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Consumer News

Costco delays credit card switch

Friday, February 5, 2016

SEATTLE — Costco’s switch from American Express to Visa is being pushed back to this summer. Costco Wholesale had previously announced that the switch in the only credit card it will accept in its U.S. stores would happen in April. It’s now saying that transition will happen in June or by mid-summer. For years, Amex had been the Seattle-area retail giant’s credit card network and the issuer of its co-branded …

Mercantile will close Northampton store Saturday, with Amherst shop to follow after liquidation sale

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

NORTHAMPTON — The Mercantile, a longtime gift store often described as a hippie boutique, and a fixture on Main Street since 1982, will have its final day of business Saturday. And when owners Dan and Elizabeth Neville of Amherst shutter The Mercantile in Amherst, sometime before March 1, it will close the book …

Owner of World Eye Bookshop in Greenfield adjusts to slower sales

Sunday, January 31, 2016

GREENFIELD — Eight months after the owner of World Eye Bookshop on Main Street held a week-long campaign to sell $15,000 worth of merchandise to keep her store from going out of business, she says sales are still slow but she is learning how to adjust. Jessica Mullins celebrated her fifth anniversary last …

From commerce to healing: Northampton retailer Mary Lou Heiss of Tea Trekker fights blood cancer

Sunday, January 3, 2016

NORTHAMPTON — After running five storefronts in Northampton over 40 years, retailing has long been an odyssey for merchants Robert and Mary Lou Heiss. They put that sense of adventure into the very name of their latest shop, …

Wings Over Greenfield opening likely during January

Friday, January 1, 2016

GREENFIELD — It appears that it won’t be long before a chicken wings delivery service founded in Amherst in 1999, which has nearly three dozens stores in 13 states, will open a new restaurant in a downtown Greenfield landmark. Besides town inspections — health, building and fire — …

Just think how much money you saved on gas in 2015

Thursday, December 31, 2015

NEW YORK — U.S. drivers saved a bunch of money on gasoline this past year, as Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members kept the pumps going in the face of low oil prices. Massive stockpiles of crude globally turned 2015 into the year of the pain-free fill up. …

Like it or not, gadgets around us will keep getting smarter

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Our cars, our homes, our appliances and even our toys: Things around us are going to keep getting smarter. In 2016, we’ll entrust even more of our lives and their intimate details to machines — not to mention …

Emerging from shadows, pot industry tries to build brands

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

DENVER — Snoop Dogg has his own line of marijuana. So does Willie Nelson. Melissa Etheridge has a marijuana-infused wine. As the fast-growing marijuana industry emerges from the black market and starts looking like a mainstream industry, there’s …

Valley farms get state money to improve food safety measures

Monday, December 28, 2015

HADLEY — The Massachusetts Department of Agriculture has awarded grants to four local farms to help them comply with a new federal food safety law. The farms — Jekanowski Farms and Astarte Farms in Hadley and Old Friends Farm and Simple Gifts Farm in Amherst — received grants …

Jaime and Heather Reloj of Deerfield buy Sigda Flower Shop in Greenfield

Sunday, December 27, 2015

GREENFIELD — When Dr. Edward and Mary Lou Bueno want flowers for a special occasion, they typically go straight to Sigda Flower Shop on High Street. They said that Rick Sigda, the shop’s long-time owner, supplied both of …

Ex-law enforcers drawn to medical pot’s big business

Sunday, December 27, 2015

COLLINSVILLE, Ill. — With fewer than 4,000 approved patients, the nascent medical marijuana business in Illinois is off to a slow start. Yet it hasn’t kept away a cadre of cannabis entrepreneurs who once relied on guns, badges, …

Wicked Owl Cafe Latte, now sold only at Greenfield restaurant, will soon be marketed in area stores

Sunday, December 20, 2015

GREENFIELD — As a child growing up in Greece, John Dimitriou, the owner of Goodie’s Restaurant on Federal Street, loved making his own iced coffee from the milk produced by his family’s sole dairy cow. Dimitriou was responsible …

Warm weather leaves stores in the cold

Friday, December 18, 2015

NEW YORK — The unseasonably warm weather has left some people feeling cold about holiday shopping. Rosemarie Nowicki, who lives in Berkeley Heights, N.J., finally spent some of her holiday budget last weekend buying coats online for her …