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Loose change

By CATHY KEIM

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 11, 2001


EXTREME CAR CARE: Blood may be thicker than water, but apparently not motor oil. Of 516 respondents to a survey by Progressive.com, 27 percent said they love their cars more than their in-laws. And 45 percent of married respondents rated their vehicles most important on a list that included spouses and children.

CEOS O-U-T: Chief executive departures increased 37 percent last month to 119, up from 87 a year earlier, according to outplacement company Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. Most of the departures were from Internet retailers that don't stock their own goods.

WHILE OTHERS SLEEP: All-night grocery stores, all-night drug stores . . . all-night banks? Woodforest National Bank of Houston is keeping two branches open around the clock, both inside 24-hour Wal-Marts. The bank says business is steady, and it'll open a third all-night branch.

ANOTHER CHAPTER: Book sales were flat last year, though more sold online. Americans bought 1.6-billion books in 2000, about the same as the previous year, research company Ipsos-NPD says. Six percent of sales were online, up from 4 percent in 1999.

$4,354: That's the staggering sum Friedland Properties paid per square foot for four adjacent storefronts on New York's Madison Avenue last month. Brokers say that's a record for commercial real estate.

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