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Samantha Christmann

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


Dash’s Market plans to convert the former Budwey’s Supermarket on Kenmore Avenue into a public self-storage facility.Dash’s, which bought the competing market last year, presented a proposal for the storage facility to the University Heights Collaborative Tuesday night.The plan would renovate the existing building to house varying sizes of indoor, air-conditioned storage u…

Flying Bison is getting ready to blow the foam off its new brewery at 840 Seneca St. in Larkinville.The newly constructed manufacturing facility will host a grand opening celebration at noon Saturday with food trucks and live music. The party is open to the public, but normal operations will not begin until Thursday, when the microbrewery officially opens its retail store …

Some things I learned in school: How to dissect a frog without breathing through my nose; how to fake a fever by rubbing a thermometer on my jeans; and how to say “not good” in Spanish.Some things I didn’t learn in high school: how to balance a checkbook, fund my retirement or make my baby-sitting cash last from one gig to the next.Lessons about money are among the most im…

Erie County

Party at our place. Paint and canvas provided. B.Y.O.B.That’s the business model at Painting with a Twist, a new “paint and sip” art studio franchise in Lancaster. At Pinot’s Palette, an East Amherst franchise, the philosophy is similar. But instead of bringing your own bottle of wine or beer, patrons order drinks from an on-premise bar to enjoy while painting their master…

Business

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Halloween may not be until Friday, but that hasn't kept merchants from decking the halls. In a phenomenon known as the "Christmas Creep," retailers begin sowing the Christmas spirit earlier and earlier each year in an effort to maximize sales. It's in full effect across Western New York. Wherever you shop--Tops, Big Lots, B…

Brooks Brothers 346, an offshoot of men’s clothing store Brooks Brothers, will close its location in Eastern Hills Mall.The company is eliminating the line of 346 stores, which sell a less expensive line of clothing than traditional Brooks Brothers apparel. There were 12 Brooks Brothers 346 stores across the country.“While we were fortunate to have the only store in Wester…

Brooks Brothers 346, an offshoot of men’s clothing store Brooks Brothers, will close its location in Eastern Hills Mall. The company is eliminating the line of 346 stores, which sell a less expensive line of clothing than traditional Brooks Brothers apparel. There were 12 Brooks Brothers 346 stores across the country. “While we were fortunate to have the only store in We…

Business

Shakira’s hips don’t lie, and Fisher-Price is counting on her authenticity.In its first celebrity partnership, Fisher-Price has teamed up with Colombian pop star Shakira to design and promote a line of baby products. As the East Aurora company goes after millennial parents – its new target demographic – its market strategy is evolving to better leverage social media and pr…

There’s a product blowing up my newsfeed like never before: Younique’s Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes.If you’re a female and you’re on Facebook, you’ve been flooded with your friends’ breathless testimonials. You’ve seen 100 selfies showing the difference between what their eyelashes looked like before and after trying the miracle mascara.And it does work! I’ve tried it myself…

Business

The Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls unveiled its $71 million expansion Thursday, giving consumers their first look at 175,000 square feet of new shopping space.The mall’s new owners, California-based Macerich, hope the expansion and campus-wide mall makeover will lure Canadians away from their own new outlet mall in Southern Ontario and bring back hometown shoppers that m…

Business

The new wing of stores at Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls will open for business Thursday.The $71 million expansion adds 50 new stores, including American Eagle, Aerie, Asics, Clarks, Crocs, Destination Maternity, Disney, Forever 21, Gold Toe, Helly Hansen, IT’SUGAR, Janie & Jack, Kenneth Cole, Merrell, NY & Co, Perfumania, Perry Ellis, Spencer’s Gifts, Steve Madden, Swar…

Cash, credit card or iPhone?Wegmans will accept Apple Pay, a form of digital payment, at its stores.“It requires installation of new payment terminals at all of the registers,” Michele S. Mehaffy, a Wegmans spokeswoman, said Tuesday. “The rollout went smoothly yesterday. By Thursday, all of our Buffalo stores will have the terminals to allow for customers to use Apple Pay.…

Business

Answering the prayers of busy consumers across Western New York, four-store grocery chain Dash’s Market will soon offer click-and-collect curb-side grocery pickup. Tops and Wegmans are also considering the concept.“It’s only a matter of time before it becomes ubiquitous,” said Burt Flickinger III, a grocery expert and managing director at Strategic Resource Group.Dash’s wi…

Business

Call it the Battle Below Niagara Falls. After one season, both sides claim victory.This summer marked the first time two tour boat companies operated on opposite sides of the gorge: Maid of the Mist Steamship Co. on the American side, and Hornblower Niagara Cruises on the Canadian side. And it was a knockdown, drag-out fight for both of them.Maid of the Mist, which has bee…

It’s fall in Western New York, and there are more free, fun family activities than you can shake a gourd at.We’re in the sweet spot: The weather is neither too hot nor too cold, we’ve settled into our school schedules and the craziness of the holidays has not yet begun. Seize some family fun!• Williamsville Halloween Party. Join the Halloween parade, followed by a costume …