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Consuming Interests A blog for the smart consumer
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.




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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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TGI Fridays will open at Mondawmin Mall

TGI Fridays will open at Mondawmin Mall by the middle of the year, the mall announced Thursday.

The 7,000-square-foot restaurant and bar, to be located near Target,  will be the first Fridays in the city. Jackmont Hospitality Inc. will be the owner and operator.

"Mondawmin Mall has been an integral part of the Greater Mondawmin community for almost 60 years, and we are always pleased when we can create fresh shopping and dining options for our customers," Romaine Smallwood-Smoot, the mall's general manager, said in the announcement. 

The mall was renovated and expanded in 2008. Last year, in a redevelopment of the former MVA building, the mall brought in a Ross Dress for Less and Deals stores.

"Over the past several years Mondawmin Mall has undergone a significant transformation, and is now home to dozens of national retailers," Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said in the announcement. "The addition of the city’s first TGI Fridays alongside what was the city's first Target, demonstrates...

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Shoppers set to open Friday at Alameda Market Place

Shoppers Food is marking the opening of a grocery store this morning in Baltimore’s Glen Oaks neighborhood.

The new Shoppers, in a former Stop Shop Save in the Alameda Market Place at 5600 The Alameda, hopes to fill a need in a city “food desert,” chain officials said.

The 23,000-square-foot store is designed in a smaller format than traditional Shoppers stores, but still will offer a service deli with a hot food bar, fresh produce, fresh meat and a service seafood department with bulk family pack items.

“Our goal is to bring high quality and affordable foods to customers in the area — along with convenience, freshness and variety,” Bob Gleeson, president of Shoppers, said in the announcement.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is expected to attend a 10:30 a.m. opening ceremony, where Shoppers plans to hand out gift cards to customers.

Shoppers, a chain owned by Supervalu, operates 56 stores in the Baltimore-Washington region and in northern Virginia, targeting price-conscious shoppers...

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