Consuming Interests
The Muppets take Mars Super Markets and lure kids to the produce aisles

The Muppets take Mars Super Markets and lure kids to the produce aisles 

Cereal makers have long designed eye-catching boxes to lure children to supermarket breakfast aisles.

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Monument City Brewing will debut two craft beers

Monument City Brewing will debut two craft beers

Monument City Brewing Co. plans a limited distribution of its "honest craft beers" starting next month, the Baltimore-based craft brewery said today.

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T.J. Maxx, Pier 1 open new stores in Anne Arundel County

T.J. Maxx will open late next year at The Village at Waugh Chapel in Gambrills, and a new Pier 1 Imports opened Monday at Annapolis Towne Center in Parole.

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Starbucks testing beer-flavored latte

Starbucks testing beer-flavored latte

Dark beer lovers take note. Starbucks Corp is testing a "dark barrel latte" in a handful of its cafes in Ohio and Florida.

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Shoe City to open five stores in the Baltimore area

Shoe City to open five stores in the Baltimore area

Regional retailer Shoe City plans to open five new stores, including three Baltimore-area locations.

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Green Spring Station to extend Thursday evening hours

Green Spring Station to extend Thursday evening hours

Green Spring Station is launching new, extended hours on Thursdays next month. Starting on Oct. 2, all the shops and restaurants at the station, 10803 Falls Road, will stay open until 8 p.m., two hours beyond the current closing time of 6 p.m.

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Claire's opening branded shops inside Toys R Us

Claire's opening branded shops inside Toys R Us

Claire’s plans to open shops inside of 12 Toys R Us stores in the U.S. by the end of the year, part of the teen accessory retailer's strategy to sell outside its traditional mall stores.

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Ellicott City Shoppers to close this fall

Ellicott City Shoppers to close this fall

A Shoppers grocery store in Ellicott City will close later this fall, the company announced Tuesday.

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McDonald's offering free coffee for 2 weeks

McDonald's offering free coffee for 2 weeks

McDonald's is offering customers a free small coffee for another two weeks as the world’s largest restaurant chain tries to perk up its U.S. sales.

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Expo to showcase all things 'natural'

Expo to showcase all things 'natural' 

After three years mixing, bottling and boxing natural personal care products to be sold in local shops at their home in Annapolis, Robert and Zoe Benzinger are poised for bigger things.

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Bookish Baltimore consumers spend on education

Bookish Baltimore consumers spend on education 

Baltimore may have abandoned its "City that Reads" slogan too soon.

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Toys 'R' Us, Walmart join Kmart in early holiday promotions

Toys 'R' Us, Walmart join Kmart in early holiday promotions

It turns out Kmart was only slightly ahead of the pack in unveiling holiday shopping promotions for the 2014 season.

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Kmart kicks off holiday shopping a bit early

Kmart kicks off holiday shopping a bit early

Move over Back to School. Holiday shopping has arrived.

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Home Depot offers free year of credit monitoring after data breach

Home Depot offers free year of credit monitoring after data breach

The Home Depot is offering free credit monitoring and identity repair assistance from AllClear Pro following a massive payment system data breach which may have started on April 1.

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Southwest unveils new logo, design for planes

Southwest unveils new logo, design for planes 

Many of the airplanes overhead in the Baltimore region could start looking a bit different soon, as Southwest Airlines unveiled a new logo and design for its aircraft Monday.

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Olive Garden offers 7-weeks of unlimited pasta for $100

Olive Garden offers 7-weeks of unlimited pasta for $100

Olive Garden is offering for the first time a "Never Ending Pasta Pass," which, for $100, gives the holder the right to consume unlimited pasta, salad, bread and Coca-Cola soft drinks for seven weeks.

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Under Armour unveils Gisele Bundchen ad

Under Armour unveils Gisele Bundchen ad

"Stick to modeling Sweetie."

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Under Armour signs supermodel Gisele Bundchen

Under Armour signs supermodel Gisele Bundchen 

Two days after Nike outbid it for NBA superstar Kevin Durant, Under Armour signed Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen to represent the brand.

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Retailers face increasing threat from cybercriminals

Retailers face increasing threat from cybercriminals 

Target, eBay, Michaels Stores, Neiman Marcus, P.F. Chang's and SuperValu — the parent of Shoppers Food & Pharmacy. It reads like a who's who of American retail and dining, but it's also a list of companies that lost customer data to cyberattacks in the past year.

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Chick-fil-A set to open Sept. 4 in Aberdeen

Chick-fil-A set to open Sept. 4 in Aberdeen

Aberdeen is about to get its own hub for chicken sandwiches and waffle fries.

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McDonald's offers free Big Macs for Ravens sacks

McDonald's offers free Big Macs for Ravens sacks

Baltimore Ravens fans might have another reason to cheer for a sack of the opposing teams' quarterbacks this season -- free Big Macs.

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Under Armour-donated Banner Field in Locust Point is completed

Under Armour-donated Banner Field in Locust Point is completed

Work has been completed on a multipurpose synthetic turf field in Locust Point that Under Armour is donating to the city.

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September to be busiest back-to-school month, analyst predicts

September to be busiest back-to-school month, analyst predicts

Back-to-school promotions showed up in many area stores in mid-July. But now that the kids are back in classrooms -- or headed there soon -- the real shopping will begin, one analyst believes.

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Spending jumps during back-to-college season

Spending jumps during back-to-college season 

At the Target in Baltimore's Mondawmin Mall, megaphone-shaped "college" signs hang over aisles stocked with must-haves for students living on their own, such as mini-refrigerators, desk lamps and six-packs of ramen noodles.

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Eggspectation will open at Metro Centre at Owings Mills next year

Eggspectation will open at Metro Centre at Owings Mills next year

Restaurant chain Eggspectation plans to open early next year at Metro Centre at Owings Mills, the transit-oriented project at the Owings Mills Metro Station.

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Shoppers Food reports possible data breach at Baltimore-area stores

Shoppers Food reports possible data breach at Baltimore-area stores 

Consumers who shopped this summer at Shoppers Food & Pharmacy, which has 20 Baltimore-area stores, could have been victims of credit card data theft, owner Supervalu Inc. said.

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Nouveau furniture store to move back to Mount Vernon

Nouveau furniture store to move back to Mount Vernon

Nouveau Contemporary Goods is leaving Belvedere Square to return to Baltimore's Mount Vernon neighborhood.

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Taco Bell launches dollar menu

Taco Bell has launched its version of a dollar menu.

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McCormick recalls ground oregano due to salmonella concern

McCormick recalls ground oregano due to salmonella concern

McCormick & Co. Inc. has recalled its ground oregano spice because of possible salmonella contamination.

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Maryland ranks third in U.S. in credit card complaints

Maryland ranks third in U.S. in credit card complaints

If you had a complaint about your credit card last year, about billing or fraud, for instance, you were more likely to live in Maryland than North Dakota.

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Big Lots expands food selection

Big Lots expands food selection

Big Lots has revamped its food department, adding name brand products and expanding the international assortment, the retailer said.

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Walmart launches price comparison mobile app

Walmart launches price comparison mobile app

Walmart now has an app that says its prices really are the lowest.

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Back-to-school shopping heats up

Back-to-school shopping heats up 

As music videos played on flat screen TVs overhead, Brendon Lee, 7, sank into a brown cushioned stool at Shoe City on Monday while his great-aunt poked the toe of the white Converse sneaker on his left foot. It was the right shoe but the wrong size.

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ABOUT THE BLOGGERS


Lorraine Mirabella has been writing for The Sun since 1986 and counts retail among her favorite beats. She's become accustomed to hanging out at stores and approaching strangers to get a peek at their purchases. Now, she writes about the workplace as well as consumer affairs.

Tim Swift has been an editor with The Sun for more than 10 years, covering local news, arts and entertainment and now business. He also has an extreme weakness for gadgets and all things tech.

Michelle Deal-Zimmerman came to Baltimore 10 years ago after working as a reporter and editor in Florida. A native of South Florida, Michelle has traveled a lot farther north than she ever expected. Still, she visits The Sunshine State so frequently it feels like she never left.

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