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Best of the Blogs, Consumer: Target and Neiman Marcus to Pair Up


Plus, Pepsi to enter the yogurt business.

This column highlights the most interesting and useful business and financial commentary for consumers from around the Web every Wednesday.

The Consumerist
Link: Target & Neiman Marcus Jumping Into Bed Together For Holiday Designer Hullabaloo
"If you're into getting designer goods at decidedly un-designer prices, you might be familiar with the crazed rush that inevitably ensues at Target (TGT) stores across the country when the retailer offers a special line of designer products. Starting in December, you can expect that stampede to turn into a full-on riot parade, as Target and luxury retailer Neiman Marcus have announced a new partnership to offer 24 designers in a limited holiday collection."

NASDAQ: Analyst Blog
Link: PepsiCo's Yogurt Deal with Muller
"PepsiCo Inc. (PEP) in agreement with privately held, German dairy producer, Theo Muller Group, has formed a joint venture to sell yogurt products in U.S. This marks the company's entry into the American dairy market.

"The joint venture to be called Muller Quaker Dairy will supply a range of dairy products like Muller Corner, Muller Greek Corner and Muller FrutUp from mid-July 2012 through supermarkets and club retailers in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States."

Link: McDonald's Executive Chef Shares 'Secret Recipe' of Big Mac's Special Sauce
"As part of McDonald's (MCD) Canada's ongoing transparency campaign, the company's executive chef Dan Coudreaut responds to a customer's question about the Big Mac's 'special sauce' by demonstrating how to make your own using commonly found ingredients.

"According to Coudreaut, an analogous sauce can be easily prepared using mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, yellow mustard, white wine vinegar, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika."

CNBC: Consumer Nation
Link: Consumers Remain Cautious: General Mills CEO
"Consumers are still cautious and there's likely to be only a slow recovery, General Mills (GIS) CEO Kendall Powell told CNBC's 'Squawk on the Street.'

"'The cereal category in Europe has slowed a little bit,' the General Mills CEO said. 'In those developed European markets, we're seeing a little bit of the same consumer sentiment that we see here in the U.S. They're pretty cautious.'"

Washington Post: WonkBlog
Link: The long shadow of Quill Corp. v. North Dakota
"In 1992, the Supreme Court ruled in Quill Corp. (SPLS) v North Dakota that companies without a 'substantial nexus' in the state where their customer lived didn't have to charge sales tax.

"Online retail wasn't much of a thing in 1992. Actually, even e-mail wasn't much of a thing in 1992. But Quill became a seminal case for online retailers: It meant, in essence, that they didn't have to pay state and local sales taxes. That's allowed them to undercut traditional brick-and-mortar stores on price. It's also meant that state and local governments, which rely heavily on sales taxes, have lost enormous amounts of revenue as more and more commerce has moved online. The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates the lost revenue at $23 billion annually."
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