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Consuming Interests A blog for the smart consumer
Maryland tax-free week starts Sunday

If you run into Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot while shopping for clothes or shoes this week or next, don't be surprised.

The comptroller on Tuesday kicked off his annual rounds of Maryland malls and retail districts to promote the state's tax-free shopping week, which starts Sunday and runs through Aug. 15.

As in past years, shoppers in Maryland will get a break on the state's 6 percent sales...

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Former Jos. A. Bank executives launch men's apparel brand in Maryland

Several former executives of Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. plan to launch a retail brand that will be based in Maryland and sell classically styled men's apparel for business professionals.

Plans call for menswear retailer Wilkes & Riley to open online in November and expand with stores, most likely after the first couple of years, said Steve Marshall, CEO of the Bel Air-based company.

Marshall, who...

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IKEA offers repair for 27 million dressers after deaths of two toddlers

Federal authorities say IKEA is offering a free wall anchoring kit for dressers and chests that officials say can pose a tip-over hazard if not secured to a wall.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission and Ikea North America of Conshohocken, Pa., on Wednesday announced the repair program for products including MALM 3- and 4-drawer chests and two styles of MALM 6-dresser chests.

Authorities said IKEA...

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Families spending less on back-to-school purchases, NRF says

Another survey on back-to-school shopping is out --- this time showing that parents plan to trim spending this year compared to last.

The average family with children in grades K-12 plans to spend $630 on electronics, apparel and other school needs, down from $669 last year, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics.

Total spending is expected...

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Nearly 70 percent of shoppers plan to spend more this year on back to school

If you've started buying back-to-school clothes and supplies for the kids, you're in the company of more than a third of consumers, a shopping center trade group said Tuesday.

It's mid-July, but 34 percent of shoppers have begun to buy, and most -- 83 percent -- are shopping in stores or ordering online and picking up in stores, according to a survey by the International Council of Shopping Centers....

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Giant Food plans a new store in Odenton

Giant Food plans to open a supermarket late this year in Odenton Shopping Center in Odenton, the center's owner said Monday.

Nellis Corp. said it signed a lease with Giant for a more than 60,000-square-foot grocery store,  now under construction.

The store, which will include a pharmacy, will join tenants such as Dollar Tree, Five Guys, Advanced Auto Parts, the US Post Office and others in the center...

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