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Samantha Christmann

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


Local News

June 1, 1934 – Nov. 11, 2019 Joseph T. Ippolito, a barber for half a century who owned a popular barbershop in Buffalo's University Heights neighborhood, died Monday in Absolut Care of East Aurora after a lengthy illness. He was 85. Mr. Ippolito had a hard time giving up barbering, and his clients had a hard time giving up their barber. At age 62, Mr. Ippolito tri…

Local News

A train derailment left three tanker cars on their sides in Niagara Falls Saturday afternoon. At 3:57 p.m., the Niagara County Sheriff's Office called the Niagara Falls Fire Department about three tanker cars that had derailed near a service road by a Wendy's restaurant at 6020 Porter Ave. A fourth car was derailed but upright. All four cars were filled with butane. …

Business

D'Avolio Kitchen has opened a space at Premier Gourmet on Maple Road in Amherst. The restaurant has D'Avolio's full menu, which includes artisanal pizzas, salads, antipasti and sandwiches. It's prepared in an open kitchen next to an expanded dining space. Customers can place orders online, in person or via smartphone and will receive a text message when their order is r…

Business

There are two types of people in Western New York: those who grumble when the snow piles up and those who celebrate. Yes, snow means slower commutes and early morning shoveling. But it also means swooshing down the slopes and carving tracks in fresh powder. So how much longer will you have to wait before you can strap on your skis or snowboard? And what kind of start…

Business

Chances are, you've cut the cable cord and moved to a streaming device, as 59% of New Yorkers have, according to consulting firm WestMonroe. Feels good to be (sort of) free from the cable company you hate so much, right? (You are probably still shackled to its internet.) But now comes your next challenge: choosing a streaming service from among the roughly 20 bazillion …

Business

Sears has decided it can survive without Western New York. But can the McKinley Mall survive without Sears? McKinley was already struggling before Thursday's confirmation its Sears store will close in February. Sears makes up 20% of the mall's leased space. The mall, in financial straits, has seen a slew of closures, including major anchors Macy's and Bon-Ton. And enclo…

Business

There are Christmas carols on the radio. Black Friday deals have been out since before Halloween. The "Christmas creep" has been extra creepy this year. Like it or not, the holiday shopping season is already underway. Shoppers surveyed in early October said they will spend $1,048 this year, according to the National Retail Federation's annual survey of 7,782 people. Tha…

Business

For the first time in 90 years, Western New York will be without a Sears department store. The Sears store at McKinley Mall will close by February, Sears said Thursday. The store's closing sale will begin on Dec. 2. The closing of the McKinley store will wipe the iconic chain off the local map and will leave the struggling McKinley Mall with a giant vacancy – the thi…

Business

When it comes to the sacrifices military families make to protect our country and way of life, a food freebie is the least we can do. But it's a nice way for companies to thank past and present service members. Several restaurants will offer complimentary fare Monday to active duty and veteran military members. Each deal requires proof of service, such as a military …

Business

Move over, CBD, there's a new leaf in town – and this one is more controversial. Buffalo just got its first retail store dedicated to the sale of kratom – a Southeast Asian plant that has been used for centuries as a painkiller, mood lifter and energy booster. American consumers are increasingly using kratom for those same purported benefits, and it is rising in popu…

Business

No shopping trip with your kids would be complete without them finding some random junk and asking you to buy it for them. I tell them they can have it if they want it – as long as they pay for it with their own money. That usually puts an end to that. But I was particularly proud of how my Sloane, 7, turned that offer down recently. It was a small stuffed dog and…

Business

Upstate Niagara Cooperative has acquired Byrne Dairy's milk bottling facility and dairy beverage distribution centers. The acquisition includes Byrne Dairy's milk plant in Syracuse, as well as distribution centers in Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Rochester, Utica and Watertown. Upstate will also license the Byrne Dairy brand for use on dairy beverages, adding it to th…

Business

Rocky's Big City Games has closed at Eastern Hills Mall. The arcade games have been sold to a local buyer and were being moved out this week. Eastern Hills Mall has a tenant ready to replace Rocky's, which it will announce Nov. 1. The new tenant is also entertainment-related. It's not the first arcade and bar to vacate Eastern Hills Mall. Rocky's replaced the form…

Business

Some people hate when companies jump the gun on Christmas, getting into the holiday spirit even before Halloween. This might be an exception. Perry's Ice Cream's seasonal holiday flavors are already hitting shelves at Dash's Market, Tops, Wegmans and Shurfine. Hot Cocoa is back after selling beyond expectations last year. It was launched for winter in 2018, but so…

Business

If you haven't noticed, there's a war raging between baby boomers and millennials. Baby boomers think millennials are entitled and lazy. Millennials think baby boomers are entitled and selfish. Nowhere is the contrast more stark than during a job search. When millennials have a hard time getting a decent job or buying a house, (some) baby boomers assume they're ju…