Samantha Christmann, The Buffalo News - Page 2 of 76

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Samantha Christmann

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


Toys 'R' Us is hoping a new app will bring customers back into its brick-and-mortar stores the way Pokemon Go brought people out of their houses last summer. And it's trying out the experiment at its Amherst store. The store, at 3030 Sheridan Drive, is one of 23 Toys 'R' Us locations across the country piloting Play Chaser, an in-store, augmented reality experience …

Carubba Collision, a family-owned auto body shop chain based in Buffalo, has expanded with the acquisition of three properties across New York State. The new shops are the former Vern's Auto Body near Albany, a former Westinghouse plant in Utica, and  near the Destiny USA shopping mall in Syracuse. Carubba now has 17 locations throughout Western and Central New York…

Tara Ellis has been named president and CEO at the Food Bank of WNY by its board of directors. Ellis has been president and CEO of both Meals on Wheels for Western New York and the Meals on Wheels Foundation of Western New York since 2012. She will take over at the Food Bank Oct. 23. The Food Bank of Western New York gathers and distributes food to 341 different food…

Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England has closed on an acquisition that includes a Town of Tonawanda Coca-Cola plant and its Western New York territory. The deal eliminated manufacturing at the Tonawanda plant, which ceased bottling in mid-May. Sales and distribution at the plant, "remain fully active," according to Nick Martin, a spokesman for Coca-Cola Co…

Ten Thousand Villages, a retailer of fair-trade, handmade gifts and crafts, will open on Elmwood Avenue. The store is planned for 736 Elmwood Ave., in the former longtime location of Urban Leisure and Luxury. A grand opening is scheduled for Oct. 13. It will be the second location for the company in the Buffalo Niagara market. Its other store is located at 5596 Main …

You'll be able to order groceries online from Whole Foods and have them delivered by Instacart – just not yet. The service was originally scheduled to roll out last Tuesday, according to a notice it sent out to Instacart shoppers in Western New York. The notice was a heads up to shoppers informing them to keep a lookout for new orders from the Whole Foods store on Sh…

Tops Markets is urging customers to join it as it helms a "boo-it-forward" campaign across Western New York. The Amherst-based grocer has begun a "Booing Blitz" in which it drops "boo kits," or baskets full of snacks, candy and other treats on random doorsteps in the Buffalo market. Recipients are encouraged to assemble their own baskets and "boo" at least two other peo…

When Instacart first hit Western New York in August, it turned a lot of local, hardworking hustlers’ heads. Good jobs can be hard to come by here. The company was looking for “independent contractors” to shop for groceries and deliver them to customers who ordered them through the Instacart app. People looking to supplement their income dove at the gig. The cha…

Cricket Wireless, a discount cellphone and wireless coverage store, has opened a new store in Hamburg. The store, an authorized retailer, is located at 5999 South Park Ave. It's owned by Unicom of WNY LLC. It's the eighth Cricket store to open locally this year. Others have opened on Niagara Street and Main Street, as well as in Cheektowaga, Depew, Lancaster and William…

Some people lust after designer bags, take expensive trips to the salon and are only happy with the latest luxury car. Personally, I splurge on a new purse from Target once a year, wax my own eyebrows and plan to drive my eight-year-old Prius – the car I gave birth in, mind you – another 100,000 miles at least. For me to covet something, it has to be really good. It…

Summer is over. The last of the swimsuits are on clearance racks. And stores have begun selling ornaments, artificial trees and other Christmas merchandise. Yes, Christmas. When it comes to the holidays, some national chains have no chill. Macy's has started decking the halls as if Santa were coming down the chimney tonight. Big Lots put out its Christmas wares we…

Looking for work? Seasonal hiring has begun at many local retailers, as stores begin stocking up on workers to help with the busy holiday shopping season. -- Macy's announced it will hire roughly 80,000 seasonal employees to work its Macy's and Bloomingdale's stores, call centers, distribution centers and online fulfillment centers across the country for this year's hol…

ALDI will unveil a new look at its Jamestown store next week. The store, at 930 Fairmount Ave., will reopen Wednesday with the company's latest decor and layout concept after being closed for renovations. ALDI has committed to investing $1.6 billion in 1,300 stores across the country by 2020. Improvements include airy ceilings and natural lighting as well as expan…

Royal Car Wash, has opened it first location in Lancaster and is offering unlimited free washes until Oct. 13. The car wash is located at 6645 Transit Road, between the Cracker Barrel restaurant and Salvatore's Grand Hotel. Royal plans to add another four locations in the Buffalo Niagara market over the next five years. The company opened its first location more t…

A game room in Lockport has added an escape room. Casual Dragon Games has added "Dr. Gorzinski's Lab", a live-action game in which players are given an hour to solve puzzles, find the cure for a terrorist toxin and escape the room. The game room, at 136 Walnut St., sells board games, card games and role-playing games, as well as miniatures games, in which players sim…