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Consuming Interests

Consuming Interests A blog for the smart consumer
Have a new "EMV" credit card? You will soon.

To meet an Oct. 1 deadline, The Big Screen Store and The Sofa Store spent well over $10,000 to equip 14 showrooms with special credit card readers that will soon be nearly ubiquitous.

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Planet Aid makes Baltimore site of its first retail store

You've seen the bright yellow Planet Aid bins in parking lots of gas stations, stores and other businesses, collecting donations of used clothes and shoes.

Now the Elkridge-based non-profit, which runs clothing recycling programs across the U.S. and uses proceeds for projects throughout the developing world, is opening its first-ever retail store.

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Potbelly Sandwich Shop will open another shop downtown

Potbelly Sandwich Shop is opening its newest Baltimore location Friday in the Blaustein building downtown.

The chain, which touts its toasted sandwiches, hand-dipped milkshakes, made-to-order salads and live local music, already has 13 locations in the Baltimore metro area, including at the Inner Harbor and elsewhere in the city.

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Kate Hudson-founded apparel shop, Fabletics, opens in Columbia

Fabletics, an athletic apparel retailer co-founded by actress Kate Hudson, is expanding from online to mall stores, including a location at The Mall in Columbia.

The third Fabletics shop in the U.S. opened Sept. 11 at the Columbia mall and has a grand opening scheduled for Thursday.

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Streets Market & Cafe opens specialty grocer in downtown Baltimore

Streets Market & Cafe, an independent gourmet grocer specializing in organic and natural foods, has opened on Charles Street in downtown Baltimore in space vacated by Fresh & Greens.

The specialty store, the third for the chain and the first in Baltimore, had a soft opening Friday. The retailer will continue refining inventory and pricing until a grand opening, tentatively planned for Oct.

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Macy's plans to close 35 to 40 department stores early next year

Macy's Inc. plans to close 35 to 40 underperforming department stores early next year and will announce specific locations later.

The stores represent about 1 percent of Macy's sales, or about $300 million, the company said today.

The chain operates 770 Macy's stores, including eight that anchor Baltimore-area malls.

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