Consuming Interests
BGE customers who conserve energy Wednesday will get a bill credit

BGE customers who conserve energy Wednesday will get a bill credit

Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. says its first "Energy Savings Day" of the summer — when customers who voluntarily conserve earn bill credits — will hit on Wednesday.

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Supermarkets boost sustainable seafood offerings

Supermarkets boost sustainable seafood offerings 

The specialized market for sustainable seafood has gone mainstream. Even Wal-Mart is promoting its environmental credentials in the seafood aisle.

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Hershey hikes candy prices due to soaring cocoa

Hershey hikes candy prices due to soaring cocoa

Hershey Co, the No. 1 candy producer in the United States, on Tuesday hiked its chocolate prices for the first time in three years, a sign that a year-long soaring cocoa market is eating into confectioners' profits.

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Comcast 'embarrassed' by aggressive service call

Comcast 'embarrassed' by aggressive service call

NPR is reporting: Comcast has apologized for a service call that broadcast one of its customer service representatives aggressively repeating questions and avoiding a customer's request to cancel his service.

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Crumbs cupcake shops could re-open some locations

Crumbs cupcake shops could re-open some locations 

Could Crumbs cupcakes be saved by Dippin' Dots?

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Annapolis to Uber: Register as a taxi company

Annapolis to Uber: Register as a taxi company 

The city of Annapolis has ordered Uber, the company behind a popular ride-sharing application, to stop its service in the capital until it registers as a taxi company.

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Pizza Hut launches a cookie pizza

Pizza Hut launches a cookie pizza

Pizza Hut on Monday is rolling out a 8-inch chocolate chip cookie that will be sliced like a pizza -- and delivered like one, if you like.

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Retailers eye Baltimore area for expansion

Retailers eye Baltimore area for expansion

Consumers can expect to see unfamiliar store brands cropping up in the Baltimore area as a handful of retailers eye the market for expansion.

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Crumbs closing all its cupcake shops including three in Baltimore

Crumbs closing all its cupcake shops including three in Baltimore

The Wall Street Journal is reporting: Gourmet cupcake shop Crumbs Bake Shop Inc. said it is closing all stores, including three in the Baltimore area, and ceasing operation following years of financial trouble.

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BGE offers energy-saving tips for summer

BGE offers energy-saving tips for summer

During the summer, your home cooling system accounts for about half of your energy use, BGE says.

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Columbia Whole Foods to open Aug. 20

Columbia Whole Foods to open Aug. 20

The Whole Foods Market located on the downtown Columbia lakefront is set to open on Aug. 20, the grocer announced Tuesday.

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Planet Fitness will open first Baltimore gym Wednesday

Planet Fitness will open first Baltimore gym Wednesday

Planet Fitness, known for a "no judgment" atmosphere, will open its first Baltimore city facility Wednesday.

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Twitter commenters respond to Walmart ad for watermelon during BET Awards

Twitter commenters respond to Walmart ad for watermelon during BET Awards

On Sunday night, Walmart aired a commercial promoting watermelon during the BET Awards, one of the most popular TV programs among African-American households.

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Microsoft store opening Saturday in Towson Town Center

Microsoft store opening Saturday in Towson Town Center

Maryland will get its second Microsoft store on Saturday with an opening at Towson Town Center, the technology giant said Monday.

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Starbucks to add handcrafted sodas

Starbucks Corp. wants to get in with the lunch crowd. The coffee giant announced Monday a new line of handcrafted sodas.

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Nielsen names 14 breakthrough consumer products

Nielsen names 14 breakthrough consumer products

Here is market research company Nielsen's list of 14 breakthrough consumer innovation products, based on products introduced in 2012 that continued to do well in their second year in the market.

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Starbucks price hikes go into effect today

Starbucks price hikes go into effect today

Starbucks Corp is raising prices on some drinks in its U.S. stores starting Tuesday.

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Woman's Industrial Kitchen has closed

Woman's Industrial Kitchen has closed

The Woman's Industrial Kitchen, the most recent incarnation of the beloved restaurant on North Charles Street, has closed its doors.

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New stores announced for Foundry Row

New stores announced for Foundry Row

The developers of the new $140 million, 50-acre Foundry Row shopping center in Owings Mills on Tuesday announced eight tenants for the complex.

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Under Armour to open store in Chicago

Under Armour to open store in Chicago

Under Armour said Tuesday it will open a new store in Chicago next year as the Baltimore-based athletic apparel maker expands its physical footprint.

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Chris Davis signs exclusive memorabilia deal with Fanatics Authentic

Chris Davis signs exclusive memorabilia deal with Fanatics Authentic

Orioles first baseman Chris Davis has signed an exclusive, two-year deal with a new memorabilia division of online sports merchandise retailer Fanatics, which will offer a more than 20-item product line of Davis-inscribed baseballs, signed jerseys and photos.

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Nordstrom to open BaubleBar shops in its stores

Nordstrom to open BaubleBar shops in its stores

Nordstrom has launched a new shop-within-a-shop concept with online jewelry retailer BaubleBar.

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How much we spend on Father's Day gifts [Pictures]

How much we spend on Father's Day gifts [Pictures]

The National Retail Federation released its annual survey of how much those who celebrate Father's Day shell out on gifts for dear old dad. NRF calls it the "smallest of the American gift-giving holidays," but the $12.5 billion expected to be spent is still significant. See how what we spend on neckties, grilling accessories and other gifts breaks down.

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Ben & Jerry's truck to offer free ice cream in Baltimore today

Ben & Jerry's truck to offer free ice cream in Baltimore today

I scream, you scream....

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PF Chang's investigating possible credit card breach

PF Chang's investigating possible credit card breach

PF Chang's is investigating claims of a data breach involving credit and debit card data stolen from restaurant locations in the United States, the restaurant chain said on Tuesday.

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BJ's Wholesale Club planned for Southeast Baltimore

BJ's Wholesale Club planned for Southeast Baltimore

A new BJ's Wholesale Club could open in Southeast Baltimore by the end of next year, said a development firm that has been working to make the area a shopping destination.

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Under Armour hopes to hit its stride in footwear with ClutchFit rollout

Under Armour hopes to hit its stride in footwear with ClutchFit rollout

Under Armour, which has wooed consumers with sweat-wicking T-shirts and other innovations, is banking on a new fabric that conforms to the foot like a second skin to help the company break into the crowded athletic shoe market.

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Puma Store, Journeys Kidz now open at Arundel Mills

Puma Store, Journeys Kidz now open at Arundel Mills

The Puma Store and Journeys Kidz, which had planned summer openings at Arundel Mills, are now open, the mall management said Wednesday.

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Panera Bread to drop artificial additives from its menu

Panera Bread to drop artificial additives from its menu

Panera Bread, the fast casual restaurant chain known for its sandwiches and baked goods, announced today that it will remove artificial additives from its products by 2016. 

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Carter's children's store coming to Yorkridge Shopping Center in Timonium

Carter's children's store coming to Yorkridge Shopping Center in Timonium

Children's apparel retailer Carter's is opening this summer at Yorkridge Shopping Center in Timonium, joining anchors Kohl's, Michaels and MOM's Organic Market.

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$59 Southwest fares really were too good to be true

$59 Southwest fares really were too good to be true

The fares advertised by Southwest Airlines sounded too good to be true: $59 for flights from Atlanta to Los Angeles, Chicago or New York.

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Microsoft stores, lululemon, Sperry coming to Baltimore area malls

Microsoft stores, lululemon, Sperry coming to Baltimore area malls

 Microsoft will open its first permanent specialty stores in Maryland this summer at The Mall in Columbia and Towson Town Center.

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Uber to file long appeal of Maryland proposal to regulate it as taxi operator

Uber to file long appeal of Maryland proposal to regulate it as taxi operator

Uber Technologies still has a lot to say about the Maryland Public Service Commission's plan to regulate it and other popular rideshare companies as taxi operators — and the regulating agency will hear the company out.

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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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