By Debra Phillips
- Pillow talk: It's hardly a sleepy market for pajamas now that the TV series "Ally McBeal" has showcased its title character wearing-and dancing in-whimsical sheep-and-cloud-patterned PJs. The sleepwear-a product of the New York City-based label NICK & NORA Sleepwear-is rousing mainstream America's interest in nighttime duds. "Sleepwear is a respected category now," says Steven M. Abrams, who co-owns NICK & NORA with Linda Rae Tepper (both pictured at left). "It's nice we're getting some recognition."
- Big Blue is getting bigger: Microsoft may be grabbing headlines, but IBM isn't exactly resting on its microchips. With an eye toward plugging into a greater share of the database market (and, not incidentally, overtaking current market-share leader Oracle), IBM reports it will increase its team of database-software salespeople by 1,000 within the next two years.
- Not just kidding around: Children's apparel and accessories retailer Gymboree Corp. is making a play for pre-teens with a new chain of clothing stores. Although details were sketchy at press time-even the name of the chain had yet to be announced-we're interested to see if pre-teens cotton to this newest fashion outlet.