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Samantha Christmann

Samantha Christmann covers retail for The Buffalo News and writes the Discount Diva column.


Business

North American Breweries, Labatt USA's parent company, will change its name to FIFCO USA. FIFCO stands for Florida Ice and Farm Co. It's also the name of  the Costa Rica-based global beverage company of which stateside beer and alcoholic beverage business North American Breweries is a part. The rebrand is just one of several changes made at the company this year. It …

Business

The Flower Stand, a Southtowns U-pick flower farm, is about to lose its remaining crop of blooms to freezing temperatures in the forecast. Rather than let the flowers die, the farm is giving them away to anyone who wants to go out into the field and cut them. The farm, at Vaughn Street and Route 240 in Springville, will be open from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday. Takers s…

Business

The former Bon-Ton store at 5737 S. Transit Road has been sold. It was one of more than 230 properties belonging to the bankrupt and defunct department store chain that were auctioned off last month. Neither the buyer nor terms of the deal were disclosed, but the sale is expected to close by the end of the year, according to Bill Parness, a spokesman for A&G Real…

Business

The wait for Western New York's first Chick-fil-A restaurant is getting shorter. The restaurant is making progress on construction, though the company still has not released an exact opening date. "We don’t have a confirmed date just yet and still have a goal of opening in Q4. That’s all we can share for now," said Jackie Jags, a Chick-fil-A spokeswoman, by email Tuesda…

Business

Oxford Pennant has teamed up with the Goo Goo Dolls to create a line of limited-edition merchandise commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Buffalo band's landmark album, "Dizzy Up the Girl." The band will be on hand to sign the merchandise from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday. The Goo Goo Dolls Collection includes limited edition T-shirts, enamel pins, custom pennants, sewn …

Business

The Friends of the North Tonawanda Public Library will hold its annual paperback sale next month. Bring a paper bag and fill it for $5, or purchase a Friends of the Library book bag for $4 and fill it for an additional $3. The suggested donation price for single books is $1 apiece. The popular sale will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 17 and from 11 a.m. to …

Business

Wegmans has recalled some of its Food You Feel Good About Original Hummus because it may contain pieces of black plastic. The affected product has a "best before" date of Nov. 14, 2018, and a lot code of 8118262, in the 8-ounce and 32-ounce package. The affected Universal Product Codes, or UPC, are 77890-26213 in the 8-ounce package or 77890-26221 in the 32 ounce. Th…

Business

Cancel your lunch plans. Mississippi Mudds, a restaurant overlooking the Niagara River in the City of Tonawanda, is doing its annual end-of-season inventory sell-off Tuesday. With snow in the forecast, the restaurant will close at the end of the day today until spring. In the meantime, it will sell off the rest of its inventory at extremely discounted prices. Hot dog…

Business

The Old Chapel market has a new addition. The Orange Brick Cafe has opened inside the market, which is housed in the former Ascension Church, 172 Robinson St. in North Tonawanda. It serves a full menu of coffee drinks, smoothies and desserts. It also has a modern seating and lounge area. The $30,000 project got an assist from a $15,000 grant from the Lumber City Deve…

Business

Sears will close its store at the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood, along with Kmart stores in Niagara Falls, West Seneca and Batavia as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which was filed early Monday. Sears' reorganization plan calls for the closure of 142 stores moving forward, at a time when it already is shutting its Eastern Hills Mall store in Clarence in mid-December. …

Local News

Some heavy-hitting prizes are being offered in an online-only fundraiser to benefit the Buffalo Heritage Carousel project planned for Canalside. Up for grabs are VIP Justin Timberlake, Sabres and Kissmas bash tickets. The Justin Timberlake VIP Dream Experience offers two prime tickets to the concert Oct. 28, plus access to a VIP lounge, concert transportation and oth…

Business

Revolver Records will expand with a second location in the Elmwood village next month. The vinyl retailer will take over the former Spoiled Rotten store at 831 Elmwood Ave. on Nov. 1. "We’ve certainly seen a spike in business since Record Theatre closed last year and things have been going well," said owner Phil Machemer. Revolver Records has another location at 1…

Business

Sears is probably about to file for bankruptcy. It’s mind-boggling to think about, considering what a juggernaut the department store once was. At the same time, considering Sears’ poor performance over the years, it’s easy to ask, “What took so long?” J.C. Penney is another stalwart department store that has been notoriously sputtering along over the years. And, …

Business

Some people go to barber school and quietly go cut hair when they're done. Jason Lape went a step further. Sure, he went to barber school. But what Lape did next put a whole new twist on the notion of on-the-job training and demonstrated the power of social media as a marketing tool - even for a fledgling barber still waiting to give his first haircut to a paying cus…

Local News

Rental Assistance Corp. of Buffalo has opened its waitlist for those seeking help to pay rent. The list has been closed for more than five years and will close again next week. RACB administers the City of Buffalo's Section 8 housing program, assisting roughly 5,000 households each month. It recently exhausted its current waitlist, which was five years long. Once the li…