Samantha Christmann, The Buffalo News - Page 61 of 70
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Samantha Christmann

Editor

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

The Small Business Administration will open Disaster Loan Outreach Centers in Erie and Wyoming Counties to assist those affected by the November snow storm.The SBA will be offering one-on-one assistance at the West Seneca Recreation Department’s ice rink building, 1250 Union Road in West Seneca beginning Wednesday through Jan. 13. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday thr…

I’m not usually one for New Year’s resolutions, but I’m considering a few I saw in a recent post on Buzzfeed.com called “19 Mind-Numbingly Easy New Year’s Resolutions for Lazy Slobs.” It included such rousing goals as “Go outside sometimes,” “Go get that thing you dropped under the bed,” and “Get out of bed after your first alarm. Just once. Just to s…

Tops Friendly Markets has formulated a new “price lock guarantee” list, which will kick in Jan. 11. The list includes more than 300 items across several product categories, which will be sold at locked-in, discounted prices until March 7.Items on the new list were chosen according to consumers’ most popular purchases. Consumers’ tendency to seek out healthier items…

Paul J. Kolkmeyer, a developer and former CEO of First Niagara Financial Group, has completed his purchase of five downtown buildings from longtime landlord David L. Sweet.The sale of three of those properties closed in October. The final two – the Rand and Main Court buildings – closed Tuesday for a total of $8.4 million, according to records from the Erie County Cler…

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo vetoed a bill to extend the state’s Brownfield Cleanup Program, an environmental remediation program that has benefited several high-profile redevelopment projects in Western New York.The bill sought to extend the availability of tax credits under the program until March 2017, authorize $300 million in bonding authority for the Superfund program thro…

If you thought the shopping season was over, think again. For Discount Divas and Discount Dudes, the most exciting bargain-hunt of the year has just begun. With lots of folks all shopped out – or financially tapped out – stores are entering their leanest months. To boot, clearance sales will be everywhere.Now, my friends, is the time to pounce. Here’s what to grab.Gi…

When Barb Conlan receives a Christmas gift she doesn’t like, she doesn’t even dream of returning it to the store.“I feel guilty returning stuff, especially when it’s something you know someone saw and thought, “Oh, she would love this!” Conlan said. “Sometimes I’ll even wear it, just because I feel bad.”Knowing someone returned a gift she bought hurts, to…

As shoppers head out for the ‘second shopping season’ - the season of returns - it seems a good time to recall some of our favorite old stores that have long-since closed.The Western New York retail scene continues to evolve with new stores like Cabela’s and Nordstrom Rack, where future generations may make memories of their own. But for now, the rest of us cling to …

Fortunately for parents this year, there is no runaway Tickle-Me-Elmo-type present that has parents scrambling from store to store or scouring the black market for impossible-to-find gifts. But there are plenty of favorites in high demand. Here are the hottest gifts burning up wish lists in Western New York, according to local retailers.1. Beats by Dr. Dre.Made famous by t…

Forget Tiffany’s, Cartier or FAO Schwarz. For many last-minute Christmas shoppers in Western New York, gas stations and convenience stores will be the destination of choice.Despite Christmas commercials that have been airing since September, retailers that opened doors on Thanksgiving, Black Friday sales that started the day after Halloween and marathon extended store ho…

With six children and 13 grandchildren, Betty Nowak does a lot of Christmas shopping. Usually, she’s one of those got-it-together grandmas others envy – the kind who has her presents wrapped and put away by the week after Thanksgiving.This year, however, things have not gone so smoothly. While double-checking her list, she realized there was still some last-minute shop…

Forget how many shopping days are left before Christmas, we're counting down the shopping hours. People start losing their minds right about now, overspending out of fear they won't finish shopping in time for the big day.If you can't find the exact items on your list, don't sweat it. In fact, some of the hardest-to-find items can probably be swapped out for gifts with a b…

Shelves are stuffed to the hilt with toy trucks, baby dolls and science kits at the TreeHouse toy store on Elmwood Avenue. Owner Gaetana Schueckler stacked extra rolls of receipt tape near the cash registers, bulked up the usual amount of caramel popcorn she puts out for customers to snack on, and stuffed the gift wrap station with as much paper, ribbon, tape and cellophan…

I just saw a mom on Facebook freaking out because she had run out of ideas for her family’s Elf on the Shelf – that little doll that stalks your children and reports their behavior to Santa.After years of staging elaborate, Pinterest-sourced scenes for her kids to wake up to (the Elf having a marshmallow fight with Barbie, the elf caught knee-deep in the sugar bowl) h…

Two new craft distilleries are headed for Buffalo this spring, both in the Larkin District. Buffalo Distilling Co. and Tommyrotter Distillery will join a growing list of spirits makers that have set up shop in the city since loosened state regulations have made it easier and cheaper to do so. Buffalo Distilling Co., which has been making bourbon and apple brandy at a Wyom…