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Consumer News

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 and told them to drive to Los …

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 …

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 …

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 …

STEEM Caffeinated Peanut Butter gets boost from US Sen. Charles Schumer’s call for investigation

Monday, November 16, 2015

GREENFIELD — U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer’s latest salvo in a campaign to address safety surrounding caffeinated foods does not appear to be having the effect he intended for his latest target, Greenfield-based STEEM Caffeinated Peanut Butter. Earlier this …