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Consuming Interests A blog for the smart consumer
Chick-fil-A will open April 9 at Inner Harbor; free meals for year for first 100

The Chick-fil-A planned for the Inner Harbor will open April 9, when the chain will give away free meals for a year to 100 people.

The restaurant, which will employ 75 people, is joining Shake Shack and M

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Weis launches online shopping at Woodlawn store

Weis Markets is now offering online shopping with in-store pick-up at its Woodlawn store.

The supermarket on Security Boulevard is the latest Weis in the area to offer the option,  also available at locations in Perry Hall, Laurel, Woodstock and Frederick.

Weis has been rolling out online shopping over the past few years and now offers it at 26 locations, including the five in Maryland.

Shoppers can place orders any time and schedule a pickup to be ready in as few as four hours. Customers can pay either with PayPal or at the store with curbside checkout.

"Weis online shopping offers our customers the best of both worlds: the in-store shopping experience with online, time-saving convenience," said Kurt Schertle, Weis' chief operating officer.

lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com

 

 

 

 

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Fractured Prune will open Tuesday in Owings Mills

Fractured Prune Doughnuts is opening its planned Owings Mills store on Tuesday.

The doughnut shop is joining the lineup at Owings Mills at Metro Crossing, a transit-oriented project at the Owings Mills Metro Station.

The franchise chain, founded in Ocean City, is known for hand dipping doughnuts in a choice of glazes and toppings, such as bacon, sea salt and graham cracker.

For the Tuesday opening, at 6 a.m., the first 100 customers who buy a dozen doughnuts will get a free T-shirt.

A Fractured Prune opened in November in Towson.

In Owings Mills, the shop will join tenants such as Times Square Kitchen and Subway. Eggspectation will open there in early summer.

lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com

 

 

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Wolf's buys Gardiners, longtime Baltimore furniture retailer

Gardiners Furniture & Mattress, a 73-year-old family-owned retailer based in Baltimore, is being sold to a Pennsylvania-based furniture chain that plans to continue running Gardiners' five stores and distribution center, keeping all 200 of the employees.

Wolf Furniture Co., a 113-year-old family business based in Bellwood, Pa., with 12 Wolf's showrooms and a clearance center, plans to finalize a purchase agreement in about 30 days for an undisclosed amount, Doug Wolf, Wolf's CEO, said Tuesday. Terms were not disclosed.

Gardiners is selling because company co-owner Gary Mullaney is retiring, Wolf said. Wolf said he expects no changes to the locations, in Bel Air, Catonsville, Pasadena, Towson and Westminster, or to employment levels.

"Family members looking into the future … wanted to keep the same feel to the business as they look to retire, and were seeking out companies that had comparable values and would not only maintain but build on what they've developed," said Wolf, a...

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Spending to top $16 billion for Easter, retail group says

Consumer spending for the Easter holiday, on apparel, decorations, gifts, candy, food and flowers, is expected to reach $16.4 billion this year, a trade group said Monday.

Nearly 90 percent of shoppers in a National Retail Federation survey said they will buy candy, spending more than $2.2 billion, while more than 85 percent will buy food, a $5.3 billion category. Nearly half will buy new outfits, spending nearly $3 billion, according to the survey, conducted for NRF by Prosper Insights & Analytics.

Retailers are also expected to do brisk business in gifts, flowers, decorations and greeting cards.

Individually, consumers will likely spend just over $140, slightly up from $137 last year, the trade group said.

"As one of the busiest times of year for several retail sectors, and as shelves begin filling with both traditional spring and holiday merchandise, retailers are looking forward to welcoming shoppers with attractive promotions on home goods, garden equipment and traditional Easter...

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Consumer spending up slightly for St. Patrick's Day

Consumers are expected to spend $4.6 billion to celebrate St. Patrick's Day this year, or just over $36 per person on average, according to the National Retail Federation.

The survey, conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics, says nearly 127 million Americans will mark the day with green garb and holiday-themed food, spending just slightly more than last year.

Eight in ten people plan to wear green on Tuesday, while about a fifth of those surveyed will decorate their homes. Nearly a third plan to celebrate at a bar or restaurant, while another third are planning their own special dinners.

"Falling at the perfect time of year – just as temperatures begin to rise – retailers are hoping St. Patrick’s Day will also draw the attention of those looking for traditional spring merchandise," such as home improvement and garden products and spring apparel, said Matthew Shay, NRF president and CEO.

The survey, with a margin of error of plus or minus 1.3 percentage points, polled more than...

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