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Consumer News

Recorder/Paul Franz
The Spirit Shoppe at the Dam has opened in Gill just over the bridge from Turners Falls. Shown are manager Molly Lewis, owner Steve Schechterle and golden retriever Lelo.

Steve Schechterle of South Deerfield opens third Spirit Shoppe in Gill

Friday, January 30, 2015

GILL — Steve Schechterle of South Deerfield earlier this year opened his third Spirit Shoppe beer, wine and liquor store in the former Jan’s Package Store overlooking the intersection of Main Road and Route 2 in Gill. Schechterle bought the business in July, knocked down a back wall, expanded cooler space for foreign, domestic and local beer and is building …

Hadley gets double the expected revenue in meals tax earnings

Friday, January 23, 2015

HADLEY — Town Administrator David Nixon accepted a windfall earlier this month — about twice the amount of local meals tax revenue as he expected. Nixon said he was not sure whether that resulted from a trend of more people eating out in Hadley or whether there were other factors involved. Whatever the reason, he said the town received nearly $119,000 this month …

Tootsie Roll’s 53-year CEO dies at 95

Thursday, January 22, 2015

CHICAGO — Melvin Gordon, who helped turn the enduring popularity of the humble Tootsie Roll into a candy empire, has died. He was 95. The longtime Tootsie Roll Industries Inc. chairman and CEO died Tuesday in Boston after a brief illness, said Brooke Vane, a spokeswoman for the company’s public relations firm. Gordon …

Smiles prompted by fund plentiful in these parts

Monday, December 1, 2014

HADLEY — For one single mother who uses scholarships to pay for her son’s participation in youth sports and other activities, the Sidney F. Smith Toy Fund ensures that he won’t be disappointed with his gifts come Christmas. “Sidney Smith has put a smile on his face on …

Slow wage growth, higher costs, search for deals drive cautious holiday spending

Monday, December 1, 2014

Falling gas prices. Soaring stock market. Unemployment at a six-year-low. All signs point to a successful holiday shopping season. Despite the economic tail winds, though, retailers are finding themselves having to work to get shoppers into stores. Why? …

Sales, store visits down on big shopping weekend

Sunday, November 30, 2014

NEW YORK — Black Friday fatigue is setting in. Early discounting, more online shopping and a mixed economy meant fewer people shopped over Thanksgiving weekend, the National Retail Federation said Sunday. Overall, 133.7 million people shopped in stores …

Black Friday relatively low key at Valley shopping destinations

Friday, November 28, 2014

HADLEY — Michele Wojtowicz found the deal she was looking for at the Hampshire Mall on Black Friday: a $150 jacket at J.C. Penney, which she bought for her niece for $29.99. But she didn’t have to trample …

Early-bird shoppers turn out on Thanksgiving in new holiday tradition

Thursday, November 27, 2014

NEW YORK — Early-bird shoppers headed to stores on Thanksgiving in what’s becoming a new holiday tradition. In the Chicago suburb of Naperville, Illinois, the parking lot of a Wal-Mart store was full roughly 30 minutes before Thanksgiving …

US agency threatens to act against air-bag maker

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

DETROIT — U.S. safety regulators threatened fines and legal action against Takata Corp. Wednesday unless the company admits that its driver’s air bag inflators are defective and agrees to a nationwide recall. In a letter to Takata’s Washington …

Order up: Jerry’s Place reopens after a month of repairs

Monday, November 24, 2014

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Bacon is sizzling and spatulas are flying for the first time in almost a month at Jerry’s Place. Deerfield Selectman David Wolfram and his wife, Mary, were among some of the first hungry patrons to step through the familiar Elm Street doors into the newly …

After 20-year hiatus, Alfa Romeo officially back in the US

Thursday, November 20, 2014

LOS ANGELES — Alfa Romeo is back in the U.S. after a 20-year hiatus. This week dealerships are starting to receive shipments of the low-volume 4C sports car, which starts at $53,900, said Reid Bigland, head of the brand in North America. The plan is to provide eight …

Hearing draws apology, admission in air-bag mess

Thursday, November 20, 2014

WASHINGTON — The global quality chief of Takata Corp. apologized and an official from Honda acknowledged the automaker broke a disclosure law as a Senate committee put the spotlight on a growing problem with exploding air bags. Hiroshi …

Consumer group lists ‘10 worst toys’ for kids

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

BOSTON — A light-up bow whose arrows are advertised as flying up to 145 feet and the “Catapencil” — a pencil with a miniature slingshot-style launcher on its end — are on an annual list of unsafe toys …