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Consumer - Retail Archive

The makeover begins as Hecht's stores convert to Macy's

By carolyn shapiroThe Virginian-Pilot
Hampton Roads shoppers who think of Hecht's as an old friend should probably start saying their goodbyes now. In a little more than two months, the Hecht's name on six local department stores will vanish. The official conversion to Macy's will take place Sept. 9 along with 10 other regional chains that are part of The May Department Stores Co., which Federated Department Stores Inc. bought last year.In some ways, Hecht's already has left. Its Web site reads: "Hecht's is now part of the Macy's family!" . . .

Expanded offerings part of strategy for local supermarket chains

By carolyn shapiro The Virginian-Pilot
The region’s supermarket scene is getting spicier. Literally, in Farm Fresh’s case. The region’s only home-grown grocery chain, based in Virginia Beach, plans to open a new store in Chesapeake next month that will include an enlarged selection of more than 3,000 spices.That store, at Mount Pleasant Road and Centerville Turnpike, is among five new Farm Fresh locations slated to open by the end of the year. The retailer has more stores on the drawing board for next year, including a site on supermarket-deprived . . .

Savvy merchandisers ready to sell for grads and dads

By Kate ShellnuttThe Virginian-Pilot
Somewhere between Bass Pro Shops in Hampton and Target in Virginia Beach, Carrie Sims’ shopping list grew. “Originally, it was for Father’s Day,” said the Virginia Beach mother of four, who headed out Thursday to buy gifts for her husband. “Then we bought graduation gifts and a couple birthday gifts, too.”Sims could be the poster shopper for this time of year’s marketing message. She acknowledges she took notice of the displays of gift cards and end-of-the-school-year “stuff” that encourage shoppers . . .

Gap shrinks between region's two largest food-store chains

By Kate ShellnuttThe Virginian-Pilot
The gap between Hampton Roads' two largest grocers narrowed over the past year as Farm Fresh captured more of Food Lion's market share.Food Lion still leads in the sale of groceries, drugs and other merchandise with 23.18 percent market share, down from 24.44 percent in 2005. Farm Fresh jumped more than a percentage point from a year ago, and can claim 20.12 percent, according to an annual study by Food World, an industry publication.The survey, released Tuesday, ranks the sale of grocery items . . .

Brooks Brothers adopts new laid-back attitude in Beach

By carolyn shapiroThe Virginian-Pilot
VIRGINIA BEACH - Brooks Brothers purists will notice a few out-of-the ordinary items at the new 346 store at Town Center.Blue jeans, for one thing.The manufacturer and retailer known for its traditional business suits and men's dress shirts has embraced casual clothes, as much for women as for men, with lower price tags. The Town Center store, which opened May 20, is one of the first three locations for 346 in the nation.Aimed at consumers with less disposable income than those who tend to shop . . .

Contemporary furniture store headed to Norfolk mall

By carolyn shapiroThe Virginian-Pilot
NORFOLK - EQ3, a store selling contemporary custom-designed furniture, plans to open its largest U.S. location this fall in MacArthur Center. The new EQ3, the first store for the retailer in Hampton Roads, will take 20,000 square feet on the third floor of the downtown mall. It fills a gap in full-line furniture, where retailers such as Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, Nordstrom and Bombay sell sofas, beds and tables as part of their home decor. With the growth of condos and the real estate . . .

Blog: Eggs and Humble Pie

Nobody cares about Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month. Nobody! The lack of support or interest has been mindboggling, especially to someone with Tourette Syndrome.

The other day I had two boiled eggs to eat the entire day. Not by choice, by circumstances. It was last Thursday, I was temping at the real estate office. Wouldn't be getting a check until the next day. When I went in to work, Thursday, I knew I had $6.00 in my pocket. I wanted to use that for dinner and a beer, I knew I'd need it if I made it through this day! So I packed the only food I had in the place, which is what I ha

Blog: The Military in Hampton Roads: Diversity in Motion

With the military in Hampton Roads, we have diversity within diversity.

The military itself adds diversity to the area, helping keep our population young with its young sailors, soldiers, airmen and marines. I often wonder how long the clubs and music venues would last, or if there would be as many of them if it were not for our young sailors.

Similarly, and more importantly, the military brings us diverse experience from the “old-timers,” the Chiefs, the Sergeants, the senior officers and the deeply experienced limited duty officers (LDOs) who add to the maturity and worldliness of

Mixed-use developments proving to be magnets for retail

By Carolyn ShapiroThe Virginian-Pilot
NEWPORT NEWS — When Talbots opened on Warwick Boulevard 15 years ago, it proved itself a retail pioneer, staking a claim in women’s clothing in an area generally devoid of fashion chains. Today, Talbots again has led the way for other national stores in Newport News as one of the first to arrive at City Center at Oyster Point. The new “mixed use” development off Jefferson Avenue aims to construct a commercial core in a city where retail has long since abandoned downtown to government buildings . . .

Don’t sweat the “free” stuff

By carolyn shapiroThe Virginian-Pilot
It took a little more than two months and cost about $15. Not exactly free. But a $100 Sephora gift card did arrive and bought me a bunch of beauty products that I otherwise would have had to pay for myself. In the end, my experiment with one of many “free” Internet offers was a success. I admit I was surprised and pleased. Although I spent a fair amount of my time and some money in the process, I actually came out ahead financially.Online freebie offers usually aim to lure consumers to marketing . . .

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