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Samantha Christmann

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


Have you heard about that new tax prep firm, Cannibal, Cannibal & Cannibal? They charge an arm and a leg.I’m sorry, I have no idea how to make taxes funny. But I do know how to make tax prep cheap. Here are some options.IRS FreeFile. Anyone can file their taxes for free using the IRS’s free online tax forms. But if you make less than $58,000 a year, you’ll get matched up w…

Business

Sunday is the big day, when 110 million people will have their eyes glued to the TV, watching the action and praying for a win.There also will be a football game.Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest day of the year for advertisers. It’s the one day consumers – young and old, male and female – watch commercials for products from deodorant to soft drinks and beer.That captive, d…

Sunday is the big day. Millions of people will have their eyes glued to the TV, watching the action unfold and praying for a win. There will also be a football game. Super Bowl Sunday is the only day of the year consumers wait with bated breath to see  advertisements about deodorant and soft drinks, watching them closely and willingly. It's that captive consumer audience…

Business

Marshawn Lynch didn’t want to make any statements during the Super Bowl media day Tuesday, but he did end up making a fashion statement.The “Beast Mode” hat Lynch wore during his much-publicized, “I’m just here so I won’t get fined” press conference has completely sold out – and fans are clamoring for more.The hats were made exclusively by Buffalo’s New Era Cap Co. for sal…

Business

A struggling plaza in East Aurora will soon get new life with the addition of a discount clothing chain store.T.J. Maxx will occupy part of the long-vacant, former Ames department store in Aurora Village Shopping Center, commonly called the Grey Street Plaza.“We’re thrilled to confirm that T.J. Maxx is coming to East Aurora,” said Eric Recoon, vice president of development…

Business

After five straight quarters of disappointing sales and a holiday season unworthy of celebration, Bryan G. Stockton resigned from his post as chairman and CEO at Mattel on Monday. Christopher A. Sinclair, who has been on the company’s board of directors since 1996, was named the company’s chairman and interim CEO.“We are not happy with our financial results for the quarter…

It’s time to kill the stereotype that only the feeble-minded, or the elderly, or the feeble-minded elderly fall prey to scam artists.That misconception makes people feel ashamed and embarrassed when they do fall victim, and prevents them from coming forward. Consumers lost a total of $1.6 billion to scams last year, according to the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sent…

Business

Buffalonian Christopher Scott imagined how magical it would be if kids could wake up on Christmas morning to find Santa’s snowy footprints left behind on their living room floors, showing where the big guy had emerged from the chimney to fill stockings and put presents under the tree. So Scott came up with a locally made product – fake snow particles, a boot-print-shaped s…

Business

When Gaetana and David Schueckler extended their TreeHouse Toy Store’s business hours during the Christmas shopping season, they had to alter the information on the store’s website along with five other places on the Web to ensure that people Googling the store would get the right information. They also had to update each of the store’s social media accounts, the store’s m…

Shoppers in Western New York love to debate which mall is the region’s best. Walden Galleria and the Fashion Outlets have their fans, while others are fiercely loyal to the Boulevard, Eastern Hills and McKinley malls.It’s true that all malls were not created equal, but not everyone knows that almost all of our malls fit into different classifications – making any compariso…

Business

Grocery shoppers are beginning to sour on sugar – so Wegmans is working to reduce how much of the refined stuff is in its private-label foods.Wegmans said it is not trying to dictate how people eat. Rather, it is responding to what consumers have already demonstrated they want in the products they buy.The move also helps the company prepare for new sugar labeling requireme…

Since my kids were newborns, I’ve taken them out for strolls, even in the dead of winter.A pediatrician once explained to me how important it is to get kids out into the fresh air, even when it’s cold, and the kids have always loved it. As long as they’re bundled up all snuggly, it’s not too windy and the temperatures aren’t significantly below freezing, we’ll even hit the…

Business

Pete Augustine and Christopher Koch had been close friends since they were teenagers. Over the years, their friendship only grew stronger.As adults, they began their careers side by side at New Era Cap Co., the hat maker founded by Koch’s great-grandfather. Augustine joined New Era in 1990, the same year now-CEO Koch became vice president of sales. The two moved up the ran…

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid has officially gone live, so if you need help paying for college, the clock is ticking. FAFSA applications aren’t due until June 30, but some funds are available on a first come, first served basis, so get cracking.While you’re thinking about paying for college, it’s a good time to really educate yourself on the risks of student…

Amherst

The Boulevard Mall will replace its food court with a full-size Dick’s Sporting Goods store, but the mall’s popular children’s play area will not disappear. And two current, but undisclosed, restaurants will relocate elsewhere in the mall.Dick’s signed its lease with the mall Monday to build a 55,000-square-foot, full-service store on the site of what is now the mall’s foo…