Samantha Christmann, The Buffalo News
print logo

Samantha Christmann

Editor

I cover retail for the Buffalo News and write the Discount Diva column each Monday.

Dew drops on roses and whiskers on kittens. Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens. Mud masks and Band-Aids and bulbs without strings. Here are a few of my favorite things: • Blue Sky Wireless Light Bulb. Yeah, I know, leave it to me to get excited about a light bulb. But hear me out. This thing is awesome. It’s not just a light bulb. It’s a dance party wai…

The Kmart store at 2801 W. State St. in Olean is the latest casualty of retail downsizing. The store will close in mid-September, according to its parent company Sears Holdings. The store will begin a liquidation sale Thursday "We have been strategically and aggressively evaluating our store space and productivity, and have accelerated the closing of unprofitable sto…

The Queen City Pop Up's latest iteration is now open for business. This year's retailers are Baskets by Ms. Regina, which sells themed gift baskets; specialty food retailer Najah Sauces and Ten Thousand Villages, which sells fair-trade housewares, jewelry and accessories from around the world. The temporary local market is located at 403 Main St. across from Lafayette S…

Uber and Lyft will make their long-awaited entrance into Western New York on Thursday and when they do, they're going to need drivers. The ride-hailing services, which use apps to connect drivers with customers looking for a ride, have already received thousands of applications from would-be drivers across the state. But there's plenty to know before you hop in the c…

Cricket Wireless has opened a new franchised store at 4251 Transit Road in Clarence. The store is the fifth to open this year, after ones that opened in Depew in February, Cheektowaga and Main Street in March, and Niagara Street in April. They're part of an aggressive expansion effort launched by Cricket president John Dwyer last year, to add Cricket-branded authorized …

Family Dollar Stores will open a new Buffalo location next week. The discount store will open June 29 and celebrate a grand opening July 1. The newest store will be located at 127 Skillen St. Family Dollar has 8,000 stores across the country, including more than 50 in Western New York.      

Uncle G's Ice Cream has changed hands, but those hands have a lot of experience scooping ice cream in Niagara County. Rachel Lindemann has bought the popular Pendleton ice cream shop. Her family owns Jamie's Ice Cream in North Tonawanda. Lindemann hopes to add indoor seating as well as a savory menu, which would include hamburgers, hot dogs and french fries. Uncle…

Henry James said, “Summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” Also beautiful is the fact that I no longer have to spend the two hours between work and bedtime commuting, doing homework and making dinner. School is out, bedtime is optional and there’s plenty of time to make summer magic with my family. It…

Waterford, known for its high-end crystal and luxury housewares, opened a store at the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls on Friday. The outlet store's designer collections include lines by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay and supermodel Miranda Kerr. In addition to its own brand, the store will sell goods from Wedgewood, Royal Doulton and Royal Albert; each of which is known…

Wegmans now delivers – but not to Western New York. The Rochester-based supermarket has partnered with grocery delivery app Instacart to deliver groceries in Northern Virginia and Maryland. Next, the service will roll out in southern New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the Boston area. Wegmans does not have any immediate plans to launch the service in New York. "We co…

United Pet Group has expanded a recall of its dog chews, which may have come in contact with sanitizer. Customers complained that the chews had an "unpleasant odor" according to the recall notice, and some reported pet illnesses that included diarrhea and vomiting. Manufacturers were found to be using a quaternary ammonium compound mixture – an anti-microbial chemica…

It's the age-old garage sale paradox. The seller thinks his or her treasures are worth much more than a buyer is willing to pay, and the buyer thinks the seller is crazy, asking way too much for his or her used stuff. To the seller, that Coach purse is a $200 stunner in perfect condition. To the buyer, it's a not-quite-their-style accessory that once hung perilously…

Tops Markets said Thursday it will offer more promotions in the face of first-quarter losses. The Amherst-based grocer blamed a lull in store traffic, price deflation and reduced federal funding of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for its 3.4 percent decline in comparable same-store sales in the first quarter. "The first quarter certainly had its challe…

Retailers are being shuffled at Walden Galleria to make room for the highly anticipated Zara store. White House Black Market, currently on the first floor between H&M and Pottery Barn, will move, as will Free People, next door. Banana Republic, located next to Free People, will close June 26. Upstairs is space vacated by Aeropostale. White House Black Market had spa…

Checkers restaurant will open a new location in Depew at the corner of Transit Road and Walden Avenue. It's the first Checkers restaurant for franchisee and Clarence resident Meghna Malik, who expects to open several more in Western New York over the next few years. She's hoping to open by the end of the month. It will employ up to 50 people. Checkers has four stores…