THOSE PEOPLE who still prefer tangible research tools such as encyclopedias to surfing the Internet, are not old-fashioned, they're merely interested in saving time. When you open a book or an archive drawer, a quick skim usually provides the required information. Archive clippings that have been filed alphabetically often have the subject under which they've been filed highlighted in the clipping, so the eye is automatically drawn to the paragraph that may contain all the information one needs. Surfing the net is a much bigger headache, and one often has to wade through masses of text that, in the final analysis, do not yield what one is seeking. With tangible research tools there is also the comforting knowledge that one can arrange them on a table or on the floor to suit one's working habits. Opening too many files at once on the computer often results in jamming. But there is a solution at hand. Understanding that not everything can be found on the Internet, the Israel-based Magarim International Research Center has developed a research tool that combines Internet and human effort. Operating as Focused Mail, it is a revolutionary system that can disseminate a researcher's enquiry to thousands of archives, museums, universities, libraries, institutes and private collections around the world. Instead of spending hours searching for the right contact or source of information, Focused Mail can determine the most appropriate source and provide the proper contact details for individual researchers to follow up. Focused Mail is primarily designed to help academics, journalists and students, as well as individuals conducting genealogical research or other projects of interest. It can help identify the proper source for information or photographs, as well as historical documents. Many of the materials Focused Mail helps researchers to access are unavailable on the Internet. Focused Mail is designed to eliminate leg-work by taking the researcher directly to the optimal source. "This is not designed to do your research or obtain the actual document or photograph," says Focused Mail founder David Margoliot. "Instead, it helps sort through the many potential resources and individual contacts, and identifies the person or organization that you should reach out to." More information is available at www.magarim.com. FIVE NEW franchisees are investing a total of NIS 2 million to open five new SNAX Convenience Stores. The first store in the chain began to operate in Haifa several months ago, says SNAX CEO Ben Moshe, and the plan is to spread right across the country. The demand for convenience stores is growing, adds Moshe, not only on the part of consumers but also managers of malls and shopping centers. Moshe is also the proprietor of Sahut (Squeeze), which specializes in freshly squeezed fruit drinks. So far, there are 17 Sahut branches throughout Israel. THE INCREASING popularity of convenience stores may be attributed to the economic crunch, because people whose spending power has been curtailed do not want to wander through supermarkets where they may be tempted to buy specials that they don't really need and can't afford. By the same token, a lot of people who used to work out of stores and offices will start setting up businesses in their homes. Case in point is fashion designer Chantal Hess, who used to freelance for various companies and private clients, but feels that it would be better to put down roots and to start her own business from home so that she does not have to deal with all the overhead that go into a store and showroom. The Swiss-born Hess has been asked to design bridal gowns and special-occasion evening wear so frequently, she's decided to specialize in this area of apparel. Brides are often nervous, she says, and would probably feel more comfortable sitting in her living room as they tell her the extent of their budgets and what they envisage by way of a gown. She will then design it in accordance with the bride's wishes, and once the sketches have been approved, will transfer the work to a local seamstress in Ra'anana so that she can keep an eye on progress. Running a business from home also means that she's there for her family even when she's with a client, because she's no further than the next room. Chantal Hess can be reached at (052) 540-0700. WHILE THE media continue to publish reports of mass layoffs, which means that there's less spending money around, some companies seem to have the Midas touch. CafÃ© CafÃ© has announced the opening of 20 additional branches in the coming months, with the aim of having 90 branches by the end of 2009. Ten new branches will open in the North and South over the next two or three months at an investment of NIS 15m., and the chain is also negotiating to expand its operations to India. CafÃ© CafÃ© owner Ronen Nimni says business is booming, despite the economic situation, possibly because misery loves company and it's much cheaper for people to sit around in a coffee bar than it is in a restaurant. Incorporated in the CafÃ© CafÃ© logo is the invitation "Take your time" - and those clients who now have more time than they would like on their hands will probably take the message seriously. EL AL and Army Radio have entered into a cooperative marketing venture. Many Israelis when traveling abroad opt for El Al, not only because it's the national carrier and supposedly has better security than other airlines, but also because they want to hear Hebrew music, or Hebrew patter introducing and explaining songs in other languages, and they want to watch video programs from Israeli television stations. Passengers will now have more options than before, with six Army Radio channels available on the El Al entertainment menu. One of the channels, anchored by Dubi Lenz, will have Brazilian music in celebration of El Al's opening of a new route to Brazil. In the course of a tour of the Army Radio studios, El Al CEO Haim Romano, who happens to be an Army Radio fan, told Army Radio commander and editor-in-chief Yitzhak Tunik he usually listens to Army Radio when traveling in his car. AUTHOR AND journalist Smadar Shir and her daughter Liav Sidi are the new stars of the NIS 250,000 Mother and Daughter marketing campaign by Ronit Raphael - The Science of Beauty. The visuals of the campaign have a family focus; they feature flattering photographs of famous women and their daughters. The photograph of Shir and Sidi will appear in newspapers and women's magazines. For the first time, the campaign will include the luxury products of L. Raphael Geneve. ALTHOUGH we're told not to judge a book by its cover or not to look at the pot but at what's inside it, packaging and presentation are still important components of marketing. That's why Euphora has invested NIS 3m. to give its 1.5-liter bottle of Tapuzina a new look. The company has also added a new flavor to its range: Tapuah Ra'anan(refreshing apple).