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Consumer News

Belchertown Road Sunoco in Amherst closed by state for unpaid taxes

Friday, July 31, 2015

AMHERST — A long-time service and gas station in the East Amherst village center is closed after the property was seized Thursday morning by officials with the state’s Department of Revenue for unpaid taxes. A large sign informing the public about the seizure is taped to the window of the Belchertown Road Sunoco at 40 Belchertown Rd. Maryann Merigan, spokeswoman for the Department of Revenue, said in an email Friday …

Grand opening set for new Atkins location in North Amherst

Thursday, July 30, 2015

AMHERST — The new Atkins Farms Country Market location will open in North Amherst’s Mill District development in August, with a grand-opening event scheduled for September. W.D. Cowls President Cinda Jones said this week that work is being completed on refurbishing the old “Cow Palace” barn at 113 Cowls Road that will house the 4,200-square-foot store. The latest work includes paving the parking …

Average US vehicle age hits record 11.5 years

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

DETROIT — In the age of Apple’s CarPlay, a lot of cars on the road still have tape decks. The average vehicle in the U.S. is now a record 11.5 years old, according to consulting firm IHS Automotive, a sign of the increased reliability of today’s vehicles and the lingering impact of the …

Luxury indie fragrances tap into something deep inside us

Sunday, March 22, 2015

SEATTLE — Nicole Miller and Aaron Way, the masterminds behind Seattle’s Blackbird brand of edgy perfumes and incense, work in an atmosphere redolent of beautiful gloom. Approaching the black bungalow that serves as the headquarters for the online business and as company founder Miller’s actual home, exotic smells …

Competing smoke shops in Amherst offer ‘functional art’ driven by popularity of delivering nicotine in vapor form

Sunday, March 22, 2015

AMHERST — Numerous miniature bottles holding the liquid used in e-cigarettes and personal vaporizers fill racks along an entire wall of the Exscape Smoke Shop. Heating this so-called e-juice — which contains nicotine, flavor, propylene glycol and vegetable …

Starbucks CEO defends new ‘Race Together’ campaign after criticism

Sunday, March 22, 2015

NEW YORK — Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz last week defended the company’s new “Race Together” campaign that has been criticized for being naive and even using racial tensions to boost its bottom line. The chain, best known for …

Companies look to tap into Vt.’s maple business

Sunday, March 22, 2015

ISLAND POND, Vt. — Already, Vermont is maple syrup capital of the U.S., with production traditionally being a side business for farmers. Could a large-scale operation, tapping into thousands of acres of maple trees in a remote northeastern …

GM retreats from Russia

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

MOSCOW — General Motors will slash production in Russia and pull its mass-market Opel brand completely in the face of plummeting sales in the economically troubled country. Mainstream GM brands have been among the biggest losers as Russia’s …

Feds aim to halt fishing fraud by tracking seafood imports

Sunday, March 15, 2015

BOSTON (AP) — In an effort to eradicate illegal fishing and seafood fraud, the Obama Administration is launching a fish tracking system that would eventually tell consumers where their fish was caught, processed and stored. U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews announced the initiative at the Seafood …

Lia Auto Group buys Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram dealership on Damon Road, fourth business in Northampton

Thursday, March 12, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — An established regional auto group expanded its holdings in Northampton this week, buying the Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram dealership on Damon Road. The acquisition by Lia Auto Group comes three months after the Mitchell Auto Group …

Meat industry takes up arms against new dietary proposals

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

WASHINGTON — The meat industry is seeing red. Meat companies have tried to rehabilitate an image tarnished in recent years by health and environmental concerns. Now the industry is swiftly and aggressively working to discredit a proposal for …

Can Etsy stay folksy while making shareholders money?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

NEW YORK — If craft seller Etsy goes public later this year it will be a test of how well the company can balance an explicit social mission with shareholder expectations for making money. Founded in 2005, Brooklyn-based …