Booming businesses in this recession

June 5, 2009 3:25:35 PM PDT
During the most challenging economic time in recent history, a number of businesses are actually improving. And one industry that's turning the page to a brighter future during the recession is romance novels.Katherine Orr is with Harlequin Enterprises, one of the biggest publishers of these steamy books. She says now is a very exciting time.

"Earnings are up way over 15 percent last year and tracking the same this year," said Orr. In fact, Harlequin's novels pulled in 1.3 billion dollars last year. .

Romance novelist Debbie Macomber is smiling all the way to the bank. Her new book, "Summer on Blossom Street", just hit store shelves and for weary customers, it may just be the read they need.

"Because they need a happy ending, they're looking for something that's going to lift their spirits and something they can escape into. My books aren't going to change the world but they sure are going to brighten someone's weekend," said Macomberb.

And cobblers are seeing more business. The Leather Spa in Midtown Manhattan is getting crowded with bags filled with customers' shoes, people who may not have that extra cash to pick-up their shoes right away.

Owner Carlos Mesquitea says he's also seeing a growing number of women bringing in new pairs of high-end shoes and having sole guards put on, a way to make shoes last longer.

"Triple the life of a shoe, triple the life. It's prevention, like healthcare or something." said Mesquita.

Experts point out it all boils down to getting more bang for the buck, especially when it comes to things like grocery shopping, travel and entertainment.

"That's a theme you're seeing in all industries, a trading down to a home environment rather than always going our for entertainment," said Bob O'Brian with Barrons.com. He predicts, once the economy recovers, people will not return to their old extravagant ways, these lean times have changed us all for the better.

Web produced by Maura Sweeney


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