on the proposal (if I were an Absolute Marketing employee, I might still lobby for Hawaii). But if push comes to shove, one hopes the good people of Bethlehem will ready the welcome mat.

Red Shoe on the move

The Red Shoe boutique has moved from the corner of Broadway and First Avenue to a new location on 32nd Avenue and 25th Street South.

The shop had previously shared its downtown space with the now-departed Vlana Vlee, which was replaced in November by KotiKites. The Red Shoe stuck around for about a month and a half before moving on as well. It’s the second move since September 2009 for the shop, and the third since it opened in 2004. Until now, the store had bounced around downtown – first 518 1st Ave. N., then 315 Broadway, then 102 Broadway.

That last space, now vacant, is owned by the Kilbourne Group. Kilbourne Group general manager Mike Allmendinger said the firm is in talks to bring a new client to the space – potentially an office client.

Caterpillar gets close-up

It’s not quite as glamorous or as high-profile as the “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” frenzy that gripped Moorhead this fall, but West Fargo’s Caterpillar Remanufacturing plant got its own moment on national television this week.

The plant was profiled on the Discovery Channel program “Green Magazine Television,” which focuses on issues of sustainability and environmental impact. The show doesn’t command a prime-time slot, but the episode first aired Thursday morning on the Discovery Channel and will air again at 9 a.m. today on CNBC and 6:30 a.m. Sunday on The Learning Channel.

If that’s a little early for your weekend viewing habits, it’s also available online at greenmagazinetelevision.com.


You can also connect with Trade Talk online at www.tradetalk.areavoices.com

Readers can reach Forum business reporter Marino Eccher at (701) 241-5502

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