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South Korean Unification Minister Hong Yong-pyo announces about the Kaesong industrial complex operations at the government complex in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016. South Korea says it will suspend operations at the joint industrial park with North Korea in response to the North's recent rocket launch, the first time in the park's decade of operation that Seoul has halted work there. (Kim Jin-a/Newsis via AP) KOREA OUT

S. Korea to shut down joint industrial park with North

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea said Wednesday that it will shut down a joint industrial park with North Korea in response to its recent rocket launch, accusing the North of using hard currency from the park to develop its nuclear and missile programs. The decision to end operations at the industrial complex in the North Korean border city of Kaesong, the last major cooperation project between the rival countries, comes after North Korea on Sunday launched a long-range rocket considered by other nations to be a banned missile technology test. By closing the complex, South Korean President Park Geun-hye has done something her conservative …

Embargo is under the rug, so Persian carpets can roll in

Monday, February 8, 2016

By Sarah Parvini Los Angeles Times (TNS) LOS ANGELES — The call came in to the rug store at 10:30 last Wednesday morning: After five days in U.S. customs, the first batch of carpets imported from Iran were ready for pickup. Years of waiting finally ended for Alex Helmi, owner of Damoka, a Persian rug store in Westwood. He quickly gathered his employees …

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 …

Grocery chains’ pledge to expand in underserved areas falls short

Monday, December 7, 2015

ST. LOUIS — As part of Michelle Obama’s healthy eating initiative, a group of major food retailers promised in 2011 to open or expand 1,500 grocery or convenience stores in and around neighborhoods with no supermarkets by 2016. …

Western Village Ski & Sports to close after nearly four decades on Main Street in Northampton

Friday, December 4, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Western Village Ski & Sports will close in January after 37 years in business on Main Street in the city’s downtown, according to messages posted to the store’s website and Facebook page. “It’s time,” owner Paul …

‘Cyber Monday’ sales likely to break record

Monday, November 30, 2015

NEW YORK — Shoppers traded bricks for clicks on Monday, flocking online to snap up “Cyber Monday” deals on everything from cashmere sweaters to Star Wars toys. Now that shoppers are online all the time anyway, the 10-year-old …

Small Business Saturday draws shoppers to local, independent retailers

Saturday, November 28, 2015

’Twas the Saturday after Thanksgiving, when all through the streets, throngs flocked to small stores, seeking unique holiday treats. Dampened somewhat by drizzly skies, shoppers explored Northampton, Amherst and Easthampton on the day after Black Friday, many purposefully …

Retailers Association of Massachusettts predicts strong holiday sales

Thursday, November 26, 2015

BOSTON (AP) — An organization representing Bay State merchants is optimistic about the holiday season. The Retailers Association of Massachusetts is forecasting a 6.5 percent increase in store sales during the months of November and December. The holiday sales period unofficially begins in earnest on “Black Friday.” The …

E. coli in Costco chicken salad sickens 19

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

By JoNel Aleccia The Seattle Times (TNS) SEATTLE — At least 19 people in seven states have been sickened by E. coli poisoning linked to rotisserie chicken salad sold at Costco stores, health officials reported Tuesday. Most cases have been reported in Western states, including six in Montana, …

Changes afoot at Hampshire Mall as Best Buy, GlowGolf exit

Monday, November 23, 2015

HADLEY — Hampshire Mall management hopes to name a new tenant for the former Best Buy space within the next 30 to 60 days — but the replacement of the former anchor store won’t come in time for …

The Mercantile in Northampton likely to close unless buyer comes forward

Monday, November 23, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — After more than three years of putting their time, energy and a whole lot of love into The Mercantile of Amherst and Northampton, owners Dan and Elizabeth Neville are looking to sell the eclectic gift shops. And unless a buyer comes forward before the new year, …

FDA: Genetically engineered salmon good to eat

Thursday, November 19, 2015

SEATTLE — Chinook. Sockeye. Coho. AquAdvantage. Perhaps that last breed does not evoke images of ancient and frigid headwaters in Alaska or Arctic Canada, where wild salmon spawn every year, or even the humble hatcheries that produce less expensive species consumed by millions of people. But on Thursday, …

Group cites dinosaur claws among year’s dangerous toys

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

BOSTON — Dinosaur claws inspired by the movie “Jurassic World” and a quick-folding trampoline are among the items on a consumer watchdog group’s annual list of hazardous toys released Wednesday. The Massachusetts-based World Against Toys Causing Harm says …