Biz Buzz
By Jim Martin, Doug Oathout Erie Times-News staff bloggers
Welcome to Biz Buzz, our daily blog on all things business. Turn here for breaking news on the economy, local industry and area people engaged in the region's companies.   Read more about this blog.
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Posts tagged ‘shopping’
Posted: November 26th, 2013

It’s not lost on local merchants that national retailers plan to get a head start on the holiday shopping season by opening as early as 6 a.m. Thanksgiving Day.

It’s fair to say most of them aren’t impressed.

“I think it’s terrible,” said Vivian Pietrzak, owner of Serendipity Emporium in Waterford. “Never, never will I do that. It would be over my dead body. It’s greed.”

Others were only slightly less emphatic.

Sandy Blazek, owner of Trellis on Peninsula Drive, said she wants her employees to have time for their families.

“We would never have employees work on Thanksgiving,” she said. “It’s nuts. It’s gotten out of hand.”

Debbie Shearer, owner of Finney’s Chocolate Shoppe, shares that view.

“We are closed so that we can spend time with our families,” she said. I don’t see why people have to be open on Thanksgiving. It takes away from the real meaning of the holidays.”

National retailers take a different view as the look for an opportunity to extend the holiday shopping season — if only by a few hours.

— Jim Martin

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: October 10th, 2013

The Millcreek Mall has announced the addition of two new stores coming next year to the Millcreek Pavilion, located west of the mall along Interstate 79.

Carter’s and Five Below will both be moving into vacant space near Gander Mountain.

Carter’s, which bills itself as the leading brand of children’s clothing, gifts and accessories, is expected to open a 7,800-square-foot store in the first quarter of 2014.

The company, which dates back to 1865, includes the brands Carter’s, OshKosh B’gosh, Child of Mine and Genuine Kids.

Carter’s operates more than 400 company-owned stores and sells its merchandise in thousands of department stores.

An 8,700-square-foot Five Below store is expected to open next door during the summer of 2014.

Five Below is described as a leading retailer of “trend-right, extreme value merchandise to the teen and preteen market.” The store will exclusively offer merchandise selling for between $1 and $5.

Offerings will include sporting goods, games, fashion accessories, jewelry, hobby items and collectibles.

More than 200 Five Below locations can be found in 18 states.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: December 24th, 2012

Anyone left on your Christmas list just aching for a 65-inch Samsung 3D flat-screen television? Just your luck. The Vatican’s duty-free department store has one on sale for (euro) 2,899 ($3,840) — a nifty savings over the (euro) 3,799 ($5,032) it costs at Italy’s main electronics chain Euronics.

Or how about some new luggage for the holidays? The Vatican shop stocks a variety of Samsonite Cordoba Duo carry-ons for (euro) 123, a nice markdown from the (euro) 135 on the Samsonite website. But if a last-minute shopping splurge is in order, the Vatican can also oblige: Take this leather-bound travelling trunk from Florence’s “The Bridge” leatherworks, with its five drawers, plaid interior, six wooden hangars and shiny brass buckles.

At (euro) 5,900, it comes with a matching leather golf club bag, just what every monsignor needs under his Christmas tree.

There’s a little-known open secret in the Vatican gardens, a few paces behind St. Peter’s Basilica and tucked inside the Vatican’s old train station: a sprawling, three-story tax-free department store that rivals any airport duty free or military PX, stocking everything from Church’s custom grade shoes ((euro) 483 a pair) to Baume et Mercier watches (ladies (euro) 1,585, men’s Capeland (euro) 5,000).

There’s a hitch, however. It’s not open to the public, only to Vatican citizens, employees and their dependents, diplomats accredited to the Holy See and (unofficially) their lucky friends who, after stocking up on holiday must-haves, proceed to the checkout with their Vatican connection and the ID card that entitles them to shop there.

To be sure, Rome is no stranger to tax-free shopping. Embassies, nearby military bases and the U.N. food agencies all have commissaries for their employees, where imports of everything from American ice cream to French wine can be had minus the 21 percent sales tax included in list prices in Italy.

The Vatican has that and more, given that it’s its own sovereign state — the world’s smallest — operating in central Rome. At 44 hectares (110 acres), the Vatican city state is the physical home of the Holy See: the pope and governing structure and administration of the Catholic Church.

The Vatican Museums, home of Sistine Chapel, are the main profit-making enterprise of the Vatican city state, bringing in (euro) 91.3 million in revenue last year alone. But other smaller entrepreneurial endeavors boost the Vatican’s coffers as well, including the department store, the tax-free gas station, the stamp and coin collecting office, the Vatican pharmacy and its supermarket.
And in these days of austerity, their profits and bottom line are ever more important to the Vatican.

— Associated Press

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: May 15th, 2012

A new shoe store is headed for the Millcreek Plaza, next door to Ollie’s Bargain Outlet.

Shoe Carnival, which has locations in Butler and Niles, Ohio, is expected to open July 1 in the space that had been leased to Factory Card & Party Outlet.

The store, which touts itself as having a wide assortment of brand names and value prices, will occupy a 12,000-square foot space, said Joe Bell, spokesman for the Youngstown-based Cafaro Co., which owns the Millcreek Plaza.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: May 2nd, 2012

The Kohl’s store on Keystone Drive in Summit Township will unveil a new look and some extensive renovations a week from today.

The Wisconsin-based chain is calling the May 9 ribbon-cutting ceremony a grand-reopening, but the store never actually closed.

While customers continued to shop as normal, work crews have updated fitting rooms and lounges, added LED track lighting, installed new merchandise displays, updated checkout stations, remodeled restrooms and expanded the customer service area.

Extensive renovations also have been made to the store’s children’s, jewelry and shoe departments.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: October 1st, 2010

Citi Trends, a Georgia-based retailer, has opened a new store at 2026 Broad St. in the Erie Plaza Shopping Center.
Citi Trends, which operates more than 440 stores in 26 states, describes itself as a value-priced retailer, offering a wide selection of urban brand and fashion clothing in juniors, plus-size, men, boys, girls and children’s sizes.
The retailer claims its prices are generally 30 to 70 percent below those found at specialty and department stores.
The store will be open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: December 8th, 2009

The parent company of Prime Outlets in Grove City, one of the nation’s largest outlet malls, has been sold to Simon Property Group Inc.
The Indianapolis-based Simon, the nation’s No. 1 mall operator, purchased Prime’s 22 malls in a deal worth $2.35 billion.
According to a Reuters report, Simon paid $700 million in cash and equity. The total $2.35 billion value of the transaction includes the assumption of debt and preferred stock.
Prime Outlets was owned primarily by the Lightstone Group, a privately held real estate company.
– Jim Martin

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: November 20th, 2009

Digital City, which describes itself as a lifestyle network, has picked its top 10 biggest and best malls in the country and the Millcreek Mall is on the list.
The mall, owned by the Youngstown-based Cafaro co., comes in at fourth on the list.
A brief section of the article touts the local mall for its size — 2.6 million square feet — its 241 stores and new food court. Also earning a mention were the benefits of tax-free clothes shopping.
Number one on Digital City’s list? Minnesota’s Mall of America.
– Jim Martin

Posted in: Uncategorized