Shop-O-Matic


Category: Shopping News (152)

Lauren Tannehill celebrates opening of Sawgrass Mills Fashion Row on Thursday


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Just in time for holiday shopping, the world’s largest outlet mall gets larger.

Sawgrass Mills in Sunrise is set to celebrate the recently opened 140,000-square-foot expansion with a “Fashion So Sweet” shopping party at 6 p.m. Thursday.

The new wing at the Simon property, known as Fashion Row, is anchored by the largest Calvin Klein outlet in the country, an uber-hot Steve Madden shoe store, DKNY Company Store and a MaxStudio outlet, among other retailers.

Lauren Tannehill, wife of Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill will get the party started as a DJ spins and cocktails and nibbles are served. There will be exclusive promotions at the new stores and a coupon book offering $500 in savings will be available for a small fee. The first 150 to RSVP to Sawgrass Mills Facebook page get an exclusive gift from Calvin Klein.

Tannehill tells us all about the event and talks about life in South Florida in an exclusive SouthFlorida.com interview.

“It’s an exciting event,” Tannehill said. “They’ve added a Steve Madden, which I love. They’re also undergoing a huge expansion for Forever 21, which is a huge hit at any mall. I'll be wearing an outfit from MaxStudio."

The event benefits the nonprofit Emerge Broward, a nonprofit a Leadership Broward Foundation program.

“Fashion So Sweet is a great way for us to celebrate all of the exciting new additions enhancing Sawgrass Mills’ unique shopping experience,” said Joellyn Fellmeth, the mall’s director of marketing, in a release.

If you go
Sawgrass Mills’ “Fashion So Sweet” starts at 6 p.m. Thursday at Fashion Row (between Bed Bath & Beyond and the Colonnade Outlets) at 12091 W. Sunrise Blvd., Sunrise. 954-846-2350. SawgrassMills.com.

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H&M opening flagship store in Miami Beach on Thursday


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H&M is set to open its flagship store in Miami Beach at noon on Thursday.

Hennes & Mauritz's new 24,000-square-foot space will open at 551 Lincoln Road in inside the historic art deco Lincoln Theatre.

H&M is celebrating by offering the first 500 shoppers in line a "Access to Fashion Pass" valued from $10 to $500 and also will offer steals on clothes for women and men. The two-floor space and also will carry special top designer collections and "shop-in-shop" accessories.

“We are thrilled to finally open our flagship store in Miami Beach,” says Daniel Kulle, U.S. President for H&M, said in a release. “Opening in such a historic location will be one of our proudest U.S. expansion moments to date. We have worked closely with the Miami Beach Historic Preservation Society to protect the iconic nature of this beautiful space while adding the excitement of H&M’s high fashion and quality collections. ”

The Swedish retailer also has a store in The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens and is set to soon open a third 24,000-square-foot store in Aventura Mall.

Hours at the Miami Beach store will be 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays.

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Details on Target's online holiday price-match guarantee


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For the first time, Target will offer a holiday price-match guarantee that includes online big box retailers Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy and Toys R Us, the company announced.

Beginning Nov. 1 through Dec. 16, the Minneapolis-based retailer will price-match select merchandise offered online from big-box retailers. The guarantee also include purchases made on Target.com.

If you find the item for less, get the difference refunded by showing the online price on mobile devices or printed pages from competitor websites listed above at the service desk. Online pricing excludes Nov. 22-26. Also, Amazon third-party competitors are excluded, also. The offer is one online price match per identical item per customer.


Also beginning Nov. 1 through Dec. 24, Target will offer the a low-price guarantee on items in competitor's printed ads and catalogs on identical items, brand names, quantity and model number. It also extends the offer to items already purchased at Target stores and on Target.com

Click here for the details on the new policy.

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Brooks Brothers opens at Town Center in Boca Raton


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Brooks Brothers has opened a new store at Town Center at Boca Raton.

The luxury fashion retailer's new 7,400-square-foot retail space offers classically styled casual and business apparel and accessories for men, women and children.

Store hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and Noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays.

This is the chain's fourth South Florida location, joining stores on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, at the Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens and at Bal Harbour Shops in Miami.


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Trader Joe's set to open in South Florida


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Foodies and fans of Trader Joe's will be stocking up on bottles of “Two Buck Chuck” and gourmet goodies when the first South Florida store opens next year.

The California-based grocer announced plans for a 13,500-square-foot store in Pinecrest, at 9205 S. Dixie Highway, though no date was given. The chain with a loyal, cult-like following does not have immediate plans to open in Broward or Palm Beach counties.

“We consider ourselves a neighborhood grocery store, and Pinecrest and South Florida are a perfect fit with lots of foodies,” spokeswoman Alison Mochizuki said of the store near Dadeland Mall in south Miami-Dade County.

The first Florida Trader Joe’s arrived in Naples in 2010. Since then, it expanded to Sarasota on Sept. 7 and will be in Gainesville later this year. A Tallahassee store also will debut in 2013.

“Gainesville, Pinecrest and Tallahassee are the only Florida stores scheduled in our two-year plan at this time,” she said.

The boutique grocery chain offers one-of-a-kind gourmet fare and an array of organic foods at value prices. Shoppers snap up snacks such as Wasabi Roasted Seaweed and Charles Shaw Wines, nicknamed “Two Buck Chuck” because bottles go for $1.99-$3.79, depending on the state. Trader Joe’s has sold 6 million bottles in the past 10 years.

“Eighty percent of what we sell is under private label and is free of artificial flavors, colors and preservatives,” Mochizuki said.

Stores are typically decorated with rustic, cedar-planked walls, and staffers in Hawaiian shirts hand out free samples, adding to the festive atmosphere.

“That’s fantastic news they are coming into Pinecrest,” says Raphael Clemente, executive director of the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority. “It tells me they are in the area, and hopefully we will be next.”

The authority has been wooing the chain to open in downtown West Palm Beach, he said.
“We made a video called, ‘What Would You Trade for a Trader Joe’s’ this spring. It was a fun, grassroots way to get Trader Joe’s attention,” Clemente said. “They said we were on their radar and we are in their future plans but not in their immediate expansion plans.”

There have been rumors the grocer has been scouting locations in Palm Beach Gardens at PGA Plaza, on the southwest corner of PGA Boulevard and Prosperity Farms Road.

“I’ve heard those rumors about Palm Beach Gardens, too. I guess we’ll have to see who gets one first,” Clemente said. “Everyone wants one in their city.”

The Naples and Sarasota stores have been attracting shoppers and tourists from South Florida. Nearly 3,000 shoppers a day were visiting the Naples store, the chain said.

Founded in 1958, the Monrovia, Calif., chain has more than 375 stores in 34 states, Mochizuki said, with nine more scheduled to open through November.

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Starbucks introduces new Verismo single-cup coffee machine


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Become your own barista with the new Starbucks Verismo single-cup coffee machine.

Introduced Wednesday and available online at Verisimo.com, the new at-home brewing system starts at $199. It quickly brew coffee, lattes and espresso using single-serve coffee and milk pods at the press of a button.

The system is available in two models for $199 and $399 and comes in silver, black, burgundy and champagne.

Several of Starbucks' top-selling roasts are available to brew in the machine, including Espresso and Starbucks Blonde, Medium and Dark Roasts.

“The size of the premium single cup market is approximately $8 billion globally, having grown more than 143 percent over last year in the U.S. alone,” said Jeff Hansberry, Starbucks president of channel development, in a press release. “With more than one out of three brewers sold last year being a single cup machine, this is more than a trend. Customers want convenience when it comes to making coffee, but they don’t want to compromise quality and flexibility, including the ability to craft both espresso beverages and brewed coffee from one machine, and that’s what the Verismo System delivers.”

The system will be available at some high-end retailers and participating Starbucks retail stores in early October.

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Microsoft opening two holiday pop-up shops in South Florida


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South Florida PC fans will be able to get a Microsoft fix at two new pop-up shops opening in time for the busy holiday shopping season.

Aventura and Dadeland malls are on the list of more than 30 holiday stores set to open this fall in malls across the country. Consumers can expect easy access to Microsoft's best-in-class products along with advice, hand-on tech support and a way to learn new technical skills. The company has not released the exact dates the shops will open.

If the concept sounds similar to the Apple retail experience, it is.

The retail expansion, first announced in July by Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner, sets in motion the company's plans to challenge Apple in the retail realm.

The holiday stores will aim to give gives shoppers an immersive experience in Microsoft's family of hardware and software like PCs, tablets, phones and it's uber-popular Xbox gaming system and Microsoft Office software.

Microsoft opened its first 4,470-square-foot Florida retail store in Florida Mall in Orlando in August.

Additional locations and details will be available in the coming weeks, according to a press release.

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New Chipotle opens in Fort Lauderdale


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Tired of waiting in line for a burrito at the busy Chipotle in the Bal Harbour Square on Federal Highway?

Well now there’s a new location to grab a bite. Fort Lauderdale’s second Chipotle store opened today on Federal Highway near Commercial Boulevard.

The 2,000 plus-square-foot store is in a former Blockbuster Video location at 4850 N. Federal Highway close to Holy Cross Hospital.

Chipotle sells burritos, burrito bowls, tacos and salads in a fast casual atmosphere. The chain has 24 other locations in South Florida.

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Toys R Us waiving layaway fee until Oct. 31


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Toys R Us stores will waive the up front service for all layaway orders that are put on the shelves inside stores now through Oct. 31.

The children’s toy retailer is offering a no minimum purchase layaway program for this year’s holiday season. Layaway offers shoppers a payment plan for purchases made in stores without interest or threat of hurting a credit score. Customers who choose to use the Toys R Us layaway program have until Dec. 16 to pay off and pick up their orders.

Walmart announced it would begin offering layaway again this year on Sept. 14.

Toys R Us began offering layaway inside stores in 2009 exclusively for high priced items like bikes, swing sets, doll houses and play kitchens. The program has since expanding to offer video games, tablets and all other items inside the store.

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Bal Harbour Shops tops national ranking


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Bal Harbour Shops in Bal Harbour is ranked the No. 1 most productive retail property by the International Council of Shopping Center's trade publication, Shopping Centers Today.

The open air, luxury chain mall has the top sales per square foot at $2,555, which blows away the ICSC-estimated average at $451-per-square-foot, according to a press release. Bal Harbour Shops ranked higher than nearby Aventura Mall, which was No. 16 with $1,100 in sales per-square-foot and Orlando's upscale The Mall at Millenia which ranked 10th.

Sawgrass Mills, an outlet center with more than 350 stores in Sunrise, was not included on the list.

The Forum Shops at Caesars in Las Vegas, ranked No. 2 behind the Bal Harbour Shops.

The publication's September issue ranked the centers based on information from several worldwide advising and consultant firms and shopping center owners. Most centers included on the list host high-end chains.

"We continue to be the No. 1 shopping destination for luxury goods not only in the country, but also worldwide," operating partner Matthew Whitman Lazenby said in a news release. "The setting, the stores, the history and the attachment that shoppers feel to the center is what makes Bal Harbour Shops the world's premier luxury retail center."

Sales at Bal Harbour Shops have increased every year since the center's opening in 1965, except for in 2001 and 2009. The shopping center will soon add another 200,000 square feet and 50 new tenants now that a neighboring church has agreed to relocate to allow room for the expansion, according to a press release. Bal Harbour Shops has more than 100 retailers now, including Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Prada and Valentino.

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Ikea proposes Miami store for fall 2014


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Ikea, the Swedish home furnishings retailer, announced plans to open a new store in Miami-Dade County.

Ikea officials will be submitting plans to build a second South Florida store location in the city of Sweetwater, west of the Miami International Airport, according to a press release. Construction could begin as early as the spring of next year and the store opening in early fall 2014, the release said.

The property in mind is on 14.6-acres at the intersection of the Dolphin Expressway and the Florida Turnpike near the Dolphin Mall. The 417,000-square-foot proposed Ikea store would be built above two levels of parking with 1,500 spaces, the release said. Store look and layout will be similar to other Ikea stores.

The retailer known for its discounted prices on furniture would bring more than 400 jobs to the area and 500 more during the construction phase.

“We are thrilled with the reception afforded Ikea since entering the state nearly five years ago, so we are excited to submit plans for IKEA Miami where we can grow our Florida and southeastern U.S. reach,” said Mike Ward, Ikea U.S. president, in a news release. “This proposed store would complement our South Florida presence established in Sunrise and bring the unique family-friendly shopping experience closer to existing and new Miami-Dade customers.”

The Miami location would be the fourth Ikea in Florida. Other locations include Sunrise, Tampa and Orlando. The store would feature 10,000 designer home furnishing items, 50 room-settings, three model home interiors, a 500-seat restaurant and a supervised children’s play area.

Ikea has more than 330 stores in 40 countries, including 38 in the U.S.

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Florida's first American Girl Store to open in The Falls


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Florida’s first American Girl store will open later this year in Miami’s open-air mall, The Falls.

The new 16,000-square-foot storefront located on the east side of the mall near Bloomingdale’s will open on Oct. 6. The store will have its own bistro, a doll hair salon and other interactive areas for children and parents.

The American Girl brand, a subsidiary of Mattel, makes dolls for girls and pairs each unique doll with a set of books. The new store will feature the brand’s popular historical and contemporary dolls, doll outfits, accessories, and a section where shoppers can dress up like their own doll.

At the doll hair salon, shoppers can choose from ponytails to pierced ears to add to their dolls. A “Creativi-tees” boutique lets girls create T-shirts for themselves and their dolls.

“We’re delighted to debut a beautiful new store in Miami and welcome our American Girl fans in the area to a special place designed just for them,” says Jean McKenzie, executive vice president of American Girl in a news release.

A 60-seat bistro inside the store will serve lunch, dinner, dessert and tea during store hours. The menu ranges from cheese pizza and chicken tenders to a Mediterranean salad. The bistro will offer “doll-sized” menus too.

The store will also be equipped to host special events for birthday or dining parties. To make reservations, please call 1-877-247-5223.

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Sawgrass Mills adds new stores


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Three new stores, which cater to men and women, have been added to the Sawgrass Mills outlet property in Sunrise.

Florida’s first Original Penguin Outlet, a brand known for its golf shirts, is located across from Bed Bath & Beyond. The store will sell men’s suits, bags, belts hats and shoes plus some women and children’s apparel at 30 to 70 percent off prices.

Greg Norman Collection, inspired by the golf professional Norman himself, has opened a store in The Oasis. The storefront will sell golf-inspired clothing for men and women at up to 65 percent off prices.

bareMinerals, a cosmetics company, opened near the Nike Factory Store and will sell discounted items and bundled packages on make up, skin care and body products.

More retailers are soon to come to Sawgrass Mills once construction is completed on two expanded areas on the mall property.

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Walmart offers holiday layaway starting Sept. 14


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Get a head start on your holiday shopping at at Walmart this year.

Walmart is offering layaway services to its customers for holiday time purchases starting on Sept. 14. This is the second year in a row Walmart is offering layaway since it discontinued the program in 2006. The company revamped layaway last year after the rise of credit cards eliminated a need for it.

Layaway offers shoppers a payment plan for purchases made in stores without interest or threat of hurting a credit score.

At Walmart, customers put $10 or 10 percent down on a minimum $50 purchase or $15 per individual item and pay a one time $15 fee. Final payments must be made on or before Dec. 14.

If canceled, reserved items will be returned to inventory and payments will be refunded. The first time $15 fee will not be refunded.

Other store chains like Sears, Kmart and Toys R Us offer layaway programs.


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Retail chains break into mobile payment app technology


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Some of the largest store chains, like Publix, Target and Walmart, have come together to form a new company that will offer shoppers a new digital-age way experience of paying at the register.

Merchant Customer Exchange will exist as a mobile app and focus on offering mobile-based promotions, offers and other retail programs, according to a press release. The new application will be available through any smartphone. Development is underway.

Chains involved in the new program include 7-Eleven, Best Buy Co., CVS/pharmacy, Darden Restaurants, Publix Super Markets, Sears Holdings Inc., Shell Oil Products U.S., Sunoco, Target Corp., Walmart Stores, Inc., and several others.

"As merchants, no one understands our customers' shopping and payment experience better than we do, and we're confident that together we can develop a technology solution that makes that experience more engaging, convenient and efficient," said Mark Williams, president of financial services, Best Buy, in a news release.

Many chains have already begun testing the digital waters.

Lakeland-based Publix Super Markets have already begun testing digital coupons in some Florida and Alabama markets. Shoppers can digitally "clip" a coupon online once registering with Publix.com/dcoupon, and then claim the coupon at the register by using their 10-digit phone number.

Stores in Ocala, Huntsville and Birmingham are now testing the program.

Miami-based Pollo Tropical also accepts payments by smartphone through Google Wallet whether it be to dine in, take out or drive thru. Google Wallet stores payment information on your phone and access it via an app that can be used anywhere MasterCard PayPass is accepted. No usage fees apply.

Dunkin' Donuts launched a smartphone app this week that will let customers pay for coffee and pastries from their iPhone, iPad and Android phone. The app is free to download and available to use at Dunkin' Donuts stores across the country.

Earlier this month, Starbucks announced its partnership with Square, another mobile-payment platform company, which will allow for customers to pay for frappes by phone in the near future.

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Lush Cosmetics to open in Boca Raton on Aug. 20th


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LUSH Cosmetics will open its third South Florida location inside the Town Center at Boca Raton on Aug. 20th.

The 911-square-foot store will showcase the brand’s bath, body, hair and skin products made from fruits and vegetables and ethically sourced oils. A variety of soaps will pile high like exotic cheeses, bath bombs will be presented like round apples and face masks are served from ice-filled fridges, according to Erin Brady, a spokeswoman for the company.

The brand introduced Emotional Brilliance, a new vegan cosmetic collection in July that features translucent powers, skin tints, lipstick, bottom right, eyeliners and mascara. The collection, which is preservative free except for the mascara, runs $18.95-$22.95.

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"We have been looking to expand our presence in South Florida following the success of our shops in Palm Beach Gardens and Aventura,” says Mark Wolverton, President and CEO of LUSH North America in a news release. “We are very excited to offer a new location in Boca for our loyal fans and I’m happy to report that another nearby location in Miami’s Dadeland Mall is scheduled to open this fall.”

A grand opening date will take place in mid September. Customers can look forward to free product giveaways, complimentary in-store face treatments, free cupcakes, entertainment from local DJs and VIP gifts with the purchase of $65 or more on the day the store opens.

LUSH Cosmetics has more than 800 stores worldwide, and 110 in the U.S. The Canada-based company is against animal testing and creates handmade, and some organic skin products.

Doreen Christensen contributed to this report.

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Flo Rida to perform at Microsoft Store in Orlando


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Not an Apple fan?

South Florida PC enthusiasts can soon shop and swoon over Microsoft products inside the company’s first retail store in Florida, although they’ll have to make a drive. The Sunshine State’s first Microsoft Store opens in the Florida Mall in Orlando on Thursday.

The 4,470-square-foot outlet will sell Microsoft hardware and software including computers, cell phones, Xbox Kinect and Microsoft Office.

American rapper, Flo Rida will perform near the store in the mall on Saturday, Aug. 18 at 2 p.m. The first 200 people at the store in Thursday will get complimentary wristbands to the concert and a meet and greet on Saturday.

Flo Rida is known for his recent hits "Wild Things," and "Good Feeling."

The store's grand opening festivities will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday.

Similar to the Apple Store, the MicrosoftSstore will have an answer desk for techincal questions, troubleshooting and repairs. The store will also host a 103-inch touchscreen in a theater format which can be used for community events.

Microsoft began opening retail stores in 2009. There are 21 stores across the country so far. Last year, the company said it plans to open 75 more storefronts in the next three years.

Apple, on the other hand, has more than 370 stores nationwide, including Aventura, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach Gardens, Wellington and three stores in Miami.

There are no plans for a Microsoft Store in South Florida as of yet.

Sandra Pedicini from the Orlando Sentinel contributed to this report.

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Digital Publix coupons available in Florida


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Shoppers in parts of Florida and Alabama will be the first to test Publix's new digital coupons.

Publix stores in Ocala, Birmingham and Huntsville are the first equipped with new technology that will allow shoppers to use paperless coupons at checkout. No stores in South Florida are ready to accept the digital coupons at this time, said Kimberly Reynolds, spokeswoman for Publix.

Shoppers must sign up for the service by registering at Publix.com/dcoupon. Once registered, shoppers can digitally "clip" a coupon and review the coupons chosen online via a computer or smartphone any time. To redeem, shoppers just give the cashier the phone number used for the online registration.

Coupons will then automatically be applied to the items listed. The online account will keep track of the coupons redeemed and those that were clipped.

There are about 60 active coupons available to clip at this time.

Coupon use is up by 27 percent since 2008, according to a study by California-based Knowledge Networks, a consumer research firm. The study shows that digital coupons are attracting more new buyers than print coupons by a margin of 35 percent.

The Lakeland-based grocer already has a deal with Coupons.com that allows shoppers to go online and clip coupons virtually, then print them on paper for use at the store. This new system will eliminate having to use paper coupons and printed circular ads all together.

Competitors like Winn-Dixie and northern grocers, Krogers and Bi-Lo offer discounts through membership cards. No other grocer with stores in South Florida use digital coupons that do not require printing — just yet. No grocers have tapped into the "app" market for smartphones, either.

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Upscale outerwear retailer opens in Bal Harbour Shops


Europe's coolest coat maker is coming to Florida's hottest city.

Upscale outerwear retailer, Moncler opened its newest store in the Bal Harbour Shops, one of only four other stores the brand has in the U.S.

The Bal Harbour Shops boutique, located at 9700 Collins Ave., opened just a week after a similar store launched in Los Angeles. The store sells women’s and men’s apparel and accessories.

Moncler, founded in France, is headquartered in Milan, Italy. The brand creates unique styles by experts in activities linked to mountain activities.

Other locations include New York, Chicago and Aspen.

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Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores to share one roof


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Toys R Us has started transforming stores across the U.S., including South Florida, into side-by-side stores with its other brand, Babies R Us.

The chain plans to open eight new stores and transform 13 existing locations into side-by-side concepts by the end of the year, including one store in Miami, according to a press release. The idea to house two stores under one roof is meant to make shopping more convenient and easier to navigate for customers.

Toys R Us stores range in size from 30,000 to 70,000 square feet. Toys R Us sections would shrink some in order to make enough room for Babies R Us locations.

“Our strategy has provided the opportunity to capture customers at their family’s earliest stage and grow with them through childhood,” said Jerry Storch, Chairman and CEO, Toys R Us, Inc. in a news release.

The Toys R Us store at 1645 NW 107th Ave., in Miami is one of the 13 locations being renovated.

“Reinvesting in existing locations to bring both brands together in an integrated format is one of our key initiatives, and we found a great opportunity to do that in Miami,” said Katelyn Leondi, spokeswoman for Toys R Us. “ We are always looking for communities that would benefit from the products and services that Toys R Us and Babies R Us offer.”

Other South Florida Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores, including ones in Fort Lauderdale, Plantation, Aventura, Pembroke Pines and Coral Springs may eventually be converted, she said.

By the end of 2012, Toys R Us expects to operate 204 side-by-side stores nationwide, which makes up for nealy 25 percent of all its stores across the country.


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Bowling alley coming to CityPlace


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CityPlace in West Palm Beach will soon be home to a new upscale lounge, sports bar and bowling alley all rolled into one.

Revolutions Bowling, Bar & Grille is a 35,000-square-foot bowling alley with a lounge and bar geared to both family and night life fun, according to a press release. It will open on the north end of the shopping and entertainment center between Macy’s and Publix in mid-November, said Bruce Frank, president and CEO of Jupiter-based Frank Entertainment Companies, the operating company behind the brand.

“This is much more than a bowling alley,” said Frank, who instead called Revolutions a lifestyle center. “It’s all about the atmosphere, the lighting and the very chic environment.”

The Revolutions location in West Palm Beach is the first of five centers that Frank Entertainment Companies plans to open within the year. Other locations include Charlotte, the Washington, D.C., area, Syracuse and Philadelphia.

The center will feature 20 bowling lanes with leather couch seating and curtains to draw privacy around lanes rented for group functions. Revolutions will offer food and drink at its in-house restaurant, The Grille, and a sports theater that will have more than two dozen LED televisions, stadium seating and a video game arcade attached.

Revolutions will be open to families with children during the day, but will be restricted to adults 21 years and up after 9 p.m., Frank said. Food and drink prices will be comparable to other upscale restaurants in CityPlace.

Frank Theaters announced in June that it will open an IMAX Theater and 16-lane bowling alley in a new shopping center in Delray Beach.

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Publix reopens in Boynton


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The renovated Publix grocery store at Sunshine Square on Woolbright Road in Boynton Beach will reopen to customers on Thursday.

The new 54,000-square-foot supermarket will feature the standard shopping departments, plus a Mediterranean olive bar, and upgrades to the building’s facade and parking lot. The supermarket will reopen at 7 a.m. on Thursday. The first 1,500 customers on grand opening day will receive a free Publix reusable bag.

Another 46,000-square-foot Publix on Congress Avenue in Boynton Beach opened in June replacing the 30-year-old Publix store across the street

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H&M to open store in Aventura Mall


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South Florida residents can look forward to being more fashion forward as clothing retailer H&M announces its newest location in Aventura Mall.

The store would be the second opening in the Miami area for the company, following the success of its South Beach pop-up shop.

The Aventura space will be approximately 25,000 square feet and is set to open after the Lincoln Road location opens in fall 2012.

By Melissa Caceres, Sun Sentinel

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Whole Foods comes to Pompano, 22nd location in Florida


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Whole Foods Market plans to open a new 40,000-square-foot store in Pompano Beach in 2014.

The store will be located in space formerly occupied by Kmart on North Federal Highway and Copans Road.

No word yet on jobs at the store, but check on the "careers" tab at Whole Foods Market.

With 17 stores throughout the state, and four currently in development, this marks Whole Foods' 22nd location in Florida. In March, Whole Foods opened a 35,000-square-foot store in Pembroke Pines.

By Cindy Kent, Sun Sentinel

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Winn-Dixie launches prescription program


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Winn-Dixie stores have launched a prescription-savings program for customers that offer discounts on more than 400 generic and some name-brand medications.

Shoppers must enroll in the annual program and pay $5 for the service. Customers are also required to have an active Winn-Dixie reward card which will keep track of prescription benefits. Anyone can sign up for the program at their local Winn-Dixie customer service counter.

Once enrolled, a $5 store coupon will be loaded to a customer’s reward card. The plan offers drug prices of $4 for a 30-day supply and $10 for a 90-day supply on more than 400 kinds of generic medications, plus other ongoing promotions and specials.

“Not everyone has insurance or health benefits that adequately cover prescriptions,” said John Fegan, vice president of pharmacy for Winn-Dixie in a news release. “This program makes it easier for our customers to get the prescriptions they need at a great deal so they can focus on their health, not on how much it costs.”

Winn-Dixie pharmacies offer preventative health screenings, medical counseling, immunizations and other other services. Prescription records are available at any location or accessibly by computer through ePharmacy and through a free smartphone app, the Winn-Dixie Rx App.

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Discover now accepted at Neiman Marcus stores


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Neiman Marcus luxury department stores announced that it now accepts Discover credit cards at stores nationwide.

Customers with Discover cards can now make purchases at all Neiman Marcus stores and receive cashback bonus points at every store, including those in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Bal Harbor, Lake Worth, Coral Gables and the outlet center in Sawgrass Mills.

The retailer became a Discover Cashback Bonus partner in January, which allows Discover card holders to redeem cash rewards for Neiman Marcus gift cards that can be used inside the store, at Last Call outlet stores, online or at other retailers like Bergdorf Goodman, Cusp and Horchow.

“By adding Discover as another payment option, Neiman Marcus continues to give customers more flexibility and convenience at the point of sale," said Jim Gold, President, Specialty Retail, The Neiman Marcus Group in a news release. “We are happy to open our Neiman Marcus stores to loyal Discover cardmembers so they can shop their favorite brands and earn more rewards.”

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Miami Subs Grill offer new angus steak burgers


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Miami Subs Grill is heating up something different this summer with the introduction of angus steak burgers to the sandwich chain’s menu.

Miami Subs Grill had previously sold burger patties that were frozen. The new menu offers fresh angus steak patties that are never frozen, and double the size of the burgers with two patties. Changes also include baked brioche and multigrain rolls.

“We at the new Miami Subs Grill want consumers and our franchisees to know that expansion and remarkable growth is in our future,” said Frank Baran, Miami Subs Grill vice president, in a press release. “The new angus steak burgers reflect the many planned new menu offerings we’ll be launching at our restaurants.”

The new burger menu includes speciality meals, like the “Nacho Ordinary Burger” double-stacked with nacho cheese, jalapenos, crispy onion rings, lettuce and tomato, the “Big Havana” double-stacked with Swiss American cheese, grilled ham, pickles, mustard, lettuce and tomato and the “Bistro Burger” double-stacked with grilled mushrooms and onions, Swiss American Cheese, South Beach sauce, lettuce and tomato. The 6-ounce burgers range in price from $4.29 to $5.29.

Miami Subs Grill, based in South Florida, opened its first restaurant in 1988. Recently, the chain is expanding into Latin America countries like Guyana, Hondoras and Brazil.

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Canadian coffee shop opens first U.S. store in Pines


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Canada-based The Second Cup Coffee Company Inc. will open its first café south of the border in Pembroke Pines later this year.

The café company will open several stores in Florida this year with franchise partner, Coffee by the Sea. The first café will open this fall in the Pembroke Lakes Square on Pines Boulevard.

The Second Cup Coffee Company began in Toronto 36 years ago and began expanding internationally in 2003. Other locations are in Europe and the Middle East. The stores sell coffee and other café items.

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Winn-Dixie issues recall; product could contain metal


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Winn-Dixie announced an immediate voluntary recall of its Winn-Dixie brand cheeseburger macaroni skillet dinners sold due to the possibility of metal fragments mixed in the food.

All cheeseburger macaroni skillet dinners with a sell-by date of May 14, 2013, in a 5.8-ounce package and a UPC code of 2114018080 can be returned.

These products may contain small metal fragments, according to a report issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The recall is active in stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.

"We encourage guests in possession of any of the recalled item to immediately discard the product or bring it back to their store,” said Brian Wright, senior director of Winn-Dixie Corporate Communications in a release. “Guests who have purchased the product may visit their neighborhood Winn-Dixie to request a full refund, no questions asked.”

To receive a refund, customers must present proof of purchase through a receipt or the product packaging label.

Consumers with questions about the recalled products may contact the Winn-Dixie Guest Service Center toll free at 1.866.WINN-DIXIE or 866.946.6349.

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The Container Store to open in Town Center at Boca Raton


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The Container Store will be the newest shop to open up inside the Town Center at Boca Raton. The store plans to open summer 2013.

The Container Store will sell a variety of storage and organization products for the kitchen, closet, laundry room and office. The 21,000-square-foot store will be located in the Seas wing of the mall in the former Old Navy space. The store will have its own outdoor entrance.

The Boca location is the brand’s third store in South Florida, with other stores in Miami and Hallandale Beach.

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First Publix Sabor in Palm Beach County opens in Lake Worth


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The Publix at Town and Country shopping center in Lake Work has been converted into a Publix Sabor, a supermarket redeveloped with a Hispanic influence.

The store has been open for a month and is serving customers under its new name as the first Publix Sabor location in Palm Beach County, according to a press release.

The 36,000-square-foot store offers Hispanic and Caribbean items in the deli, like chicken fricassee, ox tail, roast port, curry chicken and other items. The meat department will feature a full-service custom cut meat case for special requests. The bakery will sell authentic Hispanic pastries.

Publix Sabor customers can also enjoy a new café where pressed sandwiches, juices, café con leche and pastries are offered. Signs inside the store will be in both English and Spanish. Publix employees will also be bilingual.

“Publix Sabor carries an extensive selection of foods and ingredients from Hispanic countries and the islands that typically can be difficult to find in traditional supermarkets,” said Kim Reynolds, Publix’s Miami media and community relations manager.

The first Publix Sabor opened in Kissimmee in April 2005. Publix now has six Publix Sabor locations, including one in Hialeah and two in Miami.


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Publix launches online ordering services


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Ordering a Publix sub just got easier.

Publix grocery stores is testing an online ordering program on its website for customers to order a custom sub sandwich, wraps, sliced meats and cheeses from their computer or phone. The program is launching in a Lakeland store on Aug. 3 and is expected to rollout in 50 more stores including some in South Florida, later this year, according to Publix spokeswoman, Kimberly Reynolds.

Publix shoppers can place their orders online or on a mobile device by clicking here. On the site, customers can select what kind of sub they want and toppings, sliced meats and cheeses and specify a pickup time. An order pickup number will be provided by email.

New signs in the deli area of participating Publix stores will allow online ordering customers to pick up their items without waiting in regular lines according to a press release. Some grocery stores will have in-store devices for order placement.

All sales prices going on inside that specific store will be honored if current on the day of pickup. Payment transactions will take place at the time of pickup. There is no minimum order amount required and no extra fees will be charged for the service.

It is unclear at this time when the online ordering services will come to South Florida, Reynolds said. Which South Florida stores will be the first test the service have not been announced yet, she said.

Earlier this year, the Lakeland-based grocer announced it was testing digital coupons through website and email platforms. The company confirmed that it's testing a variety of methods.

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BrandsMart USA offering no sales tax on purchases this week


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BrandsMart USA stores are hosting a no sales tax week for customers from June 29 to July 7.

Customers shopping in South Florida locations will not pay any sales tax on select items purchased before Saturday, July 7. Items included in the promotion are flat screen televisions, tablets, laptops, headphones, appliances and more.

The tax rebate applies only to those items selected for the promotion. This promotion cannot be combined with other BrandsMart USA promotions or programs such as price protection, layaway, instant rebates and affinity programs. The promotion isn't available at the the clearance center.

For more information, click here.

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Fourth of July mall hours in South Florida


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For the first time in years, the Fourth of July holiday falls on a Wednesday, crushing the hopes of a long weekend for most.

The mid-week break isn't completely lost though. South Florida malls and other shopping destinations will remain open. Here's a list of what is open and when on July 4th:

Broward County:

Coral Ridge: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Coral Square Mall: 10 a.m. -6 p.m.
The Galleria: 10 a.m.-6 p.m
Lauderhill Mall: 10 a.m.- 6 p.m
Pembroke Lakes Mall: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Sawgrass Mills: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Shops at Pembroke Gardens: 10 a.m. -6 p.m.
Westfield Broward Mall: 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Festival Flea Market Mall in Pompano Beach: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m
Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Palm Beach County:

Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Mall at Wellington Green: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Town Center at Boca Raton: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Miami-Dade County

Aventura Mall: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Dadeland Mall, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

For a full list of what's open and closed on July 4th, click here.

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IMAX Theater to open in Delray Marketplace


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Frank Theaters and IMAX Corp. are teaming up to launch a movie theater at the Delray Marketplace, an upscale outdoor shopping and dining center set to open later this year.

Jupiter-based Frank Theaters is working with IMAX to build 10 theaters at existing complexes across the country, including the Delray Beach center.

The 12-screen movie theater and 16-lane bowling alley in the Delray Marketplace is located in a suburban area on the corner of Lyons Road and Atlantic Avenue.

There are IMAX theaters in West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Sunrise.

Construction crews broke ground in December on the Delray Marketplace, an upscale shopping, dining and entertainment center set to open in mid-November.

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J. Alexander's to be acquired by Jacksonville-based financial group


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J. Alexander’s Corporation will merge with Nashville-based American Blue Ribbon Holdings, Inc., a subsidiary under Jacksonville-based Fidelity National Financial Inc., a financial services company, according to a press release.

The contemporary restaurant chain, known for its American wood-grilled entrees, will continue to operate under the American Blue Ribbon Holdings Inc. umbrella. The four restaurants in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Plantation and Palm Beach Gardens will remain open at this time.

Under the merger agreement, shareholders of J. Alexander’s can receive $12 per share in cash or a combination of $3 in case and one share of Class A common stock of American Blue Ribbon Holdings, according to a press release.

J. Alexander’s Corporation, headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., operates 33 locations in 13 states, including the four in South Florida. Other Florida locations include Tampa and Jacksonville.

“J. Alexander's provides the upscale casual restaurant guest with a high quality dining experience and outstanding professional service,” said William P. Foley II, chairman with Fidelity National Fiancial, in a press release."We are proud to add J. Alexander's to American Blue Ribbon's existing restaurant concepts."

American Blue Ribbon Holdings Inc. owns and operates 674 restaurants in 43 states under six different restaurant concepts, which include Bakes Square, Max & Erma’s, Village Inn, Stoney River Legendary Steaks, O’Charley’s and Ninety Nine. Their combined annual revenue of the company is around $1.5 billion, according to a press release. The transaction values the equity of J. Alexander’s at about $72 million.

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Publix, University of Miami among top IT employers


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Publix Supermarkets, the University of Miami and Miami Children’s Hospital are among the top employers to work for in the information technology field, according to an annual ranking by ComputerWorld, an industry publication.

Lakeland-based grocer, Publix, ranked No. 88 on the list based because of its IT-related accomplishments, which include new web and mobile applications, a suite of human relations self-service tools, new scheduling, time and attendance system and technologies to optimize product assortments to match customer demographics, according to the site.

University of Miami ranked No. 90 on the list for its IT staff’s help with the people of earthquake-ravaged Haiti, and the support of the university's marine scientists in providing research to guide cleanup efforts after the 2010 Gulf oil spill.

The university ranked No. 9 for diversity.

Miami Children’s Hospital ranked No. 63 on the list for its staff implementing 13 clinical software systems using a single integrated electronic medical record platform in just over 15 months.

The hospital ranked in the top 10 for diversity and job benefits.

ComputerWorld ranks the top 100 companies in the nation based on job training and benefits, technology platforms and gender and race ratio among those employed.

Other Florida companies ranked on the list included St. Petersburg-based Raymond James Financial.

View the full list here.


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Levinson Jewelers launch same-sex love marketing campaign


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Expressing your love for your partner shouldn’t be hard. Levinson Jewelers wants to make it easier for all couples to find jewelry that speaks to them.

Levinson Jewelers is launching a new gender equality marketing campaign around the phrase “Love is Love.”

Read Rod Hagwood's blog for more about wedding bands for gay and lesbian couples here.

The Fort Lauderdale-based jeweler will market images that express love and equality via both billboards and print advertisements. Several special jewelry pieces connected to the campaign will be available at the store on Las Olas Boulevard or online.

A recent customer experience is what spurred the owners to start the campaign, according to a press release.

“Love is like a piece of fine jewelry — it is timeless, unique and looks equally beautiful on anyone,” said owner Robin Levinson.


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Publix in West Palm Beach to be demolished


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A Publix grocery store in West Palm Beach is set to be demolished and rebuilt in the coming months, the Palm Beach Post is reporting.

The 40,000-square-foot supermarket at 831 Village Blvd., in the Village Commons shopping center off Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard will be torn down and replaced with a new, 45,000-square-foot store on the same site. Boca Raton-based Woolbright Development Inc. owns the shopping plaza.

The new store should open in 2013.

The shopping center also houses several local restaurants, such as Duffy’s, Panera Bread and Big City Bagel, which should remain open during the construction.

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Target launches college dorm shopping site


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Target launched its college dorm room design website this week for new students and parents wanting to get a jump start on putting together a new college lifestyle.

The website has a new program called Ustyler, which allows users to design an entire room, from bed sheets and comforters, to chairs, bookshelves and other accessories. The interactive tool gives the user a first look at what a dorm room could look like with Target products inside it.

The site also has a checklist for students and parents to help organize what each student will need.

College dorm shopping lists usually fall in line with back to school shopping. Florida’s back to school sales tax holiday weekend is Aug. 3-5.

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rue21 opening first South Florida store in Boynton Beach Mall


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Young fashion retailer rue21 is the newest store coming to the Boynton Beach Mall — just in time for back-to-school shopping.

The store, which sells apparel, shoes and accessories for men and women at discounted prices, is opening a 5,939-square-foot location next to Wet Seal and across from The Disney Store in July.

The rue21 stores offer similar styles and prices to retailers like H&M and Forever 21. This is the first South Florida location for the retailer. The next nearest rue21 location is in Jensen Beach.

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Remodeled Winn-Dixie opens in Hallandale Beach


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The fourth recently renovated Winn-Dixie store in South Florida will have its grand re-opening in Hallandale Beach on Wednesday.

The store, at 1515 E. Hallandale Beach Blvd., was transformed to take on the look of new Winn-Dixie stores, similar to the ones that opened in Margate, Davie and Miramar.

New features inside the store include a full-time sushi chef, pizza, pasta and salad bars, custom cake stations and a cafe with free Wi-Fi, a TV and plush seating, plus expanded departments.

“The new amenities in our Hallandale Beach store now offer a new one-stop shopping experience like no other,” said Tony Jorges, Miami region vice president of Winn-Dixie Stores in a press release.

The remodeled Winn-Dixie stores in Davie and Miramar celebrated grand re-openings in May.

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Publix adding more craft beers


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Publix grocery stores in South Florida are making room on their shelves for more craft beer.

As the company expands and remodels stores across the country, more cooler space is being added for new offerings like Cigar City, Lagunitas, Stone, Great Divide and Chimay. The Lakeland-based grocer already sells a variety of imported and domestic beer, and some stores have sections dedicated to craft and seasonal brews.

Plans for a larger selection are already in the works as stores transition into new spaces.

"As we develop new store prototypes and remodel our existing stores, we dedicate a larger section to beer. When we have more space available, it gives us the ability to carry a broader selection, which means new brands and more varieties of beer," said Kimberly Reynolds, Publix spokeswoman. "We have seen our 'discovery beer' customers looking for the latest and greatest craft and import beers."

Shoppers should check their local Publix for new offerings.

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New retailers coming to Town Center at Boca Raton


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The Town Center at Boca Raton is adding to its list of retailers this season with stores like Yankee Candle Company, Fossil, Mattress Firm and others.

Invicta, which opened its doors on May 10, carries more than 950 different kinds of watches, eyewear products, collectible pens and jewelry. The 600-square-foot store is located near the Cafes at Boca.

Arden B, a women’s fashion apparel and accessory store, moved into the Nordstrom wing and reopened a 3,000-square-foot store.

Yankee Candle Company opened a remodeled 1,900-square-foot store across from the Cafes at Boca. The retailer sells a variety of specialty scented candles and accessories.

Fossil will open a 4,800-square-foot store this summer. The retailer is known for its modern vintage clothing style, watches and other accessories.

Mattress Firm Sleep Experience will sell well known mattress brands in its new 1,700-square-foot store, which opened next to Nordstrom.

Brooks Brothers, a fashion retailer for men, women and children, will open in late fall of this year in a new 7,400-square-foot store in the center court.

“Town Center at Boca Raton strives to enhance our fabulous mix of retailers,” said Ellen Korelitz, director of marketing and business development at the Town Center at Boca Raton in a press release. “This new assortment of retailers will certainly enrich the vibrant selection of world-class tenants, and we are pleased to welcome them here.”

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VIDEO: Chick-fil-A fans camp out at new restaurant in Pembroke Pines






















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As of 6 a.m. Wednesday morning, there were more than 200 South Florida residents in line outside of the new Chick-fil-A restaurant in Pembroke Pines, hoping for a chance to win free food from the fast food chain for a year.

To celebrate the opening of Chick-Fil-A's first free standing restaurant in Pembroke Pines, the fast food chain is giving away a free year’s supply of Chick-fil-A to the first 100 adults in line grand opening morning Thursday, June 7. The 100 spots have already been filled by those who arrived as early as 11 p.m. Tuesday night to be one of the first in line.

About 180 people were in line as of 6 a.m. Wednesday morning setting up tents and settling in for the store's grand opening, said store owner and operator, Nick Cristantiello.

John Wasenka, from Clearwater, Fla., was the third person in line Tuesday evening. This is the 46th Chick-fil-A opening he's attended across the country. He wore a Chick-fil-A name tag labeled "Crazy John," which was given to him by the staff of a Chick-fil-A in Raleigh, N.C.

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"The free food really helps out. It's worth the drive over here for it," Wasenka said.

Richard Coley and his 85-year-old mother, Peggy, made the drive from St. Petersburg for Richard's 75th Chick-fil-A First 100 celebration.

"I support Chick-fil-A in everything that they do," Coley said. "The whole company is really just a high class operation."

The fast food chain’s newest store is located at 12203 Pines Blvd. The “First 100 Celebration” promotion is equivalent to 52 certificates for free Chick-fil-A meals, or a meal a week. The coupons can be used at any Chick-fil-A in the country and can be given to anyone.

Since there were more than 100 people in line Wednesday morning, all 100 spots were determined by raffle. Meal cards will be awarded on Thursday, June 7, from 6 a.m. to 6:10 a.m., according to a press release. Chick-fil-a enthusiasts will have to stay on site until Thursday morning to redeem their coupons.

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Lisa Acevedo, from Pompano Beach, took a day off work to check an item off her bucket list. She was chosen as one of the first 100 to be awarded the free Chick-fil-A meals for a year. Acevedo, along with some friends, set up camp in the parking lot and will sleep under the stars tonight, she said.

"Hopefully it doesn't rain again," Acevedo said.

The restaurant will open for business immediately after. For complete rules, click here.

The new store in Pembroke Pines is one of 96 locations the company plans to open across the country this year. There are more than a dozen Chick-Fil-A locations in South Florida.

The opening of this restaurant will bring about 80 jobs to the area, according to a spokeswoman.

The new restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., serving a full breakfast menu until 10:30 a.m. Find more information on Facebook.

Photos by Justine Griffin, Sun Sentinel.

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7-Eleven ranks higher than Winn-Dixie on grocery survey


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7-Eleven ranks higher than Winn-Dixie and other national grocers on a list of the top perceived food chains by people who consider themselves healthy shoppers, according to a report by YouGov BrandIndex, a consumer perception research service of brands.

The convenience store chain ranked No. 9 on the list, which put them ahead of brands like Winn-Dixie and other national grocery chains.

The grocery stores were ranked by consumers who evaluate their own health as good or excellent. The scores range from 100 to -100. A zero score means neither positive nor negative feedback. YouGov BrandIndex interviews 5,000 people from the U.S. population each weekday, totaling more than 1.2 million interviews each year.

7-Eleven’s score jumped to its highest level in four years on this year’s survey, the report said. Winn-Dixie ranked No. 10, just behind 7-Eleven.

Kroger took the number one spot, followed by Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods Market and Publix. Albertsons ranked No. 6 and Aldi No. 7.

The convenience store chain is expanding in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties. 7-Eleven opened 57 new or remodeled stores in the tri-county area since 2010. There are 15 more stores set to open by the end of this year in South Florida, and 25 scheduled for 2013, said Grant Distel, 7-Eleven's development director for real estate and franchising in the state.

The inside of the stores are getting an upgrade, too. Most of the South Florida 7-Eleven locations are being refitted for an updated coffee bar section, which provides an easier
experience for customers to find and pour their coffee. 7-Eleven's new hot food bars are coming to South Florida stores, which sell on-the-go items like chicken tenders, wings, sliced pizza and tacos.

More convenience stores in the U.S. are looking to become restaurants that sell gas and some other products, according to the National Association of Convenience Stores. The average U.S. convenience store sells more than $250,000 a year in food services.

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MetroPCS to open at Marlins Park West Plaza


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A fourth retailer will open up inside the Marlins Park West Plaza – a shopping destination created at the baseball park for fans and nearby residents alike.

MetroPCS is opening a store at Marlins Park as apart of a long term promotional partnership with the Miami team. The cell phone provider will open in the retail urban area aimed to connect with Little Havana, according to a news release.

Other shops in the plaza include La Baguette, Holiday Bakery and YoBlendz, a frozen yogurt and smoothie franchise.

The West Plaza mimics a street setting that connects to the surrounding neighborhood. The shopping plaza is open to the public year-round. The plaza area is designer to be a social area for fans before and after the games. When the roof of the ball park is open, it will provide cover for the West Plaza.

All West Plaza shops are open during regular business hours. The MetroPCS store at Marlins Park is open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. On game days, MetroPCS will remain open at least one hour after the first pitch.

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Red Mango opens first mall store in The Galleria


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Red Mango, a frozen yogurt and smoothie chain, opened its first in-mall location in Florida inside The Galleria Mall.

The frozen yogurt chain is known its all natural and gluten-free yogurt. Red Mango offers more than 40 tart and tangy flavors, among other items. The company has more than 150 stores across the U.S.

The location inside the Galleria Mall is located near Dillard’s on the upper Palm Court level. Red Mango is the No. 1 Zagat-rated brand of frozen yogurt and smoothies in 2011, edging out competitors like Pinkberry and Jamba Juice.

Other South Florida locations include the Fort Lauderdale International Airport in terminal three, the Tower Shops at 2124 S. University Drive in Davie and 111 5th St. on South Beach.

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Kmart stores in Hollywood, Pembroke Pines to lay off workers


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More than 170 employees will be laid off from Kmart stores in Hollywood and Pembroke Pines, as Sears Holding Corp. turns them into liquidation centers, according to Kimberly Freely, spokeswoman for the company.

About 81 employees from the Kmart store at 651 S. 60th Ave in Hollywood and 91 workers from the store at 10501 Pines Blvd. in Pembroke Pines will face layoffs near the end of July, said a worker adjustment and retraining notification notice issued on May 18.

The stores will remain open, but operate as liquidation centers, which function similar to outlet stores. The stores will sell only specialty items and last chance apparel. The hours of the stores will be cut to 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., so the number of staff will be cut significantly, Freely said.

Sears Holding Corp. is converting stores like this in a handful of markets, she said.

The Pompano Beach and Davie Kmart stores were included in a list of closures Sears Holding Corp. issued earlier this year. The company will close up to 120 full-line Kmart and Sears stores across the country in order to generate up to $170 million in cash.

A Sears Essentials store in West Palm Beach also closed.

Kmart stores in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and North Miami will remain open for now.

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Ethan Allen opens design center in Boca Raton


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Furniture and interior design retailer, Ethan Allen, will open a new design center inside the former Robb & Stucky location in Boca Raton this summer.

The two-story, 19-230-square-foot space at 906 N. Federal Highway in Boca will open to shoppers in the summer, although a full renovation of the building won’t be completed until the fall.

"We first brought our new interactive design center concept to the southeastern region when we opened our Miami location, and we are thrilled to now bring it to this new location in Boca Raton,” said David R. Burton, senior district design manager, in a news release. “This design center will really be our flagship location in the south and will feature an inspiring new look and state-of-the-art software that allows clients to collaborate with our design pros.”

Customers can expect to see a brand new layout with 60 percent new products that Ethan Allen introduced in September. Shoppers will be able to view room design projections on an interactive, flat-screen monitor. Shoppers can use the touch screens to preview their purchases and for room planning. A new segment of the store called Ethan Allen Express, which will have affordable furniture sets with free local delivery, will launch this summer.

This is the second design center Ethan Allen has opened in South Florida. The first location opened in Miami in February.

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Betsey Johnson going out of business sales begin


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Now's your chance to get your hands on some Betsey Johnson tops or dresses before the stores close for good in South Florida.

Going-out-of-business sales at all Betsey Johnson retail stores nationwide began on Friday and will continue until all merchandise has been sold, according to a news release.

Betsey Johnson, known for her use of bold color and designs in women’s fashion, filed for bankruptcy protection last month.

Shoppers can find savings of 20-50 percent off all Betsey Johnson apparel, jewelry, handbags and shoes. All store fixtures, like apparel racks, shelving and lighting are also for sale.

All Betsey Johnson gift cards will be honored until June 1. Sales made on or after Friday, May 11, are final.

The American designer’s first store opened 30 years ago in New York City, a press release said. The boutique line has 54 stores and nine outlet locations internationally.

Betsey Johnson stores are in the Town Center at Boca Raton, Aventura Mall, Sawgrass Mills, Dadeland Mall, the Gardens Mall and the Village of Merrick Park.

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Last minute gift guide for Mother's Day


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Mother’s Day is right around the corner. Still struggling to come up with a perfect present for mom? Here’s a list of some great last minute Mother’s Day gift ideas that won’t break the bank:

1. Calories don’t count on Mother’s Day: Bake mom a cake or buy her favorite dessert for her to enjoy on Sunday. Kids and dads can decorate desserts together for mom at local Winn-Dixie stores from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 12. Or pick up her favorite bottle of wine and the ingredients to her favorite cocktail and play bartender for the day.

2. Roses:Too late to schedule a delivery from a florist? Check out the fresh bouquets at your nearby grocery store. Bouquets start in the $16-$20 range.

3. A picture’s worth a thousand words: Shoppers can order one-hour photos online at most CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens stores. Upload a cute photo of you and your mom and pick it up on the way home. Might as well grab a photo frame while you’re there.

4. Breakfast in Bed: Dads and kids can stock up on breakfast goodies at the grocery store and give mom a delicious, homemade meal right in bed.

5. Mom mini makeover: Pamper your mom with do-it-yourself lotions and scrubs you made at home. Need some inspiration? Check out this list of DIY home spa ideas.

6. Digital downloads: Pick up a flash drive for under $30, and fill it with some of her favorite tunes and e-books. It’s the gift that keeps giving since she can enjoy the playlists and books on all her electronic devices again at a later time.

7. Gift cards: Can’t decide? Get her a gift card to her favorite store or restaurant. Pick them up on site or at a Walgreens, CVS, Target, Walmart or even some gas stations, which keep a variety of rechargable gift cards on hand. Click here for a run down on what you need to know before you purchase a gift card.

Check out our list of freebies for Mother’s Day here and a listing of Mother’s Day dining events here.

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Michael Kors opens second store at Sawgrass Mills


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Just in time for Mother’s Day, retailer Michael Kors will open a second oultet store inside the Sawgrass Mills outlet mall in Sunrise.

The new store, which is located near Rainforest Café, will sell apparel for women by the American designer. The store opened May 10.

The original Michael Kors outlet store will remain open in The Colonnade Outlets too, according to a press release. That store will focus on selling handbags, wallets, eye wear, shoes and watches.

Sawgrass Mills is the first shopping center in Florida to have two outlet locations from Michael Kors, according to a press release.

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Walgreens stores getting cool new look on Miami Beach


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Walgreens stores on Miami Beach are getting a new psychedelic twist.

The Walgreens stores at 2000 Normandy Drive and 1011 Alton Road on South Beach look nothing like any Walgreens store South Florida has seen before. The modern designs bring in the styles of different decades, each with their own unique feel.

The Normandy Isle Walgreens store, which first opened in Dec. 2011, is in a neighborhood that was largely defined in the 1950s and 1960s, according to a press release. The 12,990-square-foot building reflects the MiMo architectural style that was well known in that area of Miami.

Rooftop parking, marine imagery, cheese hole patterns and eyebrow canopies are present in the design.

The 10,000-square-foot South Beach Walgreens store located on the west side of Flamingo Park Historic District has a design that offers a kaleidoscope effect and signature fishnet windows. The store also has a retro, 1950s feel to it.

“We are thrilled to bring these two newly completed Walgreens stores to the City of Miami Beach,” says Keith Miller, senior real estate manager of Walgreens in a press release. “In additional to providing the area with much needed pharmacy services, each store will offer the same cost-effective consumer and health products for which our brand has become known."

In addition to these two unique stores, a third will be breaking ground on Miami Beach before July, the release said. There are no plans to bring a uniquely designed store to Broward or Palm Beach counties at this time.

Photo of the Normandy Isle Walgreens store, courtesy of Walgreens.

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Remodeled Winn-Dixie to open in Miramar


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The third remodeled Winn-Dixie store in South Florida will open next week in Miramar.

The newly renovated store at 17101 Miramar Parkway, was transformed to take on the look new Winn-Dixie stores, similar to the ones that opened in Margate and Davie. The new Miramar store will host a grand opening celebration on Wednesday, May 16.

“Along with the great amenities we are introducing at our Davie and Miramar locations, we also invite guests to check out the new attitude at Winn-Dixie,” said Randy Rambo, Winn-Dixie southern regional vice president. “Our fantastic team has made shopping fun again by providing our guests with phenomenal service and quality products at a great value.”

New features inside the store include a full-time sushi chef, pizza, pasta and salad bars, custom cake stations and a cafe with free Wi-Fi, plush seating and a TV. A specialty cheese department and expanded wine and produce sections are also new to the concept.

The remodeled Winn-Dixie store in Davie celebrated its grand re-opening on May 9. Another new Winn-Dixie store in Hallandale Beach will open in early June.

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The Grille to take over former Rare space on Las Olas


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A new restaurant will open inside the former Rare steakhouse on Las Olas Boulevard.

A 8,367-square-foot American cuisine restaurant called the Grille will open in the fall, said owner Kevin Blair, who also owns the Pinon Grill in the Town Center at Boca Raton and Brimstone Woodfire Grill in Pembroke Pines.

Construction on the two-story facility with a wine cellar has begun. The former tenant, Rare, closed earlier this year. The Grille will be open for lunch and dinner.


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Sports Authority hosting grand re-opening in Fort Lauderdale


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The newly remodeled Sports Authority in Fort Lauderdale will hold a grand re-opening for the completed store on Saturday beginning at 8 a.m.

The nearly 50,000-square-foot renovated store at 1901 N. Federal Highway has a new fitness equipment area, Nike shops for men and women, expanding footwear department and an updated checkout area.

The first 250 customers at the grand re-opening celebration will receive gift cards ranging from $5-$500 in value. More giveaways, including hourly $100 cash drawings and a $1,000 grand prize Sports Authority shopping spree will be going on throughout the day.

Regular store hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. and Sunday, 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.


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Mother's Day shopping and dining events around South Florida


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May is the month for Mom to feel pampered.

Several South Flroida malls are celebrating mom and everything she does during throughout the month of May. Here’s a listing of events and shopping specials for moms this month:

Coral Square Mall and the Town Center at Boca Raton will host Mom’s Nite Out on Thursday, May 10, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event will feature style shows and demonstrations, retailer discounts and giveaways, raffle items, entertainment, food and samples from participating retailers.

At Coral Square Mall, moms will sample beauty and apparel products from retailes like Francesca’s Collections, Macy’s, JC Penney, Build-A-Bear Camilla Day Spa and In Style by Angelo as well as relaxing mini-massages.

At the Town Center at Boca Raton, Acro-yoga, Tai Chi, belly dancing and a master yoga class taught by Leslie Glickman is offered to all moms at the event.

“We believe that moms deserve ‘A Nite Off,’ so Simon malls are hosting a free event where they can enjoy their favorite destination in a new way,” said Lisa Bennett, Assistant Vice President of Business Development at Simon Property Group in a press release.

Shoppers have a chance to win a little black dress from Cynthia Rowley’s runway and a $500 gift card by visiting Simon guest services.

Visit Florida is offering an exclusive vacation from package to one lucky mom and three of her friends. The trip is to Bellasera Hotel in Naples. The grand prize also includes airfare and a $100 gift card to Zizi Restaurant, a Tuscan-inspired eatery specializing in fusion cuisine.

The giveaways are happening at both Coral Square Mall and the Town Center at Boca Raton.

From May 1-10 at the Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens, shoppers who spend $350 or more can exchange their retailer receipts at the information desk for a bouquet delivery from Flower Kingdom.

Local delivery is included only in select zip codes (33401, 33403-33418, 33460-33463, 33467, 33458, 33480) and is not guaranteed by May 13.

Retailers inside CityPlace at West Palm Beach will be offering shopping deals on items for Mother's Day. Anthropologie is celebrating moms by offering 30 percent off all charms and charm bracelets. The Anushka Spa, Salon & Cosmedical Centre has a Mother's Day deal running: for $270, mom can get a facial, massage, manicure, pedicure, make-up and gift card - a $334 value.

At Bath & Body Works, shoppers will get a VIP tote bag with seven featured products inside (valued at more than $100) for $20 when you spend $40.

Macy's Mother's Day sale runs from Wednesday, May 2 to Sunday, May 13. Shoppers get 20 percent off select regular, sale and clearance apparel for men, women and children, an extra 15 percent off luggage, jewelry, watches, shoes, handbags, intimates and more.

The Pottery Barn at CityPlace is hosting a summer decorating class on Mother’s Day from 10-12 p.m.

At Victoria's Secret, shoppers get their choice of robe or perfume when they spend $75 or more in the store.

The Whole Foods Market on Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale will host a Mother's Day brunch on Saturday, May 12, from noon to 2 p.m. The event costs $15 per person and registration is required. Menu includes sparkling wine,parmigiano reggiano baked eggs with Swiss chard; red potato and asparagus salad; raspberry walnut salad with Mt. tam cheese. Call Whole Foods Market at (954) 565-5655 or visit the customer service counter inside the store to register.

IKEA in Sunrise is offering free breakfast for mom from 9 to 11 a.m. on May 13. She'll get free eggs, bacon, hashbrowns and a cup of coffee.

Looking for the perfect day or night out for mom? Check out a listing of Mother's Day eateries and events around South Florida here.

Check back for more Mother's Day special deals and dining events.


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Publix named No. 2 in Florida on Fortune 500 list


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Publix Super Markets fell short of being Florida’s top Fortune 500 company this year.

Miami-based World Fuel Services Corp. edged Publix for the No. 1 ranked Florida company with $34.6 billion in revenue. The company provides fueling and logistics services to air carriers, private aircraft and marine operators. They ranked No. 85 on the national list.

Publix, the second-largest company in Florida, ranked 106th this year with $27.2 billion in revenue. Last year it was ranked the No. 1 company in Florida. It ranked No. 2 in the state in 2010.

There were 16 Florida-based companies on this year’s Fortune 500 list, including Boca Raton-based Office Depot and Jacksonville-based Winn-Dixie.

Exxon Mobil ranked No. 1 on this year's list, and Walmart ranked No. 2. Last year, Walmart was No. 1 on the Fortune 500 listing.

To see the full list, click here.

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Miami's The Webster clothing line available in Target on Sunday


Target shoppers nationwide will be able to buy clothing and accessories from South Florida’s own The Webster boutique starting this weekend.

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The Webster is apart of the first flight of The Shops at Target, a new design partnership where the retailer will feature and sell five different collections from boutique businesses. The Webster will make its debut May 6 at all Target stores.

Clothing items will range in price from $7.99 to $49.99, according to a press release. The Webster at Target collection will have a Miami vibe, and some items will incorporate Miami Beach Art Deco district looks. The collection offers items for men, women and children in clothing, shoes and other accessories.

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Shoppers can find the collection in stores nationwide or at Target.com starting May 6.

Other shops included in The Shops at Target partnership are The Candy Store, Cos Bar, Polka Dog Bakery and Privet House.

The Webster is a high-end clothing, shoes, accessory and home furnishings boutique for men and women with a shop at 1220 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach. Prices range $100 to several thousand for women's dresses and shoes at the store.

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Betsey Johnson LLC files for bankruptcy protection


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Betsey Johnson LLC., a fashion retailer behind the designer known for her neon-colored spreads and clothing designs, has filed for Chapter 11 bankrupty protection, Reuters reports.

All Six South Florida retail stores will close, according to one Boca Raton employee. Store closures could come as early as a month's time.

There are more than 65 Betsey Johnson retail stores worldwide, including six in South Florida. The clothing line is also sold in stores like Nordstrom and Macy’s.

Betsey Johnson stores are in the Town Center at Boca Raton, Aventura Mall, Sawgrass Mills, Dadeland Mall, the Gardens Mall or the Village of Merrick Park.


The stores sell a mix of rock-n-roll and hippie-themed clothing, but also include cocktail dresses and accessories aimed at younger women.


Declining sales and profitability led to the decline, said the Reuters story. The fashion house listed total assets of $21.3 million and total liabilities of $15.4 million at the end of 2011. Betsey Johnson LLC has been unable to find new buyers or investors, according to the Reuters report.

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It's a sign switcheroo at Bru’s Room in Pompano


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Driven by Bru’s Room Sports Grill in Pompano Beach lately and seen a sign for another restaurant?

Wings lovers need not worry. The old Eddie Hauck’s Wings and Ribs sign is temporarily visible at the restaurant’s location on Federal Highway while the original Bru’s sign is being fixed, employees confirmed. The Hauck sign is a place holder until a new Bru’s sign is fixed and remounted onto the side of the building. The sign should be fixed soon, employees said.

The Bru’s Room Sports Grill restaurant is the same as its always been and the name is not changing, employees reassured.

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Photo by Carline Jean, Sun Sentinel.


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Sawgrass Mills expands shopping areas, adds stores


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Sawgrass Mills, the largest outlet mall in the United States, is getting even bigger.

The shopping center in Sunrise with 350 plus stores is expanding The Colonnade Outlets section of the mall by 40,000-square-feet, according to a press release. The expansion is located east of Villagio. Canali, Tag Heuer, Tommy Bahama’s Outlet, Tumi, True Religion Brand Jeans and other retailers in that area will remain open while construction goes on.

Upscale retailers Prada and Giorgio Armani will relocate to this new wing once it is completed. Apparel retailers Diane Von Furstenberg and Robert Graham will also open outlet stores in the new wing.The expanded area is set to open later this year.

Sawgrass Mills continues to enjoy great success as shoppers from around the world enjoy its unparalleled mix of stores,” said Luanne Lenberg, vice president and general manager at Sawgrass Mills in a news release. “This retail expansion will only enhance our world-famous shopping and add to the number of exclusive stores found at Sawgrass Mills.”

The expansion of The Colonnade Outlets follows the 140,000-square-foot renovation of the south side of the property, which children’s attraction, Wannado City, used to fill until January 2011. The space is being transformed to allow more retailers to open by this summer, the news release said.

South Florida’s first ever Steve Madden outlet store will join Columbia Sportswear Outlet, Volcom and relocating Forever 21 and Calvin Klein in this new area. The expanded space will connect this area of the mall to The Colonnade Outlets with a clear, landscaped path for shoppers to follow.

Other new retailers to the mall include a second location from Michael Kors, a bareMinerals location, the expansion of the Levi’s Outlet Store, and Talbots, Greg Norman, Old Navy and California Pizza Kitchen in The Oasis.

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Walmart breaks ground on new center in North Lauderdale


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North Lauderdale residents are getting a bigger and better Walmart.

City officials will gather at the future site of a Walmart Supercenter at 7900 W. McNab Rd., in North Lauderdale Thursday at 10 a.m. for a groundbreaking ceremony. The new Walmart will nearly double the size of the next nearest Walmart store in the city.

The new store is set to open in January 2013.

The new Walmart Supercenter will feature a grocery store, garden department and a drive-thru pharmacy. City officials worked with Walmart to create a different outer facade than most other Walmart buildings, which includes awnings, trellis and pedestrian walkways, according to a press release. The building also incorporated environmentally sustainable building materials into the design, the release said.

The space will have 15 out parcels available for development at a later time.

“We have been working with Walmart for the past five years and are looking forward to having the supercenter in the city,” said North Lauderdale Mayor Jack Brady in a press release. “The store will benefit our residents and we are also ecstatic that it will generate approximately 80 to 100 new jobs here.”


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Portrait studios inside major retailers closing in South Florida


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Wave bye-bye, baby.

The portrait studios inside the Lauderhill Babies R Us stores closed Saturday, the latest professional photo studios to turn off the lights.

A clerk at the Lauderhill store said only three studios would remain in Florida: Pembroke Pines and two locations in Miami-Dade. A media spokesperson for CPI Corp. could not be reached for comment.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that St. Louis-based CPI Corp. is closing 124 underperforming Kiddie Kandids portrait studios inside Babies R Us stores nationwide. Most of the closed studios weren’t meeting minimum sales requirements.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch also reported that CPI - which also owns the studios at Buy Buy Baby, Sears and Walmart - was closing 346 Walmart studios across the country. The portrait studio operator has suffered a number of blows in recent months following poor financial results, including the transfer of its stock from the New York Stock Exchange to the over-the-counter market.

Other studios are closing as well. The Sun Sentinel reported Target portrait studios are closing 35 of their 183 locations nationwide. That includes the only two in Broward County, in Lauderhill and Deerfield Beach. Both will close April 29 and photos taken that day will be mailed to customers’ homes. There aren’t any portrait studios in Palm Beach County.

Kelvin Miller, spokesman for Lifetouch - the company that runs the Target studios as well as the studios at Olan Mills and JC Penney - said it's "eliminating stores that are underperforming."

Story by Lisa J. Huriash, Sun Sentinel

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IKEA catalog now available online


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IKEA shoppers don't have to wait to get their catalogs in the mail anymore.

The Swedish home furnishings retailer now offers an online version of their annual catalog. The catalog book provides shoppers with an up-to-date listing of items for sale and their prices.

The digital catalog is also available for iPhone, Android and iPad for free.

There are more than 320 IKEA stores in 39 countries, including 38 stores in the U.S. The nearest South Florida IKEA is in Sunrise at 151 NW 136th Ave.


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Pollo Tropical accepts Google Wallet mobile pay app


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Pollo Tropical patrons can now pay with their phones instead of their wallets when dining at the restaurants in South Florida.

The Miami-based restaurant chain now accepts payments from the Google Wallet smartphone platform for all purchases, whether it be to dine in, take out or drive thru.

Google Wallet stores payment information on your phone and access it via an app that can be used anywhere MasterCard PayPass is accepted. No usage fees apply.

CVS, Einstein Bagels and 7-Eleven stores in South Florida also accept Google Wallet.

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iPic Theater taking shape in Boca Raton


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The unique look of the new iPic Theater in Mizner Park is turning heads.

The upscale movie theater set to open in May is still under construction. But the exterior is starting to take shape. A deep cherry wood frame covers one corner of the building. Several brightly colored and uniquely designed mosaic tiles decorate the hardwood panels.

A combination of wood, glass and metal complete the outdoor design and entrance to the theater.

This new look for Mizner Park is also a unique design unlike any other iPic Theater, said Hamid Hashemi, president and CEO of iPic Theaters.

“We are extremely excited to introduce the concept to marketplace and to see how the public will react to what we have in store for them at both iPic Theaters Mizner Park as well as our independent restaurant concept Tanzy launching this summer,” Hashemi said.

Hashemi declined to comment on the cost of the theater.

Boca Raton and Hallandale Beach will open new iPic Theaters this year. The theaters will offer restaurant and lounge services, electric reclining seats and a premium level seating option that comes with unlimited popcorn.

Moviegoers may pay $15-$25 for admission, although final prices have not been set.

In Boca Raton, the space that used to be a Sunrise Cinemas location will be transformed into a 43,000-square-foot, two-story iPic. The eight-screen theater will include an adjacent 7,000-square-foot restaurant and bar concept called Tanzy.

About 300 jobs will be created when both locations open, Hashemi said. Applicants can applications to miznerpark@ipic.com or just visit ipictheaters.com.

Do you like the look of the new theater? Tell us what you think in this poll.

Photo by Carline Jean, Sun Sentinel.

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Albertsons closing 13 stores in Florida


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The Albertsons grocery store in Oakland Park will soon be one of only four remaining stores in Florida after the national chain closes 13 other locations by the early summer.

Albertsons announced that it will close 13 stores in Florida, affecting a total of 1,100 people who are currently employed with the company, according to Christine Wilcox, spokeswoman for Albertsons.

Liquidation sales will begin as early as May, and stores are expected to close by June.

The nearest closing Albertsons store to South Florida is in Port St. Lucie, according to company records.

The Albertsons location in Key West will close by the end of April, earlier than most other stores.

The company will also shutter a distribution center in Plant City.

Four stores will remain open in the state, including the store at 950 E. Commerical Blvd. in Oakland Park. Three other stores in Central Florida and the Tampa area will also remain open.
It is unknown how many employees work at the Oakland Park store.

“We evaluate our store base frequently, but chose to follow recommendations that will allow us to focus on our healiest stores in Florida,” Wilcox said.

Albertsons is a discount grocer with stores across the country. An industry publication, Supermarket News, ranked the grocer No. 35 on a list of top 75 retailers and wholesalers in 2012, based on annual sales. Albertsons reported estimated sales of $3.9 billion in February.


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Lord & Taylor coming to Boca Raton later this year


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The rumors are true. Lord & Taylor will open a new store in Boca Raton later this year.

The upscale clothing and accessories retailer plans to open in the previous Robb & Stucky furniture store location in Mizner Park, according to city records.

A company spokesperson could not be reached for comment.

The 80,000-square-foot store is likely to open in the fall.

A Lord & Taylor outlet store opened at the Dolphin Mall in Miami in July 2011. It is the only other Lord & Taylor location in South Florida, according to the South Florida Business Journal.

In 2003, the company announced it would close 32 under-performing Lord & Taylor stores in 15 states and focus on its core markets. At that time, six stores remained in Florida.

The retailer pulled out of the Galleria mall in Fort Lauderdale in 2002 and at the Mall at Wellington Green and Fashion Mall in Plantation in 2003.

This would be the first full-line store opening since the earlier closures in South Florida.

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McCormick & Schmick's restaurant closes in CityPlace


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McCormick & Schmick's closed its location at CityPlace in West Palm Beach over the weekend.

The seafood restaurant, which was housed in a space near Okeechobee Boulevard in between Sapodilla and Rosemary avenues, closed its doors after business hours on Saturday. The store opened in 2009, according to a Palm Beach Post article.

A sign in the restaurant's front window directs customers to Charley's Crab on South Ocean Boulevard in Palm Beach, another establishment opened by the same company, Landry's Inc.


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Meet Mike Pouncey at Coral Springs AT&T store Saturday


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Miami Dolphins fan? Well here’s your chance to meet player Mike Pouncey and some of the Dolphins cheerleaders this weekend.

Dolphins center offensive lineman, Mike Pouncey, will be signing autographs at the AT&T Store in Coral Springs on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Pouncey was selected as the No. 15 pick in the first round of the NFL Draft last year by the Miami Dolphins after playing for the Florida Gators.

The store is located at 4240 N. State Road 7 in Coral Springs.

From 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. tonight, Miami Dolphins cheerleaders Candi and Ariana will be signing autographs at the AT&T Store in Boca Village. The cheerleading squad travels internationally, performing on military tours and at events in South Florida.

The store is located at 694 Yamota Rd. in Boca Raton.

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Best Buy site down until Wednesday afternoon


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Today is not the day to try and buy a new iPad or laptop online from Best Buy.

The electronics retailer's website will be down until 3 p.m. Wednesday, according to a script on the site. The message tells web viewers that the Best Buy site is down for scheduled maintenance and routine updates.

The website has been down since 10 p.m. Tuesday, according to Mashable.com

The Weekly Ad and Store Locator sections of the website are still available for viewing.

Online orders that have already been placed will still be processed during the web update, although there is no way for customers to check on the status of the order.

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Publix to reopen in Pompano Beach Saturday






















Pompano Beach residents will soon be able to shop inside the newly rebuilt Publix store, which has been closed for renovations.

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The Publix at 2511 E. Atlantic Blvd. in Pompano Beach will reopen to customers Saturday, March 31, at 7 a.m.

The first 1,500 customers on the grand opening day will receive a customized free Publix reusable bag.

The original store, which opened on August 3, 1967 and was 44,000-square-feet, closed on April 30, 2011. It was torn down and replaced with a larger 54,000-square-foot store and a new parking garage.

The shopping aisles have been expanded to allow for more products and the store will have a wide selection of natural and organic foods.

About 200 people will be employed at the new store.

Pompano Beach city officials considered the proposal of the $20 million to $30 million renovation and expansion of the Publix on East Atlantic Boulevard in 2007.

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Whole Foods opening in Pembroke Pines March 28























Whole Foods Market will open its newest Broward location in Pembroke Pines on Wednesday, March 28.

The grand opening celebration will begin with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 9 a.m., a free continental breakfast from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and a bread breaking ceremony. The Pembroke Pines Charter High School Marching Band will also perform.

Opening day customers will be able to try samplings from every department, according to a press release.

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“We’ve been looking forward to the Pembroke Pines store opening and are thrilled to bring Whole Foods Market to the residents of Northwest Miami Dade and Southwest Broward Counties,” said Nick Ayoub, Store Team Leader of the new location, in a press release.

The new store, located in the Cobblestone Plaza at 14956 Pines Blvd., is the 11th South Florida store, and the 17th Whole Foods Market in Florida.

The company was founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas. The organic grocer will have a full time healthy eating specialist on staff in Pembroke Pines to assist customers in making healthy food choices, teach cooking demonstrations and give store tours. A specialist station will be set up in the produce section.

Click here for a photo gallery of the new store.

The Whole Foods store will accept items from local South Florida farms that are apart of the Consumer Supported Agriculture program. Farmers can use the store as a drop-point for free of charge. This service is in addition to the locally grown and produced items that will be stocked on store shelves.

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Coral Square Mall brings in new stores this year


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Seven new retailers are coming to the Coral Square Mall in Coral Springs this year.

The first Crazy 8 in Broward County, along with another children’s retailer, P.S. from
Aeropostale, recently opened. Crazy 8 is the newest brand to launch under the The Gymboree Corporation umbrella. The 2,100-square-foot store near the Old Navy inside the mall sells age apprpriate clothing for children.

P.S. from Aeoropostale specializes in children’s clothing from ages 7-12. The new 3,901-square-foot location opened near the Disney Store.

The Limited, a women’s clothing retailer, will open this summer in a 4,000-square-foot space near American Eagle. Pink by Victoria’s Secret, which sells sleepwear, lingerie and beauty products for women, opens this fall in a 5,100-square-foot store in front of Charlotte Russe.

Love Culture, a discount clothing, accessories and shoe store for women, will also open this fall in a 8,300-square-foot space in the former Gap and Gapkids stores.

Mrs. Fields Cookies and a Churromania are the newest eatery additions to the mall.

“We’re thrilled to offer these great additions to the local community and visitors,” said Xiomara Fraga, director of marketing and business development at Coral Square Mall in a press release. “Each of these concepts enhances the vibrant environment found at Coral Square."

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Target offers free shipping for online orders


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Free shipping always sweetens an online deal, so Target has expanded it's policy.

Target will now ship online orders for free when shoppers use their Red Cards, the retailer's Visa credit card. Or, score free shipping with purchase is $50 or more good on 500,000 eligible items.

No minimum purchase is required to get free shipping when using the Red Card. All Red Card purchases save shoppers 5 percent on items too.

Target updated it return policy, too. "Easy Returns" now allows the return of most online purchase to stores. The return method is listed on the product page under shipping.

For more information, click here.

There are no signs of the free shipping promotion expiring any time soon, says Target spokeswoman, Andrea McCauley.

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Ann Taylor closing in CityPlace, new store opening in Gardens Mall


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One Palm Beach Ann Taylor store will close and another will open at a nearby mall shortly after.

Women’s clothing retailer, Ann Taylor, will close its doors for good at CityPlace in West Palm Beach on Saturday.

Closeout deals will be going on at the store through the week. The store is on South Rosemary Avenue.

But a new Ann Taylor concept store plans to open inside the Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens in May, according to a company statement.

"This store will serve as our presence in the Palm Beach shopping area," the statement said.

The brand opened its last concept store in South Florida at the Shops at Pembroke Gardens in August. There are four other Ann Taylor concept stores in Aventura, Boca Raton and Dadeland that opened in 2010 and 2011, in addition to the seven other loft, factory and outlet stores in the region.

The stores have been redesigned in recent years to create a more boutique feel, said a company statement. "The boutiques are inspired by a stylish modern contemporary home and provide a more intimate shopping experience that is chic, warm and inviting."

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Goldstar sells half off tickets to South Florida events


Looking for an affordable seat to the next Miami Heat game?

There’s a new ticket site to check in town. Much like Groupon or LivingSocial, Goldstar is a membership-based website that touts half-off prices on tickets to live entertainment like sporting events, concerts and comedy shows. The web retailer recently expanded into South Florida.

Members have access to Miami Heat, Florida Panthers, Miami Lyric Opera, and Disney on Ice tickets, as well as other events at venues that include the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, The New Theater and AmericanAirlines Arena.

How does it work? Sports teams and venues partner with Goldstar and allocate surplus tickets to sell to Goldstar members at half-price. The concept differs from sites like StubHub and eBay, which lets customers buy and sell tickets and charge fees for the transactions.

“Sometimes with so many options, it’s hard to choose what to do, and even harder to stay within budget,” said Jim McCarthy, CEO of Goldstar in a press release.

Miami Heat tickets to the April 10 game against the Boston Celtics are for sale for $65 on Goldstar. Full price tickets start at $103. The April 10 Florida Panthers home game against the Edmonton Oilers are offered for $15. Full price tickets are $30.

There are more than 12,000 South Florida residents, from West Palm Beach to Miami, that are members on the site already. It is free to sign up.

Goldstar has more than two million members and 5,000 venue partners nationwide. The site lists up to 1,500 half-price or free live events each day.

“We hope that by bringing Goldstar to Miami we can make it easier for people to ‘go out more’ by providing fun ideas, affordable tickets, and a simple way to share those experiences with
friends,” McCarthy said.

Sign up for free at Goldstar.com and follow on Twitter at @GoldstarMiami.

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Boynton Beach Mall adds two new stores and restaurant concept


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Three new retailers have set up shop inside the Boynton Beach Mall this mall this month.

An As Seen on TV store, Charley’s Grilled Subs and Kitchen Collection are the newest to stores to enter the Simon Mall at 801 North Congress Ave.

Kitchen Collection offers kitchen supplies and utensils for the amateur and professional chef, according to a press release. The 6,000-square-foot store sells brand name products like Hamilton Beach, KitchenAid, T-fal, Cuisinart and Progressive. The new store is located next to Wet Seal inside the mall. The retailer also sells factory refurbished products and closeout items for the deal-seeking shopper.

This is the first Kitchen Collection store to open in Palm Beach County.

As Seen on TV, the store dedicated solely to infomercial products seen in commercials on television, opened a 1,142-square-foot store next to the Sunglass Hut in the Macy’s wing of the mall. Products range from kitchen and household items to outdoors, and health and beauty products.

Charley’s Grilled Subs, the newest addition to the Boynton Beach Mall food court, sells steak, chicken and deli sub sandwiches with grilled salads, steak fries and a variety of unique lemonades. The concept began on the Ohio State University campus and opened its first store in Boynton Beach inside the mall.

“We’re thrilled to offer these great additions to the local community and visitors,” said Pamela Kluge, director of marketing and business development in a press release. “Each of these concepts enhances the vibrant environment found at Boynton Beach Mall."

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iPad fans wait in line for the new release






















South Florida residents set on being one of the first to get the new iPad released today didn't let a little early morning rain stop them.

Click here for a photo gallery of the release.

Kevin Booker, from Hollywood, staked out his No. 2 spot in line at the Apple Store in the Galleria Mall around 9 p.m. Thursday night. That means he spent 11 hours inside the mall, just to get his hands on the newest iPad.

"There is no other piece of technology that is up to par," Booker said while waiting in line in front of the store Friday morning.

He plans to get two iPads today - one for himself and one for a friend.

Maro Macieo had been at the store since 8 p.m. Thursday and was the first to walk into the Apple Store Friday morning. He was greeted by hollering and clapping Apple Store employees and got a few pats on the back and a hug as he entered the store.

Macieo flew to Fort Lauderdale from Brazil specifically to get an iPad.

"I want to be the first person in Brazil with one," Macieo said.

Others, like Mark Hollingsworth from Fort Lauderdale, got in line just 30 minutes before the 8 a.m. store opening. He was dressed in a "Windows killer" Apple fan T-shirt.

"This definitely is not my first Apple product," he said.

Apple Store employees passed out Starbucks coffee, Dunkin Donuts treats and bottled water to customers in line.

A line formed outside the Best Buy on Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale before sunrise. Customers waiting in line collected inside the first set of glass doors to brave the rain. Stores open at 10 a.m.

The new iPad comes in HD and 4G, and starts at $499. Want to know more about Apple’s latest gadget, click here for Daniel Vasquez’s Consumer Talk blog.

Walmart stores started selling the iPad before anyone else at 12:01 a.m. Friday morning, according to a spokeswoman.

The new iPad went on sale at all Target stores at 8 a.m. Friday. Target is offering a trade-in offer to customers who are willing to trade in their working iPad 2. Shoppers who trade in an older iPad can receive up to $350 in store credit. Credit depends on the type of iPad traded in and can be used toward the purchase of a new iPad. Target guests who shop with a Target REDCard will receive 5 percent savings on the purchase of the new iPad.

South Florida AT&T stores opened at 9 a.m. Monthly data packages start at $14.99 and do not require a two-year term commitment. Maurice Contreras, manager of the Sunrise AT&T store near Sawgrass Mills, said there was no line at the store for iPads. However, a steady stream of customers came in after the store opened its doors.

There was a line of more than 50 people at the neighboring Best Buy, Contreras said.

BrandsMart USA stores will only have three new iPads for sale per store, according to spokeswoman, Ellen Stevens. BrandsMart USA stores will open at 9 a.m. Friday and the iPads will be sold on a first come, first serve basis.

Best Buy stores opened at 10 a.m. Managers began handing out tickets for available units at 8 a.m. to any customers waiting in line outside the store before opening. Managers are reporting crowds of 50-100 customers per store.

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Kmart store in Davie to close


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The Kmart store in Davie will close, along with 62 additional specialty stores that Sears Holding Corp. announced will close within the first half of this year, according to an annual report.

The struggling retailer plans to shut the doors of 43 of its Hometown stores, 10 of the hardware stores and all nine of its Great Indoors stores, according to the report press release.

There are no Great Indoor stores in Florida.

The company announced in December that it will close up to 120 full-line Kmart and Sears stores across the country in order to generate up to $170 million in cash. Sears Holding Company released an initial list of 79 stores that are scheduled to close, which included the Pompano Beach Kmart and a Sears Essentials store in West Palm Beach.

The closing of Sears Essentials at 4560 Forest Hill Blvd. in West Palm Beach will leave 81 employees without jobs on April 12, said a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification on the FDEO website.

It is unclear how many employees there are at the Pompano Beach Kmart, located at 2421 N. Federal Highway or the store at 1901 S. University Drive in Davie.

Customers report that store closing sales are going on inside the Pompano Beach and Davie Kmart stores.

In February, Sears Holding Corp. announced that it will sell 11 stores for $270 million to General Growth, which owns malls around the country. A Sears department store in Ocoee in Central Florida was included in the sale.

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BrandsMart USA offering free shipping on Smart TVs


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Looking for the perfect flat screen to watch all 67 March Madness games this month?

BrandsMart USA is offering free delivery on all flat-panel Smart TVs that are 47-inches or larger, according to a company press release.

All 47-inch or above flat-panel Smart televisions will be delivered free within the local delivery areas. The TVs are delivered by company service technicians through the BrandsMart USA Service Center.

Basic installation includes removing the television from the packaging, placing it on the stand, hooking up to two existing video sources like cable, satellite or a DVD player, and a demonstrating how to use the remote control.

BrandsMart USA technicians also will remove old TVs at no extra charge, if requested.

Smart TVs have a built-in connection for Internet without the use of an additional box, the press release stated. To work correctly, a home must have high speed Internet access and a dual band router.

BrandsMart USA also offers free local delivery on appliances purchased for $399 or more. No expiration date for the free shipping offer has been set.

What's a Smart TV? Watch a video here.

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Winn-Dixie, Bi-Lo complete merger


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The merger between grocery chains Winn-Dixie and Bi-Lo was finished late last week when Winn-Dixie shareholders approved the transaction, according to a press release.

No store names will change, and none of the 480 Winn-Dixie stores will close because of the merger, said Eric Barnes, spokesman for Jacksonville-based Winn-Dixie grocery stores. Winn-Dixie loyalty reward cards and fuelperks! program will carry on without interruption. Bi-Lo grocery stores also operate a fuelperks program.

South Carolina-based Bi-Lo announced it will move its headquarters to Jacksonville.

Winn-Dixie stockholders will be eligible for $9.50 in cash per share. Jacksonville-based Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. sold for $560 million.

Bi-Lo is the ninth largest supermarket chain in the U.S. with 688 grocery stores and 63,000 employees in eight states in the Southeast.

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Want to fly? Jet pack experience deal offered through Living Social today


Want to know what it feels like to fly? For $149, you can strap on a water-powered jet pack and zoom across the ocean in Fort Lauderdale.

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Living Social is offering a Rocketman jet pack experience to South Florida residents today. The deal gets you a half-hour ride with a take-home, high-definition DVD of the experience, which usually costs $300. The water-fueled jet pack propels users 30 feet up in the air, does turns and dives, all on open water.

Today is the last day to purchase the deal. More than 550 people have purchased the deal already, which has been running since March 7.

Click here for the deal.

To learn more about the Rocketman Experience, click here.

Want more than a half-hour experience? The jet packs are offered for sale for nearly $100,000 by Dania Beach-based company, JetLev Technologies. Read the full story here.

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Aventura Mall ranked No. 2 most visited mall by Travel + Leisure


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Travel + Leisure Magazine ranked Aventura Mall the second most visited mall in the country, outranking Sawgrass Mills and the Town Center at Boca Raton.

Aventura Mall has 28 million visitors annually, according to the ranking, making it the second most popular enclosed shopping center on the list. The upscale mall in northern Miami-Dade county, which houses about 300 retailers, beat out Sawgrass Mills, which ranked No. 5 with 26 million visitors a year and the Town Center at Boca Raton, which ranked 26th with 11 million visitors.

Mall of America in Minnesota took the No. 1 spot with 40 million shoppers annually.

“Aventura Mall has become a fashion destination for not only the local community, but also the international visitor,” said Anabel Llopis, Aventura Mall’s Director of Sales and Marketing. “We attribute this to our ever-evolving retailer mix, ranging from luxury, renowned names to many of the most popular and recognized retailers.”

Aventura Mall houses retailers like Tag Heuer, Louis Vuitton, Herve Leger by MaxAzria, Burberry, Faconnable, Henri Bendel, Michael Kors and Hugo Boss.

The travel publication ranked 30 malls by using the most recent Directory of Major Malls and through data from mall owners.

“Some mall owners were glad to share their latest data; others either refused or said they don’t keep track of how many people come through their doors. In cases where we couldn’t get the data directly from the malls, we used alternative sources including chambers of commerce, newspapers, advertising agencies, and tourism websites. Given that people don’t purchase tickets to a mall, all of the annual visitation numbers are estimates no matter what the source,” the article stated.

No other Florida malls made the list.

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Giveaways, celebrity appearances, at Dick's Sporting Goods store opening in Lauderdale


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Dick’s Sporting Goods will open its newest location in Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday.

The store, located in the Regions Bank Plaza at 2420 N. Federal Highway, will celebrate the grand opening over three days, beginning with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday at 8 a.m. with Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler.

The first customers through the door on Friday will receive a free Reebok T-shirt while supplies last.

Giveaways and special athlete appearances will take place throughout the weekend inside the new store. On Friday, South Florida fishing legend Captain Bouncer Smith, who holds more than 50 world records in fishing, will meet customers from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

On Saturday, Miami Marlin’s baseball legend Jeff Conine will be onsite from 1-3 p.m. There will also be a free Columbia T-shirt giveaway while supplies last.

On Sunday, Blair Wiggins, a champion angler and the host of Addictive Fishing on the Sun Sports Network, will be in the store from 11 a.m.- 4 p.m.

The first 100 customers in line at the store on Sunday will receive unmarked Dick’s Sporting Goods gift cards in varying amounts, from $5 to $500. The giveaway is limited to one per person and shoppers must be 18 years or older to participate.

Customers can register to win a $100 Dick’s Sporting Goods gift card all weekend long. Additional grand opening sweepstakes and product demonstrations from brands like adidas, Wright & McGill, Crocs, Penn and Shimano, will be going on throughout the weekend.

The Fort Lauderdale location is the retailer's 18th store in Florida and 5th in South Florida. The store will be open from Friday and Saturday 8 a.m. – 10 p.m., and Sunday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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For first time, Sawgrass Mills to open on Easter Sunday


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For the first time, Sawgrass Mills will open on Easter Sunday, kicking off a month of $500 in special coupon savings through the end of April.

On April 8, the Sunrise megamall will open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., according to a release.

“Springtime brings an influx of friends and family visiting South Florida, and the first-time Easter holiday opening and Super Saver Sundays launch will provide these guests with more time to shop and save at Sawgrass Mills,” said Joellyn Fellmeth, director of marketing and business development at Sawgrass Mills. “This extra day translates into more savings for everyone and a perfect leisure day of shopping and dining for the entire family.”

The 350-store Simon Mall also will kick off a month-long "Super Saver Sundays" program, offering shoppers a complimentary coupon book with more than $500 in savings. Shoppers can go online to get a printable voucher redeemable at guest services for a complimentary book, which includes:

$20 off of a purchase of $100 or more at Bloomingdale’s – The Outlet Store
20% off of a purchase of $40 or more at Carter’s
20% off of a single full-priced item at Juicy Couture
15% off of a single item at Kate Spade New York
10% off of the entire check at Johnny Rockets
$5 off of your purchase of $35 or more at The LEGO Store

Visit the Sawgrass Mills fan page on Facebook for more info.

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Navarro Discount Pharmacy opens first store in Broward


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Navarro Discount Pharmacy will open its first Broward County store in Pembroke Pines next week.

The new 16,000-square-foot store is located at 15825 Pines Blvd. in Pembroke Pines. The store will open Thursday, March 8 at 8 a.m.

“This is an area in West Broward where Navarro hopes to target Puerto Rican and Venezuelan Hispanics living in the area,” said Jeanne Becker, spokeswoman with Becker Public Relations.

The South Florida-based pharmacy brand has 30 locations in Miami-Dade County. The pharmacy will offer it’s own private label brand called Vida Mia inside the Pembroke Pines store.

Each store sells pharmacy supplies, personal care and household products, limited grocery selections, some electronics and has a fragrance counter. Navarro Discount Pharmacy stores also offer photo processing services and sell cell phones from a select few major service providers.

Navarro Discount Pharmacy holds a 17 percent market share in South Florida with reported annual sales near $320 million, according to a press release.

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Ulysse Nardin opens second U.S. store in Aventura


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Ulysse Nardin, a luxury Swiss watch manufacturer, opened its second store in the United States inside the Aventura Mall earlier this month.

The 775-square-foot boutique sells more than 100 types of the brand’s timepieces, including three limited edition models sold only inside the Aventura Mall store.

This is the second store in the U.S. for the Switzerland-based watch retailer. The company’s U.S. flagship store is inside the Town Center at Boca Raton. The Boca location houses the company’s only service center in the U.S. and six Swiss-trained watchmakers.

“We are pleased to expand our 166 year-old brand even further into the South Florida market,” said Patrik Hoffmann, CEO of Ulysse Nardin in a press release. “South Florida timepiece aficionados show great enthusiasm for our unique pieces, and we are thrilled to provide them with another destination where they can find limited edition timepieces.”

The watches are sold inside the two South Florida stores, online and through 65 authorized retailers nationwide.

Ulysse Nardin produces nearly 20,000 watches in Switzerland annually. The company was founded in 1846.

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Sears in Central Florida sold to General Growth


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A Sears department store in Ocoee is the only Florida store out of 11 others that the struggling retailer will sell for $270 million to General Growth, which owns malls around the country, including West Oaks in the Central Florida area.

It is not clear what General Growth will do with the properties, which will operate as Sears stores into 2013. Exact closing dates will be determined later this year.

More than 80 West Palm Beach Sears Essentials employees will be laid off in April as apart of the Sears Holding Corp. downsize, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

The closing of Sears Essentials at 4560 Forest Hill Blvd. in West Palm Beach will leave 81 employees without jobs on April 12, said a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification on the FDEO website.

A Sears Holdings Corp. spokeswoman said liquidation sales would begin in February for a Kmart in Pompano Beach and the West Palm Beach Sears Essential store that are among dozens of locations set to close after Sears reported a slump in 2010 holiday sales.

More store closings are expected to be announced.

Sandra Pedicini from the Orlando Sentinel contributed to this report.

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Abercrombie & Fitch plans to close 180 stores


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Men's and women’s fashion retailer, Abercrombie & Fitch, will close 180 stores in the United States by 2015, according to a fourth quarter company report.

The company, which also owns the teen Hollister Co. clothing brand, closed 68 stores in the fourth quarter of 2011 alone. It is uncertain which stores, if any in South Florida, will be included in the list of closures.

Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries said the numbers were “below expectations,” although “on the right track” in the long term in a quarterly report conference call.

Despite the plans to close 180 under performing stores in the United States, the company plans to open five Abercrombie & Fitch flagship stores abroad in Hamburg, Hong Kong, Munich, Dublin and Amsterdam this year.

There are Abercrombie & Fitch stores in the Mall at Wellington Green, Gardens Mall in Palm Beach, the Galleria Mall in Fort Lauderdale, the Falls and Dadeland malls in Miami, Aventura Mall and the Town Center at Boca Raton.

The New Albany, Ohio-based company’s total net sales for the quarter reached $1.3 billion, which was 16 percent higher than the same quarter last year.

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Survey ranks Publix as top grocer in customer satisfaction


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Publix continues its reign over other grocers in a widely-watched national shopper satisfaction survey released this week.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index surveys nearly 70,000 customers nationwide quarterly and uses their input to rank more than 225 companies in 47 industries. The index ranks food retailers once a year.

Lakeland-based Publix is the top grocer out of 12 major retailers ranked, based on a score of 84 out of 100. The Southeast regional supermarket chain has been rated the top grocery chain since 1995, according ACSI, an affiliate of the University of Michigan.

Whole Foods, an upscale organic grocery chain, ranked second with a score of 80. It was first measured by the index in 2007. Walmart dropped 3 percent this year in the rankings with a score of 69 in the supermarket category, the release said. It remains dead last among all grocery retailers.

Supermarket News, an industry publication, ranked Walmart as No. 1 on its list of the top 75 grocery retailers and wholesalers for 2012, based on annual sales. Walmart’s sales were $311 billion in 2011.

Publix is ranked 8th with sales at $29.9 billion and Whole Foods was 20th with $10.1 billion.
Customer satisfaction at a national level across all industries was up to 75.8 on a scale of 0 to 100, the release said, which is a “mild improvement with a very slowly recovering U.S. economy.”

“The good news is that customer satisfaction continues to climb, which has a positive effect on consumer demand and growth,” said Claes Fornell, ACSI founder. “Still, the ACSI improvement is tepid, and much of the fourth quarter gain comes from positive consumer reaction to lower gas prices. With gas prices already on the rise, customers obviously are going to be less pleased.”

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Ikea launches free online furniture assembly videos


Ever been confused, frustrated or just downright given up when trying to put together a piece of IKEA furniture?

IKEA wants to fix that. The Swedish home furnishings retailer is launching a series of assembly videos to help guide customers through the process of putting together IKEA furniture. The videos are designed to complement the printed instructions included in every assembly set, and give customers a visual reference for fitting pieces together from start to finish.

The videos are now available for free on IKEA’s YouTube channel. More videos are planned to roll out on a weekly basis.

Popular furniture items will have video instructions, including the PAX LYNGDAL wardrobe sliding doors and the GALANT corner desk.

“We understand that not everyone is a natural DIY-er at heart, so we have created this fun, easy-to-follow video series as an additional tool to lend a helping hand to our customers,” said Christine Whitehawk, external communications manager, IKEA U.S. in a press release.

Each video is short and features helpful pop-up tips as the video plays on. Viewers can rewind at their own pace and pause when needed.

The first IKEA assembly video features the MALM bedframe. View it above.

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Hollywood woman on a mission to bring Trader Joe's to South Florida


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One Broward County resident feels so passionately about having a Trader Joe’s grocery store in her county, she’s started her own petition to present to the company’s headquarters.

Nadine Whiteman, from Hollywood, launched an online petition and is encouraging South Florida residents to sign it if they too want a Trader Joe’s grocery store in Broward County.

“I saw the petition going around West Palm Beach and decided to start one here,” Whiteman said. “West Palm is at least an hour away from where I live. I want one in Broward.”

Local Palm Beach officials are petitioning to bring the popular grocer to the East Coast side of South Florida. West Palm Beach's Downtown Development Authority has begun production on a marketing film called “What would I trade for Trader Joe’s,” where city officials will give up precious items in return for a grocery store opening in downtown Palm Beach.

Whiteman’s petition had 39 signatures as of noon on Tuesday, but jumped to 471 Wednesday morning.

“I know a lot of families that want to eat organic, but the prices are too expensive at stores like The Fresh Market and Whole Foods,” she said. “Trader Joe’s is an affordable, laid back option.”

Trader Joe’s opened its first Florida store in Naples earlier this month.

Grocery stores are expanding in South Florida. Whole Foods plans to open a new Pembroke Pines store in the coming months, and The Fresh Market opened its first east Broward store in Fort Lauderdale on Feb. 1.

But Trader Joe’s has no plans of expanding into Broward, Miami-Dade or Palm Beach counties as of yet.

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Mediterranean Market on Las Olas faces closure


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The Mediterranean Market on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale plans to shut its doors for good by the end of the month.

The boutique grocer specializing in gourmet meats, seafood and wine, has been considering the option of closing since August, said the store’s general manager, Cindy Cunningham.

“Las Olas used to be such a cute and charming place but it’s changed so much,” Cunningham said. “We’re just not getting the foot traffic we used to.”

The market, which has been in business in Fort Lauderdale for years, is located at 1021 E Las Olas Blvd., adjacent to Tundra, an ice-themed restaurant that opened late last year.

The Mediterranean Market is up for sale. Cunningham said that the market will close permanently within the next two weeks if a buyer is not found. The building will then be available for rent to a new tenant, Cunningham said.

“The boulevard has lost so many of its staple shops,” she said. “These ice cream and candy stores just aren’t bringing in the traffic. No one wants to walk down this far anymore.”

Cunningham said that upscale and specialty grocery stores like Whole Foods and most recently, The Fresh Market, were never big competitors. Instead it was a lack of tourism in the area and the “bad economy” that led to the store’s possible closure.

Are you a Mediterranean Market shopper? Share your thoughts and memories with us! Email Justine Griffin, jusgriffin@sunsentinel.com


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Energy Kitchen, offering meals under 500 calories, opens in Fort Lauderdale


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There’s a new healthy food option in Fort Lauderdale for all of those calorie counters out there.

Energy Kitchen at 35 N.Federal Highway in the Palm Court Pavilion shopping center, offers a menu of food items that are grilled, baked or steamed, with the number of calories of each meal posted clearly on every menu. The fast-casual restaurant only serves low or no calorie beverages.

No menu item exceeds 500 calories.

You won’t find any greasy french fries or onion rings here. Side items at Energy Kitchen are only baked fries, steamed vegetables, mashed sweet potatoes and asparagus salad. Other menu items include made-to-order sirloin, bison, turkey and chicken burgers, grilled salmon, turkey and meatloaf.

The restaurant also serves breakfast items and smoothies.
This is the second Fort Lauderdale location to open, although the New York City-based company has plans to open 25 restaurants in Florida over the next five years, according to a press release. There are plans to open locations in Plantation, Boca Raton and Pembroke Pines in the future.

Another Energy Kitchen is open in Pinecrest.

“We want to transform the entire fast food industry by providing consumers with an alternative to the high calorie burgers, wraps, sandwiches, greasy fries and high calorie beverages they are currently being forced to purchase,” said company founder and president Anthony Leone in a press release.

Photo courtesy of Energy Kitchen.

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Two luxury iPic movie theaters coming to South Florida, along with 500 new jobs


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Imagine relaxing in a recliner with a waiter just a push of a button away, all while watching the latest blockbuster in a movie theater.

New iPic Theaters in Hallandale Beach and Boca Raton, opening this year, will offer restaurant and lounge services, electric reclining seats and a premium level seating option that comes with unlimited popcorn.

"Think of it as a better version of the W Hotel," said Hamid Hashemi, president and CEO of iPic Theaters.

Just don't think of it as cheap. Moviegoers may pay as much as $25 for weekend admission, although final prices have not been set.

Hashemi is no newcomer to the movie theater business. He founded Muvico, a national chain that started a wine and dine service inside theaters years ago. He left Muvico, which sold several of its Florida theaters to Cinemark, and launched iPic in 2007.

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iPic Theaters will compete with others cinemas that boast an extended list of amenities. The Cinemark Palace 20 in Boca Raton offers premium seating, advance reservations and made-to-order food items from an in house cafe.

Paragon Theaters in Coconut Grove and Deerfield Beach serve food and drinks from a "back lot bar" and have reserved seating. CineBistro in Miami has similar features.

In Boca Raton, the space that used to be a Sunrise Cinemas location will be transformed into a 43,000-square-foot, two-story iPic. The eight-screen theater is expected to open in May and will include an adjacent 7,000-square-foot restaurant and bar concept called Tanzy.

The site has been vacant since January 2011, when the cinema's operator fell behind in its rent.

"It was a sad day in downtown Boca Raton when the former theater closed," said Mayor Susan Whelchel at a public unveiling of plans for the cinema Wednesday. "iPic Theater is really the answer and what Mizner Park needs."

The restaurant will have indoor and outside seating facing Federal Highway. Restaurant fare will include flatbread pizzas, sliders and more. The restaurant is connected to the theater and will allow moviegoers to dine before and after a film, or order while watching in the theater.

The Gulfstream Park location, set to open in December, will have eight screens, an ultra lounge and club called Salt, along with the same restaurant concept, Tanzy.

About 500 jobs will be created when both locations open, Hashemi said.

Moviegoers can choose between regular seating and a premium-plus option, which costs about $5 more. General admission prices allows customers to order food and drinks from Tanzy or a Tanzy Express counter and bring the items to their seats inside the theater.

Premium-plus seating offers chairside wait service buttons on each seat, and pillows and blankets. Motor-driven reclining seats are reserved for premium-plus patrons, who also get free popcorn.

Ticket prices will range between $12-$17 for films showing Monday through Thursday and $17-$25 on weekends depending on general or premium-plus seating, Hashemi said. Firm prices have not yet been set.

"I don't mind the price," said Tracy Augustin, a Boca Raton resident who attended the unveililng. "You're paying for a destination experience and its well worth avoiding the cramped seats."

Digital technology installed in each theater will allow for live broadcasting sessions from movie makers and include South Florida patrons in Q&A sessions going on at other places around the world, Hashemi said. The theaters will show a blend of Hollywood blockbuster and independent films.

To view a photo gallery of what the new theaters will look like, click here.

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Five last-minute Valentine’s Day gift ideas


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Time to come up with a perfect Valentine’s Day gift is running out. Stuck at work and need to come up with an idea pronto? Here are some last minute options for all the procrastinators.

A picture’s worth a thousand words: Shoppers can order one-hour photos online at most CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens stores. Upload a cute photo of you and your sweetheart and pick it up on the way home. Might as well grab a photo frame while you’re there.

Last minute grocery stop: Most South Florida flower shops are no longer accepting same-day delivery orders this late in the afternoon. But grocery stores still have a selection of roses and other bouquets. Stop in after work to grab some flowers and maybe a bottle of wine too.

Gift cards: Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy, most grocery stores and some gas stations sell gift cards to restaurants, iTunes, retail stores and more. Order one online or pick one up on the way home. Click here for everything you need to know about gift cards.

Romantic flicks: Order in and pick up the latest chick flick from a Redbox or Blockbuster Express at the corner of a grocery store or gas station. Subscriptions to Netflix start at $7.99 too.

Music is the way to the heart: Make your significant other a playlist of romantic songs. Send it by email, through file sharing sites like sendspace.com (for larger files) or upload it on an iPod or iPhone when you’re home.

Don’t forget to check out our list of FREE Valentine’s Day gift ideas here.

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Men to spend more on Valentine's Day


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Today is the day to express how truly, madly, deeply in love you are with that special someone.

Men will shell out the most cash on their partners to express their love this year, according to a National Retail Federation survey which states that men are expected to spend $168.74 on clothing, jewelry, cards and more. That’s nearly twice as much as women, who are expected to spend about $85.76 on their significant others.

The survey, which is conducted by BIGinsight, says that the average person will shell out $126.03, which is up over last year’s $116.21, and the highest in the survey’s 10-year history. Total spending for the holiday will reach $17.6 billion.

“As one of the biggest gift-giving holidays of the year, it’s encouraging that consumers are still exhibiting the desire to spend on discretionary gift items, a strong indication our economy continues to move in the right direction,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay in a press release.

American consumers will spend about $25.25 on their children for Valentine’s Day gifts and the average person will spend about $4.52 to show their pets some love too.

Nearly half of those celebrating Valentine’s Day this year will buy candy. About 35 percent of people will treat their partner to a nice evening out. Nineteen percent of Valentine’s Day shoppers will buy jewelry this year, which is up from the 17.3 percent last year, the survey said. Thirteen percent will buy gift cards.

What are your Valentine’s Day plans? Leave us a comment below with your creative gift ideas or romantic plans.

Looking for that last minute gift? Check out the Shop-O-Matic list of Valentine’sFreebies or a list of South Florida restaurants with special holiday menus.

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Trader Joe's opens first Florida store in Naples


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Naples residents waited in a line this morning just to get a first glimpse of the new Trader Joe’s grocery store which opened its first Florida location in Collier County today.

The popular grocery brand is known for its smaller, boutique-styled stores and upscale products that rival other organic or smaller brand grocers like The Fresh Market or Whole Foods.

Grocery stores are expanding in South Florida. Whole Foods plans to open a new Pembroke Pines store in the coming months, and The Fresh Market opened its first east Broward store in Fort Lauderdale on Feb. 1.

Trader Joe’s has no plans of expanding into Broward, Miami-Dade or Palm Beach counties as of yet. But local Palm Beach officials are petitioning to bring the popular grocer to the East Coast side of South Florida.

West Palm Beach's Downtown Development Authority has begun production on a marketing film called “What would I trade for Trader Joe’s,” where city officials will give up precious items in return for a grocery store opening in downtown Palm Beach.

The Monrovia, Calif., chain has 365 stores in 31 states, the Naples store being the first in Florida.

Want to request a South Florida Trader Joe’s location?Click here to send a store request.

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Video: PayPal debuts cardless checkout devices in The Home Depot


Ever wish you could pay for items in a store without having to remember your wallet? PayPal is letting customers do just that.

PayPal, the online money transfer service used most often on Ebay, has developed it’s own brand of technology for point of sale devices. The Home Depot was one of the first retailers to try out the new technology, which is available in 51 stores across the country.

Instead of having to swipe a credit or debit card, customers with PayPal accounts can just type in their mobile phone number and PayPal PIN code on the keyboard at the register to make purchases. A receipt is electronically sent to a customer’s email or cell phone.

PayPal also issues member their own cards, which can be swiped at pay stations like debit and credit cards.

The Home Depot stores in Atlanta, Omaha and the San Francisco bay area are using PayPal technology. Office Depot stores are also testing the pilot program.There are no plans to bring the PayPal service to South Florida stores just yet.

“The expanded pilot is an important step forward in delivering on PayPal’s vision for the future of commerce, anytime, anywhere, any way,” said Don Kingsborough, Vice President of Retail and Prepaid Products for PayPal.

Customers can register to use the new PayPal technology by clicking here.

PayPal is developing more ways for customers to easily keep track of their “digital wallet.” Technology is in the works that will allow shoppers to store all gift cards and loyalty points electronically and automatically apply stored money and savings right at a point of sale device.

“Imagine purchasing an oversized item from the aisle and having it shipped directly to your house in a matter of clicks,” said Carey Kolaja, Senior Director of Emerging Opportunities for PayPal.

The company opened a pop up store in New York City to showcase some of it’s new technologies and devices in October.


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Video: Walmart unveils new healthy food icon on products


Walmart wants to make it easier for busy South Florida moms to create more healthful meals choices as they shop for bargains.

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Walmart stores unveiled the “Great For You” icon at an event in Washington D.C. this week as a part of the company’s healthier food initiative, according to a news release. “Great For You” labels will appear on select Walmart Great Value and Marketside items and on fresh and packaged fruits and vegetables at Walmart stores nationwide by this spring.

The point of the icon, the news release said, is to help Walmart customers make smarter snack choices and build healthier diets.

Walmart plans to open up to 300 stores to help break down the amount of “food deserts,” areas without viable grocery options, in the U.S. by 2016. First Lady Michelle Obama has spoken out about the food deserts, which affect 23 million Americans, through her Let’s Move campaign. Since July, Walmart opened 23 stores in areas serving food deserts.

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Jason Wu clothing line now available at Target


Did you love Michelle Obama’s dress from the Inaugural Ball? Well here’s a chance to own a dress by it’s coveted designer, Jason Wu.

Target is partnering with Jason Wu, a celebrated women’s attire and accessories designer to offer an affordable, limited edition, collection of women’s tops, dresses, handbags and scarves. Wu’s “American girl in Paris” themed line is available for purchase in Target stores across the country and online now through March 6.

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“By working with Target I was able to create an accessible collection that reflects my sophisticated design aesthetic” Wu said in the news release. “As with my main collection, special attention has been considered into every detail and I can’t wait to see girls wearing and enjoying the collection.”

Clothing options will range in price from $19.99 to $59.99, and from $19.99 to $49.99 for handbags and other accessories, according to a Target news release.

"Jason’s collection for Target offers our guests a beautiful assortment of sophisticated apparel and stylish accessories that embody his signature aesthetic, with each priced under $60,” said Trish Adams, senior vice president of apparel and accessories for Target.

There are 53 unique pieces in the Target collection, including day and night apparel.

Photos courtesy of Target.com

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Morton's The Steakhouse locations in South Florida staying open


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South Florida Morton’s The Steakhouse locations will remain open, despite the closure this week of another Florida restaurant location.

Houston-based Landry’s Restaurants took ownership of Morton’s The Steakhouse chain Wednesday. The Jacksonville restaurant was one of nearly 10 that closed in the change of ownership, the Jacksonville Times-Union is reporting.

The Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Miami and Miami Beach Morton’s The Steakhouse locations will remain open, even though an earlier statement released by the company that said that the West Palm Beach restaurant would close.

Employees of the West Palm Beach Morton’s The Steakhouse on Flagler Drive were sent home on Wednesday, only to be called back and have the store reopened on Thursday.

Morton’s generated about $300 million in sales last year, although the company announced in March it was considering putting itself up for sale.

Morton’s has 77 steakhouses in 64 cities across the world.

Landry’s Restaurants own other brands like the Rainforest Café and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

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Video: The Fresh Market opens with giveaways on Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale























The Fresh Market grocery store is opened the doors to its first east Broward location Wednesday.

Grand opening festivities for the Fort Lauderdale store began at 9 a.m. and lasted throughout the day. Chef demonstrations, food and wine samplings and drawings for gift cards took place throughout the store at 424 N. Federal Highway, just north of Broward Boulevard.

To see a sneak peek inside the new store, check out our photo gallery.

The first 1,000 customers at the grand opening received a reusable The Fresh Market shopping bag and a sample of The Fresh Market’s gourmet coffee.

The Fresh Market was ranked No. 1 on the Top 50 small chain and independent grocery stores in the U.S. in 2011, according to Supermarket News, an industry trade publication. The Greensboro, N.C.,-based company’s rank was chosen based on annual sales.

“We offer more of a shopping experience. Where some people consider shopping a chore, our shoppers want to make a day of it,” said the Fort Lauderdale store manager, Leo Suarez.

The 22,800-square-foot building is the 28th The Fresh Market in Florida. South Florida has stores in Boca Raton, Coral Springs, Pembroke Pines, Aventura, South Beach, Coconut Grove and Miami.

Another store is set to open later this year in south Miami-Dade County.

Carol Bosen, a snowbird who lives part of the year on Fort Lauderdale Beach, arrived early to be one of the first inside the store Wednesday morning.

"We used to have to drive all the way to Boca for a nice grocery store," Bosen said. "The store is beautiful, really first class. I bought some beautiful strawberries."

Shayleigh Demers, who is originally from New Hampshire, said she's used to grocery stores more like The Fresh Market.

"We have Trader Joe's stores where I'm from. This is definitely comparable," Demers said.

On Tuesday, employees were busy making the final preparations inside and outside the store. Some workers finished landscaping projects while others stocked products on the shelves. The store will be polished and ready for customers come Wednesday morning, said Ken Towery, zone vice president for The Fresh Market.

“This is the fastest I’ve ever seen the company get a store up and running,” he said.

Specialty cheese and meat section counters make up the center of the store. An extensive wine section lines the walls close to the cheese section, and a variety of freshly baked goods are stacked along the back part of the store. Large barrels full of coffee beans are near the produce section. Coffee is brewed fresh each day for customers.

Customers are welcome to sample anything in the store before making a purchase, Suarez. said.

The Fresh Market is the newest competitor in Fort Lauderdale for Whole Foods, another upscale grocer that specializes in organic brands. The nearest Whole Foods store is on Federal Highway north of Sunrise Boulevard. The company could not be reached for comment.

“Competition helps us to continue to be the best we can be,” said Kimberly Reynolds, spokeswoman for Publix grocery stores.

Several Fort Lauderdale Publix stores are just a few miles away from The Fresh Market store.























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Miami Marlin and Drake concert giveaways at AT&T store openings


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AT&T stores are popping up across South Florida this month.

Two new stores will open in Pembroke Pines and Miami, just after AT&T opened a new store in the Town Center at Boca Raton on Jan. 28.

The new 5,700-square-foot AT&T store in the Pembroke Plaza, at 11380 Pines Blvd., will hold a grand opening celebration on Feb. 4 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Customers will have the opportunity to win a pair of tickets to the sold out Drake concert in Miami on Feb. 14 and tickets to the April 2 Miami Marlins home opener game inside the new stadium.

WEDR 99 Jamz radion station disc jockey, Lorenzo Thomas and WAMR Armor 107.5 d.j. Javier Romero will be on site for the grand opening with additional giveaways.

The new electronics and cell phone retail stores feature touch screens and a “live bar” of devices and services for shoppers to try before they buy.

This is the company’s third store in Pembroke Pines and the 12th in Broward County.

Store hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call the store at 954-430-7052.

A new AT&T store in the Mall of the Americas in Miami will open on Feb. 11 from noon to 2 p.m.

Customers who visit the new 4,500-square-foor store will have the chance to win an opening day prize package complete with a pair of home opener Miami Marlins baseball tickets, a new Miami baseball jersey and cap, a $100 gas card and a $100 Visa gift card.

Power 96 FM will be broadcasting live from the store and giving away a baseball prize pack every 30 minutes over a two hour span. The prize pack includes two more tickets for the opening day Miami Marlins baseball game.
This is the 16th store in Miami-Dade County.

Store hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 8 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

AT&T currently has 16 company-owned stores in Miami-Dade County.

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Tablet, gift card giveaways at new AT&T, Forever 21 at Town Center in Boca


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The Town Center at Boca Raton is celebrating two new store openings on Saturday.

AT&T is the newest retailer to join the mall and Forever 21 will be expanding into a new location this week.

A grand opening celebration will take place from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28, at the new AT&T store. Pantech Element tablets will be given away every 20 minutes for two hours, food will be served and Deena Lang from the WRMF 97.9 radio stallion will be giving away additional prizes.

The new 3,000-square-foot AT&T electronic and cell phone store will feature touch screens and a “live bar” of devices and services for shoppers to try before they buy. This is AT&T’s third company-owned store in Boca Raton.

“The opening of the AT&T store is another example of our ability to provide our customers with an assortment of retail offerings,” said Brian Nelson, general manager of Town Center at Boca Raton in a news release. “Our shoppers will now have the ease, convenience and selection of AT &T service and products.”

Forever 21, a popular women’s clothing line known for its affordable wear and accessories, will be moving into a 19,000-square-foot location in the Cafes at Boca section in the mall. The Cafes at Boca is a newly renovated dining and shopping space for Town Center at Boca Raton shoppers.

The upgraded store will offer the retailer’s popular women clothing brands like Heritage 1981 and Love21, a specialty men's line, 21MEN, and a cosmetics line, Love & Beauty.

The clothing store also sells lingerie, shoes and accessories. The new store will also offer a Style Lounge, where shoppers can sign up for a private styling session with a Forever 21 stylist in the store.

“This expansion solidifies Town Center at Boca Raton’s reputation as Palm Beach County’s leading fashionable address,” Nelson said.

Forever 21 will host a grand opening celebration at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28. The first 400 people in line will receive free $10, $20, $50 or $100 gift cards. One shopper will win a $210 gift card. Customers can enter to win a $125 outfit for men or women, hand selected by a company stylist on Saturday only.

All shoppers will receive 10 percent off when spending $40 or more on grand opening day purchases.

Photo by Mark Randall, Sun Sentinel.

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New Walmart open in Pembroke Pines


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Pembroke Pines is the latest South Florida area to get a new Walmart, which opened it’s doors on Wednesday.

The store, located at 12800 Pines Blvd., opened on Jan. 25. Much like the new Walmart that opened on the same day in Palm Springs, the Pembroke Pines store has updated features that the company is implementing in other stores nationwide.

The pharmacy is now located next to the food shopping area, making it easier for customers to pick up prescriptions while shopping for groceries. The site-to-store pick up location and photo lab are also in one area near the front entrance.

“The layout of the store is easy to navigate, which will save our customers time as they shop for everyday necessities,” said Frank Sealy, the new Pembroke Pines store manager. “By grouping the products that our customers most often purchase, including health and beauty and pet supplies, we are making one-stop shopping even easier.”

Shelves are placed lower than before to help improve sight line for customers as they browse the aisles.

The Pembroke Pines Walmart brought 300 jobs to the area, according to the news release.

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Women making more shopping decisions, study shows


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Women are stepping up to hold more influence over the purchasing decisions they make for themselves and their family and friends’ purchases as well, according to a study conducted by Fleishman-Hillard International and Hearst Magazines.

According to the "Women, Power & Money" study, 54 percent of American women think they’re responsible for helping friends and family make smart buying decisions. Women said they also influence friends and family to buy or not to buy a certain product or service.

About 33 percent of women have recommended a product or service in the past six months, the study said. Only19 percent of women involved in the study said they recommended that a friend or family member should not buy a particular product or service.

When the study was first conducted in 2008, only 31 percent of women felt they really influenced those shopping decisions.

Nearly 86 percent of American women included in the study this year said that they are a smarter shopper now than ever before.

More women are exerting their shopping influence through social media as well. The number of brands a woman follows on Facebook has increased by 12 percent this year, the study shows.

About 65 percent of women are a friend or a fan of a company, compared to 52 percent for men on Facebook. Only 65 percent of men used Facebook in 2010, compared to the 73 percent of women on the social network.

The Women, Power & Money study explores the lives and lifestyles of American women and is set out to understand successful women and their habits. The study found that nearly all women consider themselves successful.

Photo by Carline Jean, South Florida SunSentinel

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Starbucks expands beer and wine locations


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More Starbucks stores will offer beer and wine in hopes of attracting an evening crowd, according to a news release.

A handful of stores in the Atlanta and Southern California areas will serve adult beverages by the end of the year, Starbucks announced. These stores, along with several others in the Chicago area, are the first extensions of the coffee company’s “evening day-part concept” outside of it’s headquarters in Seattle.

Starbucks representatives were not able to comment on if or when South Florida stores will sell beer and wine.

Starbucks first introduced selling beer and wine in stores at a Seattle location in October 2010. Five stores in the Seattle area and one in Portland, Ore., now sell beer, wine and offer an extended evening meal menu. Last year, Starbucks announced that it plans to bring the beer and wine concept to up to seven stores in the Chicago area by the end of 2012.

Atlanta and Southern California are the newest additions to the list, and each area will offer beer and wine in four to six stores by the end of the year.

“As our customers transition from work to home, many are looking for a warm and inviting place to unwind and connect with the people they care about,” said Clarice Turner, senior vice president, U.S. Operations in a news release. “At select stores where it is relevant for the neighborhood, we are focused on creating an atmosphere where our customers can relax with a friend, a small bite to eat and a cup of coffee or glass of wine.”

Aside from beer and wine, the extended menu will include small plate food options like hot flat breads. The wine and beer list will reflect local customer tastes and will vary from store to store.

Reader’s poll: Do you think a Starbucks that sold beer and wine would do well in South Florida? Which Starbucks, in Palm Beach, Miami-Dade or Broward counties, do you think should be the first to sell beer and wine?

Leave a comment on this story to tell us what you think.

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New Walmart opening in Palm Beach


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Palm Beach residents are getting a new Walmart which opens this month.

A Walmart at 2765 10th Ave., in Palm Springs, will open at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 25. Palm Beach County Commissioner Shelley Vana will join Walmart associates for a ribbon cutting ceremony at 7:30 a.m. outside the store.

The new Walmart has updated features that the company is implementing in other stores nationwide. For example, the pharmacy is now located next to the food shopping area, making it easier for customers to pick up prescriptions while shopping for groceries. The site-to-store pick up location and photo lab are also in one area near the front entrance.

“The layout of the store is easy to navigate, which will save our customers time as they shop for everyday necessities,” said Walmart store manager, Jim Kelege. “By grouping the products that our customers most often purchase, including health and beauty and pet supplies, we are making one-stop shopping even easier.”

The opening of the Palm Springs store will create 300 new jobs in Palm Beach County, according to a news release.

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Crepes restaurant expanding in South Florida


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BannaStrow's, a Miami-based crepes concept, is looking to expand in South Florida in a unique way.

The restaurant, which specializes in crepes of every kind, is looking to add 25 new locations in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties this year, said BannaStrow's CEO, Mauricio Acevedo.

The newest store opened inside the Westfield Broward Mall in Plantation last week.
Those interested in owning a franchise of the BannaStrow's name have options to choose from.

BannaStrow's can be a fast casual restaurant concept, a kiosk in a mall, an in-line quick service spot, a catering business or even a food truck.

“When we started this concept in 2002, we asked ourselves what does a successful food concept need to have,” Acevedo said. “It needs to be easy to operate.”

Out of the seven BannaStrow's locations open today, two are mall kiosks and five are in food court settings.

A location in Wellington on Forest Hill Boulevard opened this month and another is set to open in Tampa Bay.

Crepes are a French food concept, which look like a thin pancake and are made of wheat flour. Crepes are served with a variety of fillings, usually fruit.

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Publix upgrading and expanding all deli sections


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South Florida Publix deli sections are getting a face lift.

Publix stores will be expanding specialty cheese sections to offer more gourmet snack options with helpful signs and meal tip displays.

New signs will call attention to specially priced items, new products and also offer helpful information on pairing wine and cheese, said Kimberly Reynolds, Publix spokeswoman.

New products being sold include olive oil, crackers and gourmet cookies, which will be stocked in wood grain cabinets near the expanded selection of specialty cheeses.

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“The changes are designed to enhance our deli customers' shopping experiences through new products and an improved shopping environment,” Reynolds said. “Customers will appreciate the look, simple navigation and amount of product we will be able to provide.”

The Lakeland-based grocer hopes to update all deli sections by 2013, Reynolds said. About 35 South Florida Publix stores, including the Harbor Shops Publix on Cordova Road near 17th Street in Fort Lauderdale, already have updated delis.

The section has been popular among South Florida shoppers already, said Harbor Shops Publix employees.

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“Each store is getting a makeover to some extent,” Reynolds said. “Several stores each week are starting to make the changes.”

The company debuted its specialty cheese line about a year ago.

Publix isn’t the first grocer to add a specialty cheese section. Upscale markets like The Fresh Market and Whole Foods have specialty cheese areas inside stores. Some upgraded Winn-Dixie stores also have gourmet cheese shops.

Photo top of unidentified shopper. Photos by Justine Griffin, Sun Sentinel.

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Miami's The Webster to be sold in The Shops at Target


Target is partnering with boutique designer shop owners, including The Webster in Miami, to sell affordable, limited edition collections to everyday shoppers.

The first flight of The Shops at Target, which features five different collections, will make it’s debut on May 6 at all Target stores across the country and on Target’s website.

“One of the reasons our guests love shopping at Target is our design partnerships. They create excitement and leave even the most loyal Target shoppers wondering what we’ll do next,” said Brian Robinson, director of fashion and design partnerships at Target in a news release. “With The Shops at Target, we’re building on that sense of discovery by offering our guests a chance to experience one-of-a-kind specialty stores and boutiques through collections that have been specifically tailored to their wants and needs.”

The shops included in the program are The Candy Store, Cos Bar, Polka Dog Bakery, Privet House and Miami’s own The Webster.

The Webster is a high-end clothing, shoes, accessory and home furnishings boutique for men and women with a shop at 1220 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach. Prices range $100 to several thousand for women's dresses and shoes.

Prices for the designer lines at Target will range from $1 to $159, depending on the item. There will be more than 400 clothing, accessory, pet product and more products offered through The Shops at Target.

Target introduced its first design partnership in 1999 with architect Michael Graves. In 2006, Target partnered with GO International, bringing affordable fashion options from runway designers to Target stores. In 2010, Target worked with Liberty of London to create its first limited-edition designer collection which spans over multiple departments.
Today, the retailer has worked with more than 80 design partners.

Target’s design partnership is similar to other retailers that offer private designer lines and brands. Kohl’s offers a Vera Wang line, Princess Vera Wang, exclusively inside stores. Macy’s offers Madonna’s private label and JC Penney works exclusively with Liz Claiborne.

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Zappos hacked: 24 million customers affected


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Zappos customers got a rude awakening Sunday.

Emails sent to customers and employees by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh warned that personal information may be in the hands of hackers who were able to gain access to the company’s internal network.

The online shoe retailer’s database that stores customer’s credit card and other payment data was not affected or accessed, security emails stated. However, customers’ names, e-mail addresses, billing and shipping addresses, phone number, the last four digits of credit card numbers and the cryptographically scrambled passwords, (although not the actual password) may have been tapped into.

To protect customers, Zappos expired and reset passwords to all online accounts. Current customers will be prompted to create new passwords when they access their online accounts.

“The most important focus for us right now is the safety and security of our customers' information,” Hsieh said in an email sent to employees. “We will begin the process of notifying the 24-plus million customer accounts in our database about the incident and help step them through the process of choosing a new password for their accounts.”

The company recommends that customers change their passwords on any other webite where that same or a similar phrase is used, the email said. Zappos.com never asks customers for personal or account information in an e-mail, so customers should be cautious if they receive an e-mail or phone call that asks for personal information.

Zappos has temporarily turned off all phones and are directing customers to contact support teams through email due to the large volume of inquiries expected. “If 5 percent of our customers call, that would be over one million phone calls, most of which would not even make it into our phone system in the first place,” the email said.

“We've spent over 12 years building our reputation, brand, and trust with our customers. It's painful to see us take so many steps back due to a single incident. I suppose the one saving grace is that the database that stores our customers' critical credit card and other payment data was not affected or accessed,” Hsieh said in an email.


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Corner Bakery to open first of 15 locations in Boca


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Boca Raton residents will be the first to try Corner Bakery, a café concept coming to South Florida later this month.

Corner Bakery will open it’s first Florida location near the Town Center at Boca Raton, at 2240 NW 19th St., on Jan. 30. This the first of 15 planned restaurants Corner Bakery will open in Florida over the next five years.

The café is a fast casual concept eatery that offers made-to-order breakfast, lunch and dinner items. Most locations offer free Wi-Fi.

The company plans to open bakery locations near The Falls shopping center Miami, in Pembroke Pines by the Cobblestone shopping center and near the Palms at Town and Country shopping area in Kendall this year.

“Malls are higher traffic area where people can stop on their way to work for breakfast,” said Joe DiGangi, area director for Corner Bakery.

Corner Bakery has 120 locations around the country, including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Utah, and Washington D.C.

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New stores opening in Sawgrass Mills


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Sawgrass Mills is home to four new retail stores, including the largest LEGO store in South Florida.

The first Misaki Outlet in the U.S., Swarovski Crystal, Eyebrow Designer 21 and the LEGO Store, are the newest additions to join the 350 other retailers at Sawgrass Mills in Sunrise, the largest outlet shopping center in the U.S.

“Our unique and growing retail mix continues to draw shoppers from around the world looking to take advantage of Sawgrass Mills’ more stores, more brands, more savings and more fun,” said Luanne Lenberg, Vice President & General Manager of Sawgrass Mills.

The LEGO Store, located near the Nike Factory Store in the mall, offers a wide selection of the educational building kits. Families can enjoy friendly play areas inside the store.

Misaki Outlet, a brand name jewelry line known for pearl designs, is opening it’s first U.S. location inside Sawgrass Mills. The jewelry retailer based in Monte Carlo, sells it’s product line in department stores throughout the world. The new store is now open near the Burlington Coat Factory.

Swarovski Crystal, a leading manufacturer of cut crystal, is open near the Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th store inside the mall. The store will sell the brand’s crystal jewelry, watches, accessories, giftware and home decor pieces.

Eyebrow Designer 21, an upscale boutique specializing in eyebrow threading, is now open in the mall near Marshalls. Trained designers offer quick eyebrow sculpting using a piece of thread instead of wax or tweezers.

These are the first retailers to open in Sawgrass Mills this year. In 2011, the mall brought in the Betsey Johnson Outlet, Applemint, G by Guess, Crocs, Bijoux Terner, Express, Tory Burch and Coach Men’s Factory.

For information about Sawgrass Mills or a complete list of retailers, visit the Sawgrass Mills website..

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Sears Holdings to lay off 81 employees in West Palm Beach


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More than 80 West Palm Beach Sears Essentials employees were given notice on Monday that layoffs will come as early as April, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

The closing of Sears Essentials at 4560 Forest Hill Blvd. in West Palm Beach will leave 81 employees without jobs on April 12, said a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification on the FDEO website.

A Sears Holdings Corp. spokeswoman said liquidation sales would begin in February for a Kmart in Pompano Beach and the West Palm Beach Sears Essential store that are among dozens of locations set to close after Sears reported a slump in 2010 holiday sales

The company announced it will close up to 120 full-line Kmart and Sears stores across the country in order to generate up to $170 million in cash.

Sears Holdings Corporation released an initial list of 79 stores scheduled to close in December. More closings are expected to be announced.

Kmart and Sears combined have 2,177 stores nationwide. Kmart stores in Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, Davie, Boca Raton and North Miami will remain open.

Among the Sears stores that will remain open are those at the Westfield Broward Mall, Coral Square Mall and Town Center in Boca Raton.

It is unclear how many Kmart employees at 2421 N. Federal Highway in Pompano Beach will be lose their jobs. The actual closing dates of the stores has not been announced.

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New salad concept coming to Town Center at Boca Raton


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A new fresh and healthy restaurant option is coming to Boca Raton.

Tossed, a salad, wraps and sandwich restaurant, will open inside the Town Center at Boca Raton Tuesday.

A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 5 p.m. with Tossed executives and members of the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce.

The restaurant offers made-to-order salads with more than 50 topping choices, pressed paninis, wraps and crepes. Tossed’s menu includes gluten-free options.

Tossed is a nationwide franchise chain headquartered in Fort Lauderdale. This is the first South Florida location, although there are other Tossed restaurants in Boston, New York City, Houston, Morrisville, N.C., and Vancouver, B.C. in Canada.

“South Florida is renowned across America for its commitment to a healthy, active lifestyle. Tossed is a perfect fit for local tastes,” said Boca Raton franchisee, Tom Valeo.

The restaurant is located inside the Cafes at Boca inside the mall.

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Robb & Stucky revival begins in Fort Myers


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Robb & Stucky is making a come back.

The longstanding upscale home furnishings line will open a new 60,000-square-foot design studio and showroom in Fort Myers on Jan. 12. Although no new studios are set to open in Miami-Dade, Broward or Palm Beach counties just yet, the revival of the brand is good news to loyal Robb & Stucky customers.

“This is a new beginning for a great retail brand,” said Steven Lush, President of Robb & Stucky International in a news release. “We are reinventing Robb & Stucky with a great team and smart strategies that are relevant for today’s consumers.”

The brand has been focusing on restoring the Robb & Stucky name since it was acquired by Chinese manufacturer, Samuel Kuo, founder and CEO of Samson Holding and owner of Universal Furniture, in March.

The new Fort Myers store is the first to open since the sale of the company last year. The new store will offer interior design assistance for customers, which the brand hopes to bring to all new stores in the future.

The company has been selling furniture in South Florida for nearly 100 years, according to a news release. The retail chain had more than 750 employees and operated 20 stores in four states, most in Florida. In South Florida, Robb & Stucky has two showrooms at Mizner Park in Boca Raton and in Palm Beach Gardens.

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Free shipping from Staples.com through January


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Office supply retailer, Staples, wants to help small businesses start off the new year the right way.

So, Staples will be offering free shipping on any size order from Staples.com Jan. 1 through Jan. 28, according to a news release.

Orders placed any time after Jan. 1 and before Jan. 28 apply. No minimum purchase is required.

Staples sells an assortment of office supply products, like ink and toner, copy and print supplies, computer technology and cleaning supplies.

“Small businesses are critical to our economy and Staples is committed to helping them succeed,” said Steve Bussberg, Senior Vice President of Staples.com in a news release. “We’re doing our part by offering free shipping in January, to help small businesses get a great start in the New Year.”

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Sears, Kmart to close in Pompano and West Palm Beach


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A Pompano Beach Kmart and West Palm Beach Sears are among the 120 stores set to close after Sears Holding Corp.. reported a slump in holiday sales this year.

The company announced that it will close up to 120 full-line Kmart and Sears stores across the country in order to generate up to $170 million in cash, according to a news release. Sears Holding Company released an initial list of 79 stores that are scheduled to close.

Among those slated to close is a Kmart at 2421 N. Federal Highway in Pompano Beach and a Sears Essentials store at 4560 Forest Hill Blvd in West Palm Beach. Eleven Sears and Kmart stores in Florida will close.

Sears Essentials are converted discount Sears stores that began as branches in 2005. The mid-sized stores are commonly found in shopping plazas and strip malls and are similar to discount clothing outlets.

Sales at Sears Holding stores have declined every year since 2005, when Sears and Kmart merged in an $11 billion deal. The company likely will face more closings to cut expenses and remain competitive against rival retailers, such as Walmart and Amazon, analysts said.

Lawrence Zolnowski, president of the Broward County Chamber of Commerce, estimated 30-100 employees could be impacted by the Pompano store’s closing.

“Job loss is never a good thing, and I’m sure we’re going to feel the damages because of that,” he said.

On Thursday, Sears could not give the number of employees affected by the closings.

Kmart and Sears combined have 2,177 stores nationwide. Kmart stores in Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, Davie, Boca Raton and North Miami will remain open.

Among the Sears stores that will remain open are those at the Westfield Broward, Coral Square Mall and Town Center in Boca Raton.

It is unclear when the 79 stores will close. Sears did not announce whether there would be liquidation sales.

On Tuesday, Sears' shares fell 27.2 percent to close at $33.38, the lowest since December 2008. On Thursday, the stock finished up 43 cents, or 1.3 percent, at $32.90.

Sears Holdings Corp. is home to Craftsman tools and Kenmore appliances. On Thursday, the stock was valued at $3.57 billion.

Company sales were down 5.2 percent during the 2011 holiday shopping season, compared to the same period a year ago.

The closings follow Sears' announcement last quarter that it would shut 10 stores nationwide.

Sears' problems also hit shares of appliance maker Whirlpool Corp., which last year derived 8 percent of sales through the retailer. Whirlpool shares fell 8.9 percent to close at $46.62.

The drop in share price was a big blow for investors.

Fairholme Capital, Sears' second-biggest shareholder with 15.2 percent, saw the value of its stake drop to about $570 million on Tuesday, a potential loss of almost $180 million since the end of the third quarter.

Information from Reuters news service was used to supplement this article.


To see the full list of store closings, click here.


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Toys R Us sales continue through December


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The savings don’t necessarily stop now that the holidays are over.

Toys R Us stores will continue to offer sales throughout the rest of December, according to a new release. Shoppers can find deals on toys like Moshi Monsters, LEGO construction sets, Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure action figures and more that were must have items of the Christmas lists this year.

The after holiday sale is going on at Toys R Us stores now through Saturday, Dec. 31 until 7 p.m. or while supplies last.

Toys R Us stores will be open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 27 through Saturday, Dec. 31.

Sale items include a free $50 Toys R Us gift card with the purchase of any tablet over $250; Free Hasbro toys with any Hasbro purchase of more tha $20; Buy two, get a third free on Playskool, Littlest Pet Shop, My Little Poney, Star Wars, NERF and more Hasbro brands; Buy one, get one 50 percent off all LeapFrog Leapster, Explorer and Vtech InnoTab software; Buy one, get one 50 percent of all Mega Bloks construction sets.


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South Florida store and mall hours for the day of retail returns


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The presents have been unwrapped and the excitement is over. Planning to hit the malls Monday morning to return that sweater from Aunt Judith? Here are a list of South Florida store and mall hours for the day after Christmas.

STORE HOURS:

BrandsMart USA stores are open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Best Buy stores are open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Target stores will be open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Walmart stores are open 24 hours.

MALL HOURS:

Aventura Mall is open Dec. 26 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The Boynton Beach Mall is open 8 a.m. until 9 p.m.

Coral Square Mall in Coral Springs is open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The Festival Flea Market in Pompano Beach is open 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Galleria Mall in Fort Lauderdale is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens is open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Pembroke Pines Mall is open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The Promenade at Coconut Creek is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Sawgrass Mills outlet mall in Sunrise will be open 10 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.

Town Center at Boca Raton is open 8 a.m. until 9 p.m.

Westfield Broward Mall is open 7 a.m. until 9 p.m.

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South Florida store and mall hours on Christmas Eve through Monday


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Hanukkah is here and Christmas is looming. The time to shop is quickly running out.

Last minute shoppers, have no fear. Toys R Us, Brandsmart, Target, Macy's and Best Buy will be open late, some even 24-hours, as Sunday approaches. We've got store hours, sale infomation and retail coupons to help you save:

STORE HOURS:

Toys R Us stores will remain open for 112 hours beginning 6 a.m. Tuesday through 10 p.m. Christmas Eve, according to a news release. This is the second year Toys R Us has offered marathon holiday hours. Toys R Us is offering last minute savings on Saturday, Dec. 24. Shoppers can take advantage buy one, get one 50 percent off deals, free gifts with purchase and other discounts while shelves are restocked with popular toy brands.

Walmart superstores are open 24 hours.

BrandsMart USA stores will be open from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

Best Buy stores across South Florida will be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 26.

Target most stores will be open on Christmas Eve from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. On Monday, Dec. 26, stores will be open at 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Macy’s stores will close at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

JC Penney department stores will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

Kohls stores are open Christmas Eve: 6 a.m.-6 p.m.

Dec. 25:
Remember, CVS Pharmacyand Walgreens and
Festival Flea Market are open on Christmas Day.


MALL HOURS:

Aventura Mall will be open on Christmas Eve from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. and reopen on Dec. 26 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The Boynton Beach Mall hours are 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve, and stores reopen on Monday, Dec. 26 from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m.

Coral Square Mall in Coral Springs will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve, and the mall will reopen from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 26.

Festival Flea Market in Pompano Beach is open 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. through Saturday. The flea market will be open on Christmas Day from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Galleria Mall in Fort Lauderdale will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Regular 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. hours return the day after Christmas.

Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens will be open on Christmas Eve from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Stores will reopen from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. the day after Christmas

Pembroke Pines Mall is open Saturday from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. and the mall will reopen Monday, Dec. 26, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The Promenade at Coconut Creek will keep regular store hours from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. through Saturday.

Sawgrass Mills outlet mall in Sunrise will be open on Christams Eve from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.

The Shops at Pembroke Gardens will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve.


Town Center at Boca Raton will be open from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve, and from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 26.

Westfield Broward Mall will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve, and will reopen on Monday, Dec. 26 from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m.

Each mall is offering photo sessions with Santa. Contact your specific mall for hours.

Three ways to keep up with the latest deals: "Like" our Sentinel Deals page on Facebook; follow Justine Griffin on Twitter@SunBizGriffin and sign up for Deals text alerts.

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Last-minute shipping options from UPS, FedEx and USPS


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If you still need to ship presents, we've got the 411 on how to get them under the tree by Christmas morning using UPS, FedEx and the postal service. But waiting until the last minute is going to cost you some big bucks.

Most shipping websites, like UPS and FedEx offer quick quotes and estimated delivery functions so you can get an idea of when your package will arrive and how much it will cost before placing an order.

UPS doesn’t guarantee timely deliveries for UPS ground delivery services through Dec. 24. However, the company will reimburse for shipped items' value and the full price paid for packaging if the package is lost or damaged in transit. Restrictions apply. Click here for more information.

FedEx Ground and Smart Post options will be closed on Christmas Eve. However, FedEx home delivery and express options are still available. All four FedEx shipping options are closed on Christmas Day and Monday, Dec. 26. The U.S. Postal Service will still ship express packages through Dec. 22.

Most online retailers will accept orders to ship on Dec. 22 for deliveries by Christmas. Amazon will take orders through Dec. 23. For a full list of online retailer shipping deadlines, click here.

FedEx prices to ship packages across the state, say from Fort Lauderdale to Tampa, can run as much as $80 to ensure gifts will make it before Christmas Eve. UPS will ship the same 10-pound package for $77 for next-day arrival. Prices hover in the $30-40 range to deliver the gift by Christmas Eve. Prices vary depending on the weight of package and the distance in travel.

Here are some tips from UPS on how to ensure your package gets where it needs to in the most timely fashion:

Use companies that provide package-tracking numbers. That way you can see where packages as they travel. No need to call and check on arrival.

Take batteries out of toys and electronics inside packages before shipping them.

Ship wrapped gifts before you travel so that perfectly crafted bow that took so much time to create will look just as great when it arrives as when you made it.

Don't wrap boxes in brown paper or tie them with string. Paper and string can be torn off during transit; if a shipping label is torn off, expect delays.

Don’t use duct tape, masking tape or cellophane to seal boxes before shipping. Packing tape is the way to go.

Three ways to keep up with the latest deals: "Like" our Sentinel Deals page on Facebook; follow Justine Griffin on Twitter@SunBizGriffin and sign up for Deals text alerts.

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Upscale grocer Fresh Market opening Fort Lauderdale store in February


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The wait for Fort Lauderdale's Fresh Market is almost over.

A sign at the 20,000-square-foot grocery store's construction site at 400 Federal Highway, south of Sunrise Boulevard, says it will open on Feb. 1.

Fresh Market is a chain of upscale specialty food stores with South Florida locations in Avenutra, Boca Raton, Coral Springs, Pembroke Pines, Wellington and across the eastern U.S.

Fresh Market purchased the property in May from taxi mogul Jesse Gaddis. The $10 million project will include a corner bank and restaurant. Each store has a butcher shop and fish market, bakery, produce, floral stands and delicatessen.

Three ways to keep up with the latest deals: "Like" our Sentinel Deals page on Facebook; follow Justine Griffin on Twitter@SunBizGriffin and sign up for Deals text alerts.

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Zona Fresca opens third restaurant in Pompano Beach


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Zona Fresca, a casual quick service Mexican restaurant, opened it’s third South Florida location in Pompano Beach earlier this month.

The 3,400-square-foot restaurant, at 800 N. Federal Highway in Pompano Beach, has indoor seating for 94 guests and will soon open an outdoor patio.

The new Pompano store will serve the same signature menu items as the two other locations, which are in Plantation and Fort Lauderdale.

The Zona Fresca chain started in South Florida in 2000, opening at 1635 N. Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale. A second restaurant opened at 1095 S. University Drive in Plantation in 2008.

Hours at all three restaurants are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

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Italian watchmaker opens two boutiques in South Florida


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Officine Panerai, a leading Italian luxury watchmaker, opened two South Florida locations this month in Bal Harbour Shops and on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach.

This makes three Panerai locations in South Florida, including a boutique in Mizner Park in Boca Raton. Both boutiques offer a selection of limited edition watches. There are only five locations in the U.S., with stores in Los Angeles and New York City.

The new boutiques are located at 9700 Collins Ave., in Bal Harbour and 150 Worth Ave. in Palm Beach. There are 25 Officine Panerai boutiques worldwide.

The company was founded in 1860 in Florence by Giovanni Panerai. It later became the official supplier to the Royal Italian Navy. The company is famous for its Radiomir and Luminor wristwatches, which soldiers used on naval vessels in World War II.

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Pac Sun closing 200 stores nationwide


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Young adult clothing retailer Pacific Sunwear of California announced it will close up to 200 under performing stores after reporting a third-quarter loss on Wednesday.

Stores across the country will begin closing over the next 14 months .PacSun plans to close 90 stores by next month and more than 100 more by January 2013, said Michael Kaplan
Chief Financial Officers, for the clothing retailer.

It is unclear which stores will close at this time.

There are 16 PacSun retail and outlet stores in South Florida. The company has 819 stores across the U.S.

The company, which sells surf and skate-inspired clothing, posted a loss of $17.6 million, or 26 cents per share, for the fiscal quarter.

All PacSun gift cards can be redeemed at any store or online with no restrictions.

Three ways to keep up with the latest deals: "Like" our Sentinel Deals page on Facebook; follow Justine Griffin on Twitter@SunBizGriffin and sign up for Deals text alerts.

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Gift cards: Do's and don'ts and how to save


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Gift cards are the most requested holiday gift by American shoppers again this holiday season, according to the National Retail Federation.

Thanks to the ease of electronic purchasing, instant delivery through social media like Facebook and mobile options, gift cards retain their perch at the top of shoppers' lists for the fifth year in a row, according to the federation’s 2011 holiday survey.

But despite their popularity, roughly a quarter of all gift cards purchased go unused every year. An estimated $2.5 billion in gift-card value was never redeemed in 2010, according to TowerGroup, a financial services firm.

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of gift certificates:

1. Gift card exchanges: Card Hub, Plastic Jungle and Swapagift allow you to buy, sell and exchange gift cards. Save up to 20 percent on purchases from leading retailers and restaurant chains like Home Depot, Sear's, Macy's, Macaroni Grill and more.

2. Know the law: “Closed loop” gift cards, which are cards good at individual stores, restaurants or other businesses, are governed by state law, whereas “open loop” cards, which can be used any different retailers and usually carried by well known credit card brands like VISA and MasterCard, are governed by federal law. Florida law prohibits gift cards from charging fees and cards cannot expire. Federal law states that gift card may expire after 5 years.

3. Understand fees: Florida prohibits gift cards from charging fees on closed loop cards, or within the first year of open loop cards. After that, there are no limits. Federal law states that all fees must be clearly disclosed on the card or card’s packaging. Fees can only be imposed if the card has not been used for a full year, and then fees may only be charged once per month. Fees only usually apply to bank issued cards, like reusable VISA or MasterCard gift cards. Be sure to read the fine print before deciding on which gift card to buy.

4. Buy one, get one: Time time of year, many chain's offer bonus cards with purchase. There’s no hurt in purchasing a gift card for yourself. Outback is offering free $20 gift cards with purchase of a $100 gift card before Dec. 31. The bonus card is valid from Jan. 1 through Feb. 10. If you eat at Outback, it might be worth snagging this deal for yourself. Or if you buy $30 or more in gift cards at Chipotle before Dec. 31, bring in your receipt on your next store visit and get a free burrito, bowl, tacos or salad. Cheesecake Factory is offering a complimentary slice of Cheesecake with every $25 card purcahsed through Dec. 25.

5. Educate yourself: Consumer Reports offers tips on how to avoid gift card snags and pitfalls.

Three ways to keep up with the latest deals: "Like" our Sentinel Deals page on Facebook; follow Justine Griffin on Twitter@SunBizGriffin and sign up for Deals text alerts.

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IKEA to install solar energy panels at Sunrise, Orlando, Tampa stores


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IKEA, the Swedish home furnishings retailer, will install solar energy panels at its Sunrise, Orlando and Tampa stores and in seven other locations in the southeast.

Once completed, the rooftop solar panels are expected to generate enough power to reduce CO2 emissions by more than 1,000 tons per store, according to a news release. Installion of the panels will begin this winter and is expected to be completed by summer. It's estimated the 293,000-square-footIKEA store in Sunrise will generate enough energy to power the equivalent of 134 homes, the news release said. The Broward County store opened in 2007.

IKEA currently has 12 solar energy systems set up in the U.S., and has 11 more underway. Once the 10 locations in the southeast have solar panels, more than 75 percent of the company’s stores will have sustainable rooftops.

"IKEA believes we can be a good business while doing good business," said Mike Ward, IKEA U.S. president in a news release. "This investment extends our solar presence to the Southern U.S., further reducing our carbon footprint and the intensity of the electrical grid."

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New Publix opening in Town of Palm Beach


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A new Publix grocery store is set to open at 135 Bradley Place in Palm Beach at 7 a.m. on Dec. 15.

The newly rebuilt, 44,000-square-foot store replaced the long-time Publix market that closed in April on the same site. The larger store will feature an expanded selection of natural and organic food options as well as a bigger deli, salad and soup bar offering Pan Asian entrees.

The original 33,000-square-foot store opened in 1971 and closed on April 23, according to a news release.

The first 1,500 customers on grand opening day will receive a free Publix reusable bag.

The new store is the only Publix market in the Town of Palm Beach. Publix has 1,046 stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee.

Three ways to keep up with the latest deals: "Like" our Sentinel Deals page on Facebook; follow Justine Griffin on Twitter@SunBizGriffin and sign up for Deals text alerts.

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Report: TJ Maxx selling Apple iPad 2 for $399 on Saturday?


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HOT RUMOR: Some TJ Maxx stores may be selling Apple iPad 2 tablets for $399 on Saturday, reports The Verge.com. The news techy site was unable to confirm the rumor and suggests you call ahead before you go to the store.

According to the Friday night post, The Verge got a tip that each location could have up to 15 16GB Wi-Fi iPad 2s available for doorbuster sales today. TJ Maxx has a similar sale last year, offering iPads for the same price, which is a a $100 savings on the hot-selling device.

Call TJ Maxx to confirm the deal before you make the trip. Hey, gas is expensive!

Let us know if you score the deal!

Three ways to keep up with the latest deals: "Like" our Sentinel Deals page on Facebook; follow Doreen Christensen on Twitter@PrettyGoodIdeas and sign up for Deals text alerts.

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Organic milk shortage expected to last until April


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South Florida shoppers looking for organic milk in local grocery stores may be out of luck until after the holiday season.

A shortage in the organic milk supply has caused empty shelves at grocery stores across the country.

“An increased demand for organic milk coupled with the fact that some organic milk producers are only producing traditional milk due to higher organic grain costs has contributed to the limited supply,” said Kimberly Jaeger, spokeswoman for Publix stores.

Jaeger said that all Publix stores have limited to no supplies of the Lakeland-based company's Greenwise organic milk at this time. Other organic brands, like Horizon and Organic Valley, may be limited through the holiday season too.

"This is an issue that affects organic farmers nationwide," said Louise Hemstead, the Chief Operating Officer for Organic Valley in LaFarge, Wis. "Because of the push for ethanol, grain prices have really gone up."

Publix milk suppliers are located in the Midwest and Northeast, although farmers across the country are being affected. There are no milk producing farms in Florida.

“Extreme summer heat, fires and flooding contributed to higher organic grain prices,” Jaeger said.

It is likely that organic milk supplies will not improve until the early spring time around April, Hemstead said.

Whole Foods stores in Florida are in full supply of organic milk and have not reported any issues. Winn Dixie could not be reached for comment.


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Upscale shopping/entertainment complex coming to Delray in 2012


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By this time next year, South Palm Beach County residents will be able to do their holiday shopping at a new 275,000-square-foot retail and entertainment complex scheduled to open in late 2012.

Construction crews broke ground this week on Delray Marketplace, an upscale shopping, dining and entertainment center set to open in mid-November.

Confirmed tenants include Frank Theaters, a 12-screen movie theater and 16-lane bowling alley, Publix grocery store, Max’s Grille, White House Black Market, JoS. A. Bank, Verizon Wireless and a family entertainment amphitheater.

“We saw a need in the area for a sizable shopping center,” said Jason Samreny, vice president of leasing of Kite Realty Group, the Indianapolis-based owner and developer of Delray Marketplace.

The outdoor shopping complex is located at 9025 W. Atlantic Ave., on the corner of Lyons Road and Atlantic Avenue. The shopping and entertainment center is nestled in between neighborhood communities and aims to attract shoppers from Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Boynton Beach.

Restaurants and retailers expected to be in the Delray Marketplace include: Chico's, Max’s Grille; Famous Famiglia Pizza; Terra Fiamma; Japango Sushi Thai Asian Cuisine; Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt; Shula Burger; The Grind Coffee; Sababa Lounge; The Olive Tap; Apricot Lane; Bobby Chan Apparel; Aroma Fragrance; Charming Charlie; Venetian Spa, Chase Bank and Ted Todd Insurance.

Three ways to keep up with the latest deals: "Like" our Sentinel Deals page on Facebook; follow Justine Griffin on Twitter@SunBizGriffin and sign up for Deals text alerts.

Photo: Artist's rendering of Delray Marketplace.

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UM study: Shoppers who sign for purchases on credit cards spend more


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If you sign your name while shopping it's likely you'll spend more later on yourself at a store you like, a new University of Miami study says.

The “Signature Effect” study, conducted by Keri Kettle, an assistant professor of marketing at UM's School of Business Administration, found that shoppers who happened to sign their name, for example on a credit card receipt, and then visited a store they liked, spent 10-15 minutes more time shopping there than if they hadn't just signed their name.

Conversely, when shoppers, after signing their name previously, visit a store they don’t identify with, they spend less time there than they would have otherwise.

Signing your name activates your “sense of self,” Kettle said.

“So if a shopper signs for a credit card purchase in one store when buying something for her husband, for example, and walks into another store that she likes, she is going to linger longer than if she hadn't just signed her name,” said Kettle who worked with Gerald Haubl of the University of Alberta on the study. “And marketing research suggests that a customer who lingers longer in a store is more likely to buy something.”

To test the theory, the researchers conducted a series of tests that determined what kind of products attracted shoppers. Then, those shoppers were given a handwriting-task where some were prompted to sign their name. Then researchers studied the shoppers' actions.

“This holiday season will bring many budget-conscience shoppers to stores, and they should be aware of the signature effect and how it can cause unintentional splurging,” Kettle said . “I guess one could say 'the power of the pen' has a whole new meaning.”


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Black Friday shoppers camping out at Pembroke Pines Best Buy


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South Florida shoppers are already camping out on sidewalks for Black Friday deals days before Thanksgiving.

Several South Florida shoppers have pitched tents outside the Best Buy in Pembroke Pines on Pines Boulevard as early as Tuesday.

The Pines store has a huge sign out front letting customers know where the line begins. Most retailers are gearing up for Black Friday already this week, and crowd control and security has changed from year’s past.

Here's what you need to know before you line up:

Brandsmart USA : Opens at 10 p.m. Thursday; Stores will have lines outside the store. The Sawgrass Mills location will have lines that start from both entrances.

Target: Opens at midnight; Stores will be limiting the amount of people allowed inside the store this year. Shoppers will stand in a queue outside the store, and will be let inside in groups of 30 every 15 to 20 seconds, according to a Target spokesperson. There will also be a buffer zone at least 10 feet between the store entrance and the start of the line.

Best Buy: Opening at midnight; Uniformed police officers will man all locations to help keep crowds orderly throughout the weekend. At midnight, customers who have tickets for the doorbuster deals will be allowed to enter in groups of 50 at a time. Specific queue lines will be set up inside the store in each department.

Walmart: Doorbusters deals on toys, home decor start at 10 p.m. Thursday, electronics at midnight; So customers won’t have to wait outside. Lines will be set up inside each department where doorbuster deals are being offered.

Maps: Download store layouts of retail space on Facebook: Target and Walmart Facebook pages. The maps explain where departments are located and where the lines will start.


Photo by Taimy Alvarez, Sun Sentinel

Three ways to keep up with the latest deals: "Like" our Sentinel Deals page on Facebook; follow Justine Griffin on Twitter@SunBizGriffin and sign up for Deals text alerts.

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Retailers limit quantities on hot Black Friday deals


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Can’t wait to get your hot hands on a few LCD TVs this year on Black Friday? Well, make sure you read the fine print on retail advertisements before heading out to stores.

Most advertised Black Friday doorbuster deals are limited to one item per customer. Inventories at different stores will vary, so in order to fairly disperse merchandise, retailers may limit how many of the same item one person can buy.

So if you’re in the market to buy four big screen televisions, you might have to shop at four separate stores.

“It’s always been our policy to limit purchase quantities on items that have limited supplies,” said Ellen Stevens, spokesperson for Brandsmart USA. “We want to make sure that people lining up for specific items have the ability to purchase.”

Brandsmart USA publishes the limitations in its ads circulated in the Thanksgiving day newspaper.

Best Buy stores uses a ticketing system every year on Black Friday.

“Every major doorbuster item in the ad is assigned a ticket with a number. We number the tickets based on how many products we have in stock,” said Dennis Rosario, General Manager of the Best Buy in Davie. “Between 10-11 p.m. Thanksgiving night, our team goes outside to the line to pass out the tickets to the customers starting at the front of the line. Customers are allowed to purchase one of each doorbuster item.”

Best Buy plans to show an outdoor screening of the final installment of Harry Potter at select stores on Thanksgiving night ahead of it's midnight opening.

Walmart stores have used the ticket system for limited doorbuster deals in the past as well. Target ads state how many items each customer can buy, which depending on how popular retailers think that gift will be.

So if you’re looking to nab that LCD for $200 this year, it’s important to get in line early to ensure you will get the one you want.

Three ways to keep up with the latest deals: "Like" our Sentinel Deals page on Facebook; follow Justine Griffin on Twitter@SunBizGriffin and sign up for Deals text alerts.

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190,000-signature anti-Black Friday petition delivered to Target headquarters


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More than 190,000 signatures were tallied as part of an online petition demanding that Target change it’s Black Friday opening hours from midnight on Thanksgiving, according to a news release.

The petition was hand-delivered to Target head quarters on Monday, Nov. 21, by Seth Coleman, a Target employee from Minnesota. The campaign, which started on Change.org more than a week ago, is an attempt by retail employees to reverse Target’s decision to open late on Thanksgiving night for Black Friday shopping sales.

Target officials said that stores nationwide will still open at midnight.

Best Buy employees launched a similar campaign, which aimed to make the electronics retailer to push back opening hours on Black Friday.

More than 14,000 people have signed an online petition at change.org in an attempt to force Best Buy to open later than midnight on the day after Thanksgiving.

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Target employees across the country are not happy about having to cut their Thanksgiving holiday short in order to get to work for midnight Black Friday openings.

Click here to view the petition.

More than 190,000 disgruntled retail employees ralllied together, signing an online petition to reverse Target’s decision to open at midnight on the night after Thanksgiving dinner. The list keeps growing.

The campaign was launched by Anthony Hardwick, a Target parking lot attendant in Omaha, Neb., after learning that Target was opening at midnight on the biggest shopping day of the year, rathat than 5 a.m. like in year’s past. The new opening time requires employees to arrive at work around 11 p.m. Thanksgiving day.

Several petitions have been started on the Change.org platform by employees against retailers that plan to open early. Target, Macy’s, Best Buy and Kohl’s all plan to open at midnight on Thanksgiving, and Walmart and Brandsmart USA will open at 10 p.m. Toys R Us announced openings at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day earlier this week.

Click here to view the petition.

Three ways to keep up with the latest deals: "Like" our Sentinel Deals page on Facebook; follow Justine Griffin on Twitter@SunBizGriffin and sign up for Deals text alerts.

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New hhgregg opening in Homestead on Thursday; seven South Florida stores celebrate, too


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Applicance and elecronics retailer hhgregg is opening it’s 11th store with giveaways in Homestead on Thursday, Nov. 17, just in time for the holiday season. Seven other South Florida locations are celebrating with prizes and extrended hours through Saturday.

A ribbon cutting ceremony for the 25,000-square-foot Homestead store at 2661 NE 10th Court, will take place at 9:45 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 17. Customers can win gift cards, water bottles and hhgregg merchandise at the grand opening. Regular store hours will be 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.

To celebrate the grand opening, seven other hhgregg stores in South Florida will be open from 10 a.m. to midnight on Thursday, Nov. 17, through Saturday, Nov. 19. The participating stores include Homestead, Aventura, Hialeah, Pinecrest, Pembroke Pines, Plantation and Fort Lauderdale. Customers can expect grand opening promotions on merchandise inside those stores, too.

The Indianapolis-based electronics and appliance retailer began to grow it’s South Florida presence in July by opening 10 stores throughout Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

hhgregg has 34 stores in Florida.

Three ways to keep up with the latest deals: "Like" our Sentinel Deals page on Facebook; follow Justine Griffin on Twitter@SunBizGriffin and sign up for Deals text alerts.

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Publix, Waste Management opening South Florida recycling facility on Tuesday


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Publix and Waste Management are opening the first ever comprehensive organic recycling center in South Florida, on Tuesday, Nov. 15, according to a news release.

The new, eight-acre Okeechobee Organics Recycling Facility, located next to Waste Management’s Okeechobee Landfill, will process pre-consumer food waste, such as bakery and floral items, with yard waste and organic compost products from South Florida Publix stores.

A grand opening event will include tours at noon on Tuesday at the Okeechobee facility at 10800 NE 128th Ave.

Waste Management trucks are collecting and transporting the organic material from 40 Publix stores in Miami-Dade County and two Publix Greenwise Markets in Palm Beach County for the first phase of the program. Publix plans to add additional stores in Miami-Dade and Broward counties at a later date.

The new facility can recycle up to 30,000 tons of organics per year, which is 15,000 tons of food waste and 15,000 tons of yard waste, the release said.

Garick, an Ohio-based manufacturer and distributor of organic lawn and garden products, will use the organic material to make lawn and garden products from the Okeechobee composting facility.

Publix has 1,042 stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee.

Three ways to keep up with the latest deals: "Like" our Sentinel Deals page on Facebook; follow Justine Griffin on Twitter@SunBizGriffin and sign up for Deals text alerts.

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New Disney Store opens in Pembroke Pines


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One Disney Store has closed and another has opened inside the Pembroke Lakes Mall just in time for holiday shopping.

The Pembroke Pines Disney Store at 11401 Pines Blvd. celebrated its grand opening at a new location Wednesday.The first 250 guests who attended the opening celebration received a free pair of Mickey Mouse ears.

The original 5,953 square-foot Disney Store in the Pembroke Lakes Mall closed on Nov. 3 so the new 5,000-square-foot store could open Wednesday.

"Please keep in mind as we did downsize in square footage, we were not looking for a larger store, but to be in more of a prime, high foot-traffic, family centric location in the mall," said Chantal Manno, spokeswoman for the Disney Store.

Two other Disney Store locations in Florida were redesigned this year. A store inside the Florida Mall in Orlando and the Disney Store in Tampa's International Mall were recently renovated. The Pembroke Pines location is a brand new store.

The new store offers an interactive experience for shoppers, which include a Disney princess area with a magic mirror and translucent trees.

There are 19 Disney Stores in Florida and more than 200 across the country.

Three ways to keep up with the latest deals: "Like" our Sentinel Deals page on Facebook; follow Justine Griffin on Twitter@SunBizGriffin and sign up for Deals text alerts.


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Best Buy joins Macy's, Target for midnight openings on Black Friday


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Best Buy is the newest retailer to announce Black Friday sales starting as early as midnight this year.

Along with Target, Kohl's and Macy's, this is the first year the electronics retailer will open at midnight for the biggest shopping day of the year. Check Bestbuy.com for local store hours.

The company opened at 5 a.m. last year on Black Friday.

Best Buy is running a promotion on Facebook beginning Nov. 20 that will give shoppers the chance to win one of 10 e-gift cards each day until Nov. 28. The price of the gift cards will rise with each day. The last day of the promotion, Best Buy will give away a $500 e-gift card.
Go to http://www.Facebook.com/BestBuy for more information.

Three ways to keep up with the latest deals: "Like" our Sentinel Deals page on Facebook; follow Justine Griffin on Twitter@SunBizGriffin and sign up for Deals text alerts.

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Charge your electric car for free at Publix


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Publix customers in Fort Lauderdale can now charge their electric cars for free while grocery shopping.

The Publix at 601 S. Andrews Ave., in downtown Fort Lauderdale is one of the first in the grocery chain’s stores to have an electric car charging station. The Andrews Avenue Publix is the only store in South Florida with the charging station. The service is free for customers.

Publix plans to install more electric car ports within the next year. The first station opened at a GreenWise Market Publix in Tampa in September. Stores with parking garages are targeted for future installations.


Three ways to keep up with the latest deals: "Like" our Sentinel Deals page on Facebook; follow Justine Griffin on Twitter@SunBizGriffin and sign up for Deals text alerts.

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Black Friday comes to Walmart stores on Saturday


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Walmart is offering South Florida shoppers early savings on electronics and toys with a "Super Saturday" sales event starting at 11 a.m. on Nov. 5, at all stores.

The promotion will feature Black Friday-type deals on popular electronics and household items through midnight or while supplies last. The stores will give out free baloons and toys for kids, too.

Highlights of deals inlcude:
Xbox 360 250 GB with Kinect for $399 plus a $50 Wal-Mart Gift Card
Nook Color reader for $199 (was $249)
LG 47-inch LED TV for $698
Beter Homes & Gardens 10-cup Food Processpr for $39 (was $79)

This is the first time Walmart has offered holiday deals before Black Friday on Nov. 25.

For a full list of sales items, visit the Walmart Super Satuday event page on Facebook.

strong>Three ways to keep up with the latest deals: "Like" our Sentinel Deals page on Facebook; follow Justine Griffin on Twitter@SunBizGriffin and sign up for Deals text alerts.

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Macy's, Target and Kohl's to open at midnight on Black Friday


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Shoppers looking for a jump start on Black Friday deals can start as early as midnight for the first time ever at Macy’s, Target, and Kohl's this year, according to new releases.

All three stores' retail locations across the country will open at midnight on Black Friday. Regular store hours will also be extended through the holiday season, according to news releases.

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This is the first time that Macy's, Target and Kohl's will open at midnight for Black Friday sales.

Some of the deals, which you can preview each week on Macy's Black Friday tab on Facebook.com, including 1/2 carate diamond earrings for $199 and a Kitchenaid stand mixer for $179.

Target will be open from midnight to 11 p.m. on Black Friday, Nov. 25. Stores will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve and from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Dec. 26. Extended hours will vary by location, available at Target.com.

Kohl's will be open for 24 hours, from midnight Friday to midnight Saturday. No word yet on sales deals.

Sunrise's Sawgrass Mills will be open 24 hours for non-stop shopping on Black Friday, too.
The shopping center will open its doors from 10 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24, through 10 p.m. Nov. 25, to give shoppers a head start on exclusive deals and bargains
Last year Sawgrass Mills opened from midnight Thanksgiving through 9:30 p.m. the following day.

Target also is offering a price match guarantee during the holidays. If shoppers find a lower price on an identical item advertised locally by a competitor, Target will match that price during the current advertisement period. The stores will also accept receipts and competitor’s advertisements within a week of the original purchase for reimbursement.

Three ways to keep up with the latest deals: "Like" our Sentinel Deals page on Facebook; follow Justine Griffin on Twitter@SunBizGriffin and sign up for Deals text alerts.

Doreen Christensen contributed to this report.

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Toys R Us offering 10 percent back on purchases through Christmas Eve


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Toys R Us will be offering 10 percent back on purchases made using its loyalty rewards program this holiday season, according to a news release.

Starting Sunday, Oct. 30 through Dec. 24, Toys R Us Rewards R Us members can earn 10 percent back in store gift certificates for every dollar spent on qualifying purchases. To participate in the promotion, present the loyalty card at any Toys R Us or Babies R Us store or enter the loyalty number from the card online.

Sign up for the program at any store or online.

Toys R Us Dollars earned will be sent to members through e-mail in January and can be used toward future in-store purchases. Toys R Us gift cards, shipping and handling, diapers, formula and greeting cards are not eligible for the program.

A Super Savers Pass is also available to Toys R Us customers that spend $200 or more in stores from Sunday through Dec. 24. The pass offers members more than $100 in savings, including exclusive coupons sent through e-mail each month in 2012.

Customers using the toy retailer layaway program also are eligible for the the 10 percent-back promotion.

Last year, nearly two million customers joined the Rewards R Us program, the news release said. Toys R Us began offering the loyalty program in 2008.

Three ways to keep up with the latest deals: "Like" our Sentinel Deals page on Facebook; follow Justine Griffin on Twitter@SunBizGriffin and sign up for Deals text alerts.

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Best Buy to offer free shipping on everything through Dec. 27


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Best Buy is offering an early stocking stuffer to online shoppers this holiday season: Free shipping on everything.

Beginning Tuesday, Nov. 1, through Dec. 27, the big box retailer is offering free shipping on more than 400,000 items with no minimum purchase required, according to a news release.

The offer makes good sense for the retailer. Typically, more than 60 percent of consumers will likely cancel their purchase if free shipping is not offered, according to a May survey by comScore, which tracks digital retail spending. Also, 49 percent of online transactions included free shipping, comScore said.

Online shoppers can easily find free shipping offers and codes at FreeShipping.org.

Three ways to keep up with the latest deals: "Like" our Sentinel Deals page on Facebook; follow Doreen Christensen on Twitter@PrettyGoodIdeas and sign up for Deals text alerts.

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Walmart offering price match guarantee through Christmas


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This year Walmart is offering a Christmas price guarantee on all merchandise purchased at Walmart stores between Nov. 1 through Dec. 25.

Here’s how it works: If a customer buys an eligible item at Walmart in November or December and then finds the same product advertised for less at another store, Walmart will give the customer a gift card for the difference in price. The gift cards will be valid through Dec. 25, according to a news release.

Walmart’s Christmas Price Guarantee is valid on purchases made Nov. 1 through Dec. 25 on identical items, which means the same brand, size, color, quantity, grade and model number listed at a competitor’s store. To apply for the guarantee, shoppers need to bring the original Walmart receipt and the local competitor’s current printed ad to the customer service desk and once validated, a gift card for the difference will be issued. Items placed on layaway also will be eligible for the guarantee.

Three ways to keep up with the latest deals: "Like" our Sentinel Deals page on Facebook; follow Justine Griffin on Twitter@SunBizGriffin and sign up for Deals text alerts.

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JC Penney Outlet at Sawgrass Mills to be rebranded


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The JCPenney Outlet store in the Sawgrass Mills shopping center has been sold as a part of an acquisition of 15 JC Penney locations to a Columbus, Ohio-based investment firm.

The stores will not immediately close, but will be rebranded as JC's 5 Star Outlet Stores over the next 21 months, according to a news release. JC Penney will continue to supply the outlet stores with end-of-season merchandise and current staff and management . All 1,600 employees from the outlet stores nationwide were offered positions under the new brand JC's 5 Star Outlet.

The JC Penney Outlet Store in Sawgrass Mills in Sunrise is the only Florida store included in the sale.

In May, JC Penney officials announced that the store at Sawgrass Mills would close this month and lay of 121 employees. In July, company officials said the store would remain open until officials had the time to evaluate the options for the outlet stores nationwide.

JC Penney had 19 outlet stores nationwide, said company spokesman, Tim Lyons. Stores in Philadelphia, Pa., and Woodbridge, Va., will be converted back into JC Penney department stores. Two stores in Plaineview, Texas and Springfield, Mass., have closed. The rest were sold.

Glen Gammons, the former head of JC Penney's Outlet Store Division, will be the CEO of JC's 5 Star Outlet. Gammons worked for JC Penney Company for 40 years.

SB Capital Group, a, is a investment firm, have businesses and investments in retail, consumer products, franchising, licensing and the real property sectors.

Three ways to keep up with the latest deals: "Like" our Sentinel Deals page on Facebook; follow Justine Griffin on Twitter@SunBizGriffin and sign up for Deals text alerts.

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