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Samantha Christmann

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


Business

Four months after opening its first store in New York City, Wegmans is giving Manhattanites a taste of its grocery offerings that have driven Brooklyn wild. The store has started delivering groceries to every ZIP code in Manhattan and all five boroughs of New York, via Instacart contractors who fulfill orders at the Brooklyn stores. Because of the longer, more conges…

Business

It's customer appreciation time again at Ted's Hot Dogs. To celebrate 93 years in business, the Buffalo chain will discount the price of its regular hot dogs to 93 cents Wednesday. They usually run $3.29. The deal is available at all Ted's locations. There are nine in the Buffalo Niagara market and one in Arizona. Ted's Hot Dogs was founded by Greek immigrant Theo…

Business

Better late than never. Roll Up the Rim could be starting soon. Tim Hortons managers in the Buffalo Niagara market said the sweepstakes will return to stores next month – one said March 11. A corporate spokesperson declined to confirm that date, and Tim Hortons' parent company Restaurant Brands International has not said publicly when the promotion would return. This…

Business

Tim Hortons usually rolls out its wildly popular Roll Up the Rim promotion by the first week of February, offering sweepstakes tabs on medium or larger hot beverage cups. But the contest, which typically runs through April, is nowhere to be found. So what's going on? Turns out, the company has already given away too much free stuff. Tim Hortons' loyalty rewards pr…

Business

Amazon offered to clean my house this morning. I went to its homepage and there was an ad for maid services vetted by Amazon and fulfilled by a third party. Price is usually Amazon's strong suit – not so here. The rate they quoted me for my ZIP code was nearly three times what I pay a small, locally owned company now, and it didn't cover as much. If I wanted a "deep …

Business

Some Spectrum customers are not happy with the way the company is handling credits for its widespread fiber optic network outage that happened over the weekend. While the company will credit your next bill if you were affected by the outage, you're going to have to work for it. Instead of just automatically crediting the hundreds of thousands of Western New Yorkers a…

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Payless ShoeSource closed its more than 2,000 locations across the country last year. Gymboree closed 800 stores. DressBarn closed 650. Together, Chico's, GameStop and others closed thousands more. Retailer closings happen so frequently that "retail apocalypse" is a household phrase. But if brick-and-mortars are closing so swiftly, why are sales tax collections up? …

Business

Spectrum has restored all services in Western New York, according to a company spokesperson. The company blamed Friday's winter storms for damage to multiple areas of Spectrum's fiber optic network. The damage affected fiber from the company's redundancy path, which is supposed to serve as backup for services. Storm-related damage made it difficult for workers to acc…

Business

It's about that time, people. You've got fewer than 10 weeks left to file your income taxes. There is lots of help out there waiting for you, and much of it is free. Yes, some of it is income based, but not all of it. Here are some options. IRS Free File Online. The Internal Revenue Service offers free federal and state online tax prep software to households with …

Business

The Buffalo Niagara market will hang onto its last two Macy's department stores, at least for now. The Walden Galleria and Boulevard Mall stores have dodged another bullet: They were not included on a list of 30 stores slated for closure that Macy's released Wednesday as part of its initial round of closings. The chain has said it will close a fifth of its stores ove…

Business

If you like drinking beer and throwing axes, you'll soon have another place to do both indoors. Hatchets & Hops will open a second Buffalo location at 68 Tonawanda St. next month, in the Frizlen Group Architects' Black Rock Freight House. The project has 35 residential units in the former New York Central Freight House rail depot. The bar has a hatchet throwing r…

Business

Dunkin' fans in North Tonawanda have held vigil ever since its Meadow Drive store was closed by a fire nearly two years ago. After promising to rebuild a bigger and better store to replace that location, Dunkin' has finally confirmed it will not reopen. "The franchisee has informed us that the Dunkin’ restaurant located at Meadow Drive in North Tonawanda will no long…

Business

Hi, I'm here to talk to you about your car's extended warranty. Actually, I'm here to talk to you about the phone call you get every day about your car's extended warranty. The car warranty scam has been going around for years, but it has really revved up lately. It goes like this: You get a call saying your car warranty is about to expire, but that you can pay a …

Business

My younger brother Joey married up. Big time. The annoying dweeb who has been a colossal pain in my dupa for the past 36 years somehow landed a kind, loving, intelligent woman named Tayra who is gorgeous inside and out. I know, I don't get it either. The thing about Tayra is that she is calm. That's the only way to describe her. She exudes peace. Watching her and …

Business

An Elmwood Avenue boutique will close after 5 years. Red Siren, at 976 Elmwood Ave., will close its doors, the company announced on its Facebook page. The clothing store opened in the Shops at HarborCenter in 2015 but relocated to Elmwood Avenue near Bidwell Avenue in 2017 when HarborCenter took out its small section of retail shops along Canalside. Owner Sharon R…