Mall makeover poised to begin
The former Beechmont Mall's transformation should be ready by next holiday season.

Cintas sues for defamation
Cintas Corp. has brought a rare defamation lawsuit against a Boston investment firm and one of its executives for accusing the uniform supplier, at its October annual shareholders meeting, of supporting sweatshops.

Need for rehab measure doubted
Not all home-improvement contractors think a bill that would require them to register with the state of Ohio is a good idea.

Figuring out mutual fund fees not so simple
Hoping to burnish its own reputation and attract more students, the University of Cincinnati has spent $250,000 so far on its biggest advertising campaign in several years.
Debate grows over fund fee disclosure
Prospectus has more than fee info

Business people
Promotions & new on the job.
Witness says Stewart was curt on phone
NEW YORK - The star witness against Martha Stewart testified Thursday that she had berated him at least twice and once even threatened to take her business to another brokerage because she didn't like the telephone hold music.
Past quarter great for Toyota
TOKYO - Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp.'s group net profit surged 60 percent during the latest quarter on robust sales worldwide that offset exchange rate losses in overseas earnings.
Productivity gain raises hope companies will hire more workers
WASHINGTON - The productivity of America's workers grew modestly in the final three months of 2003, raising hopes that companies will step up hiring to meet demand rather than relying solely on increased efficiency.
January sales, cold keep retailers hot
NEW YORK - Consumers lured by record-breaking cold temperatures and clearance sales continued their spending spree in January, lifting sales well above expectations for many of the nation's retailers. Even those merchants who lagged the competition in recent months did well.
Business digest

Tristate summary

Special Report: P&G's Russian Frontier
In a three-day series, The Enquirer's Cliff Peale reports from Russia on Procter & Gamble's manufucturing and marketing drive there and the implications for Greater Cincinnati.
Booming market bears potential and challenge
It's not like Kroger: 'Stores' make selling a challenge
New economy holds instability and risk
Overseas sales have big impact back home
Making cleaning products, two worlds meet
Q&A: Former dancer takes giant leap
Europe teaches lessons about style
Vanity products are a gamble for Procter

Erpenbeck archive
A. William Erpenbeck spent years building a company that appears to be crumbling. One of the Tristate's biggest home builders, the Erpenbeck Co., is under federal investigation for a suspected bank fraud that is affecting lenders, subcontractors and home ownars. Click here for links to all Enquirer reports.