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Northwest’s email lobbying campaign takes off; also: Target sales, Buffalo Wild Wings strategy, small-business winners, Best Buy growth plan

What do we want? Cheap oil! When do we want it? Now! Northwest Airlines is spamming its frequent fliers today with an e-mail asking them to spam their members of Congress with a form letter demanding cheap oil now. In a few clicks at, supporters of the airlines’ campaign against excessive speculation in oil markets can fire off an email to their elected officials making it appear like they understand terms like “over-the-counter swap trades” and the “exempted commercial markets” loophole.

As expected, Target’s same-store sales stayed about flat for the month of June, the Associated Press reports. And for apparel, that actually came as good news. The straight line was the best performance for apparel in six months. Sales of decorative home and garden products face-planted with double-digits declines. I’m no expert, but if Target wants customers to spend more, maybe they should consider offering better deals than this one.

Target’s growth might be stalled by the slow economy, but the retailer still has an admirer in Buffalo Wild Wings CEO Sally Smith. In a video interview at Motley Fool, Smith talks about adopting strategies from other successful Minnesota companies, including Target and Best Buy. “I think Target has done a fabulous job of really developing their brand and connecting with the consumer,” Smith said. See the video, “Buffalo Wild Wings’ Winning Recipe,” here.

The Business Journal’s Karlee Weinmann counts five Minnesota companies on Fortune Small Business magazine’s new 2008 list of America’s Fastest-Growing Small Public Companies. They are: medical device companies Rochester Medical Corp. of Stewartville and IntriCon Corp. of Arden Hills, manufacturers WSI Industries of Monticello and Nortech Systems of Wayzata, and MedTox Scientific, a St. Paul company that makes tests for illegal substances.

Meanwhile, Best Buy has a “five-pronged” plan to be the fastest-growing electronics retailer in the world. Dow Jones Newswire reports on comments Wednesday by executive vice president Mike Vitelli. The Richfield retailer plans to double sales to $80 billion over the next five years. They’ll do it by trying to capture a bigger share of a growing market and by adding new products and businesses, as well as its previously reported global expansion.

Do you have an inside scoop or news tip about a Minnesota company? Spotted something interesting in your RSS reader? Drop Business Agenda a note at dhaugen [at] minnpost [dot] com.

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