Samantha Christmann, The Buffalo News
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Samantha Christmann

Editor

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

Tops Markets has teamed up with a local farm to produce microgreens – shoots of leafy vegetables that are picked just as the first leaves have developed. Tops has signed an exclusive partnership with Fulmer Valley Farms in the Southern Tier to sell the produce under the "Pick'd" banner. The Andover-based farm grows the produce hydroponically, then delivers it t…

The changing face of retail has cost Western New York thousands of jobs in recent years. Now, those same retail changes are bringing some jobs back. Brick-and-mortar retailers have closed more than 50 stores in the Buffalo Niagara market since last year, taking a slew of retail jobs with them. But other jobs are beginning to surface as a result of the consumer preferen…

Amazon is hoping job seekers will find its hiring bonanza a prime opportunity next week. The online retailing juggernaut will hold open interviews next Wednesday to fill jobs at its distribution center in Lancaster. It's part of a larger Jobs Day initiative to hire 50,000 employees at its hiring hubs across the country. The interviews will be held from 8 a.m. to noon…

Studio Hue, a company that leads Buffalo-themed arts and crafts projects at parties, will open a brick-and-mortar location this fall. Similar to the "paint and sip" concept, where patrons learn to paint in a cocktail party setting, Studio Hue's art instructors walk participants through craft projects. It books lessons in private homes, restaurants and bars, where partic…

Wild Birds Unlimited, a retail franchise specializing in regional backyard bird feeding, will open in East Amherst Aug. 5. The store is located at 8485 Transit Road. In addition to selling high-quality bird food, bird feeders and feeding supplies, it will sometimes host educational events. The franchisee is Clarence resident and bird watcher Angel Swann. Another loca…

It's the end of an era on Elmwood Avenue. Urban will close its doors Aug. 27 after 25 years on the Elmwood strip. The name of the store, at 736 Elmwood Ave., has changed over the years to correspond with its changing retail focus. When it opened in 1992, it was called Urban Surfer after the surf and skate gear and clothing it sold. When it shifted its focus to snowboard…

Amid other changes, two new stores are coming to Walden Galleria. BoxLunch, a novelty gift shop and apparel store, will open by the end of summer. The store will fill 1,798 square feet on the upper level near J.C. Penney. Similar to Hot Topic or Spencer's, BoxLunch sells licensed and non-licensed pop culture merchandise such as "Game of Thrones" T-shirts, Harry Potte…

Buffalo Canvas opened its doors at 1882 Hertel Ave. earlier this month. The wall art and gift shop is the retail arm of an art and design company that has been in business for five years.  It provides fine art, printing services, photography, design and installation. Its clientele include photographers, artists, commercial and small businesses, interior designers and …

Gymboree, a children's clothing retailer, will close its store at Walden Galleria. Crazy 8, a children's retail brand owned by Gymboree, will also close stores at the Boulevard Mall and Walden Galleria. No closing dates have been announced, but liquidation sales began Tuesday. San Francisco-based Gymboree is closing 350 stores across the nation as part of a bankruptc…

Every meaningful piece of clothing Kathy Forster has ever bought has come from J.C. Penney in Dunkirk's D&F Plaza – her sons' baptism gowns, their communion suits, the shirt and tie her 18-year-old wore to his first job interview. It's where Dehlia Wysocki of Cassadaga always turns first for clothes that suit her age. Now that it's closing, she's not sure what she…

It wasn't the first crack of a bat in Ellicott Creek Park in Amherst, but it was the first official crack of a cricket bat in the Erie County parks system. The India Association of Buffalo tried out the county's first and only cricket pitch Sunday afternoon. Until then, the group's 35 teams had played on parking lots near schools and apartment complexes. But roughly sev…

Sandy Estabrook is a 75-year-old Uber driver who splits his time between Florida and his wife’s hometown of Wilson. He finds driving for Uber and Lyft the perfect hobby for a retired person because it gets him out of the house, he gets to meet new people and he earns a few bucks to boot. He could earn more money if he were more aggressive and worked at night, he said,…

Many Western New Yorkers knew their faces before they ever knew what Sonic tasted like. Years before Sonic Drive-In appeared in the Buffalo Niagara market, the quick-serve chain's TV commercials whipped up robust cravings among Western New Yorkers. This weekend, customers can meet that commercial's stars and personally thank them for their introduction to Cherry Limeaids a…

The bridal gown is the very first thing Amanda Stawarz bought when she got engaged several months ago. Her phone was flooded with messages from friends when news broke Thursday that national bridal retailer Alfred Angelo had closed Thursday night without notice. Her three bridesmaids eked out $190 each for their gowns and have not yet received them from the Niagara F…

Rolly Pollies of Western New York, a children's gym, has expanded to Hertel Avenue. The company offers camps, special-needs play, birthday parties and classes in dance, gym, music, art and practical play. It also has "open play" days where families may walk in without an appointment and children may play on the gym's equipment. The urban version of the fitness and pl…