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The last four stores in the Buffalo and Rochester areas that adopted the Martin's Super Food Stores name are switching back to the Tops Markets banner, a reflection of the Tops chain's change in ownership and orientation.The use of the Martin's format at some stores was initiated when Tops was run as part of Giant of Carlisle, Pa., under Ahold's ownership. The Martin's nam…

  The Teamsters union representing newly organized workers at New Era CapCo.'s warehouse in Mobile, Ala., is in contract negotiations with the Buffalo-based company. The Teamsters took the battle to a new level Monday by goingafter New Era's most visible client, Major League Baseball. At a press conference,Teamsters boss Jim Hoffa asked MLB to intervene in the conflic…

   The future of the languishing, former AM&As department store in downtownBuffalo should be clearer in the next two months as city lawyers and theBuffalo Housing Court put pressure on its owners to produce repair plans.    Out-of-town owners New Horizons Acquisitions LLC were slapped with buildingcode violations a year ago and both the court and t…

The final tally for global auto sales shows that General Motors just edged out hard-charging Toyota in 2007 by a whisker. GM sold 9.369 million vehicles and Toyota sold 9.366 million, a difference of 3,000 cars. GM is in the midst of revamping its operations and offerings, pouring money into smaller vehicles and a variety of alternative engines, from hybrids to hydrogen…

Attention, Tops shoppers: Government handouts in aisle 4.    The Amherst Industrial Development Agency on Friday approved $1.575 million in sales tax breaks for Tops Markets LLC, Western New York's No. 1supermarket chain, to help the company with a $22.55 million renovation ofits headquarters.The plan is to bring 140 jobs back to Amherst from out ofstate. The co…

Buffalo Niagara's home sales showed modest growth in 2007, at a time when the national housing market is in a slump. It's not a new trend. The region's housing market has typically followed a slow-growth pattern, removed from the more drastic ups and downs that have occurred in the national market. Local real estate executives say they don't expect to see much of a chang…

  Buffalo residents will have another reason to spend their shopping dollars in the city later this year when Kohl's Corp. opens in Delaware Commons in north Buffalo.    The retail chain is partnering with Benderson Development to build a $3.4 million store on the site of long-vacant Ames Department Store on Delaware Avenue, just south of Hertel Avenue. Koh…

The region's commercial real estate market sounds a lot like its residential market these days -- no dramatic changes, even while some other parts of the country have experienced major upswings or downswings. That's the prevailing view from CB Richard Ellis' Buffalo office, which just released its annual surveys of the market. New space is still being built, notably in th…

  Just when you thought DSL was on the way out, Verizon decides to give ita speed boost. A new tier of DSL service gives download speeds up to 7 megabits per second, more than double the current ceiling.    With the speed boost comes a price boost, to about $40 a month, making the package look similar to cable Internet service.    But it's only a…

Wegmans' decision to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products in its stores has touched off a bit of a debate. Supporters of the move praise Wegmans' move as something they hope will catch on with other retailers. Critics, though, wonder why Wegmans is banning cigarette sales, but not taking the same approach with other items it sells that are criticized as unhe…

With oil at $100 a barrel, maybe it's not a surprise that General Motorscanceled plans for a new eight-cylinder engine at its Tonawanda plant.    Gas prices and tougher U.S. fuel economy standards killed plans for themotor, which was slated for future luxury cars, the company said Thursday.    What bothers critics is that the company continues to sell…

   They say location is key in retailing. Last year it helped if your locationwas somewhere near the Canadian border.    The homegrown consumer may be tapped out, but not those neighborsto the north, who are flocking to U.S. checkout lines.    Despite high gas prices and a lackluster job market, local malls say theyrecorded strong sales duri…

Craft brewers are growing up and getting more businesslike.    That's good for their bottom line … but will it be good for the beer?    Microbrewers have enjoyed a surge of demand for locally produced, fresh brews that provide an alternative to mass market beverages. Their popularity has propelled growth to double-digit rates, even while consumptio…

   For the past two decades, Thursday in the Square in downtown Buffalo,has been a "must do" on the summer entertainment schedule.  But in theSummer of 2007, the 17-week concert series failed to meet projections.    Buffalo Place, the non-profit agency that puts on the shows and pays forthem through sales of beer and food, vows the show …