Mattel planning 23 new looks for Barbie

NEW YORK (AP) — Things are finally looking up for Barbie.

Mattel, the toy company behind the plastic dolls, said there were some signs of improving demand for Barbie ahead of its planned makeover of the brand, including Barbie dolls with different skin tones, eye colors and nose shapes to better relate to multicultural girls and their mothers.

After husband's death, Shelby 'decided I wouldn't let it get too hard'

Long before she became one of the region's biggest car dealers, Jennifer Shelby hawked Thin Mints and Do-si-dos door to door in Champaign.

"When you are that young, it can be nerve-wracking to go do a sales pitch," says the ex-Brownie turned Girl Scout. "But if you can do it, it really is a good growing experience. If you can sell cookies, you can sell cars."

New owners ahead for Urbana auto dealer

URBANA — O'Brien Auto Park in Urbana could get a new owner by Sept. 1 of this year.

Jim Turner, president of the company, said he and majority owner Joe O'Brien have signed a letter of intent to sell the enterprise to the Ed Napleton Automotive Group.

Walgreens aims to close about 200 U.S. stores

TOM MURPHY, AP Business Writer

It's Your Business: Couple to open mart specializing in African foods

When Memoire Budimbu Mabiza and Lisette Mbaki learned that Chang's Oriental Mart in Champaign would close this spring, they were sad — but also saw an opportunity.

The Congolese couple said many local African immigrants, including themselves, relied on Chang's for traditional African food staples.

Some wondered, "What food are we going to eat?" Mbaki said.

It's Your Business: Heel to Toe expanding

Heel to Toe is proceeding with its expansion in downtown Urbana, with plans for retooling one of its three stores there and adding a fourth.

The three stores already there include:

— Heel to Toe at 106 W. Main St.

— Birkenstock Concepts at 104 W. Main St.

— New Balance at 108 W. Main St.

Common Ground considered several locations

CHAMPAIGN — Common Ground Food Co-Op considered spaces in south Champaign, west Champaign — and even other spaces downtown — before deciding on the former Sullivan Chevrolet building.

Updated: Food co-op to bring jobs, local foods to downtown Champaign

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CHAMPAIGN — Common Ground Food Co-Op hopes to open a new store in downtown Champaign in early 2016, the cooperative announced Thursday.

Field & Stream: C-U adventure venture

CHAMPAIGN — Folks who like to get close to wild animals that are no longer wild — or alive, for that matter — should be thrilled with the Field & Stream Shop slated to open at Market Place Shopping Center this fall.

Work progressing at anchor building

CHAMPAIGN — Dick's Sporting Goods and Field & Stream wasted no time in putting up their new anchor store building at Market Place Shopping Center, the center's general manager said, calling it part of "a very fast-moving process".

"That's the reason we saw the demolition (of Sears) in the middle of winter," Dennis Robertson said.