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Police arrest Lorraine Augustine in connection with attack
 Lorraine Augustine

MANCHESTER, N.H. — A toddler was attacked by a stranger at the Market Basket in Manchester, N.H., Wednesday afternoon.

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WMUR reported the child’s mother and other shoppers came to the 2-year-old girl’s rescue. The woman who police suspect hit the child was placed under arrest.

Krystan Lambert had her arms full, a cart full of groceries and two children with her: a boy she was babysitting and her 2-year-old daughter, Sonya.

The three were walking out of the store when she felt her toddler ripped from her hand.

“All of a sudden my daughter’s on the ground crying and this woman’s reaching over, swinging at her, trying to hit her,” Lambert said.

Police said 47-year-old Lorraine Augustine attacked the toddler for no reason and would not stop.

“She was swinging at her while I’m picking her up, trying to shield her with my body, and trying to kick and push the woman away any time she got near me,” Lambert said.

Lambert said the woman circled around her, taunting her. She said other shoppers and store employees jumped in.

Lambert’s daughter had a cut mouth and bruises, but will be OK. The boy was not hurt.

Police arrested Augustine at the grocery store. They said she is homeless and has mental health issues.

Augustine faces two assault charges that could hold her behind bars.


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Shoppers leave a retail Target on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013, in Hackensack, N.J. Target says that about 40 million credit and debit card accounts customers may have been affected by a data breach that occurred at its U.S. stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Northjersey.com, Amy Newman) ONLINE OUT; MAGS OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET OUT; NO ARCHIVING; MANDATORY CREDIT


New England Development has added two “nationally acclaimed” restaurants to its lineup at Chestnut Hill Square, joining a Wegmans supermarket and an Equinox gym.

Posted by Melanie Graham (Editor) ,
As construction continues to move along at the future , the property owners announced today two new restaurants that will be joining the lineup at the Route 9 development. 

Seasons 52 “fresh grill and wine bar” and BRIO Tuscan Grille will be opening up their first Massachusetts locations at Chestnut Hill Square, according to a press release from the site’s owners, New England Development.

Both restaurants will be opening in fall 2013.

“We are excited to bring Seasons 52 to the residents of New England for the first time. Chestnut Hill is an ideal setting for our guests – people who celebrate living well while enjoying upscale dining, shopping and entertainment,” Seasons 52 President Stephen Judge said in a press release.

Seasons 52 will be approximately 9,500 square feet, the press release said, and will feature a custom-built wine cellar, a piano bar, two private dining rooms and an “exclusive” chef’s table. The restaurant is expected to create around 100 jobs.

There are more than 30 Seasons 52 locations nationwide, according to the restaurant’s website, with restaurants in Texas, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Florida, California, New Jersey and New York, among others.

The 8,100-square-foot BRIO Tuscan Grille is described as serving “upscale affordable restaurant serving authentic, northern Italian cuisine,” and will feature an outdoor patio, the press release said. It is part of the Columbus, Ohio-based BRAVO|BRIO Restaurant Group, which operates more than 100 restaurants.

There are more than 40 Brio Tuscan Grille locations nationwide, according to its website, with restaurants in Texas, Colorado, Arizona, Flordia and more than a dozen up the East Coast.

The two restaurants , which was announced late last year. An Equinox gym is also slated to open up in the new development.

Meanwhile, across the street, the Chestnut Hill Shopping Center is continuing its redevelopment and rebuilding on the former Macy’s site. Owners WS Development have plans for a , , and .

The Atrium Mall, on the other hand, , a site for medical offices.

The full press release from New England Development is included below:

Seasons 52 and Brio to Open First Mass. Locations at Chestnut Hill Square

New England Development announced today that Seasons 52 and Brio Tuscan Grill, two nationally acclaimed restaurants, will open their first Massachusetts locations at Chestnut Hill Square in October 2013.   Located on Route 9 in Chestnut Hill, Chestnut Hill Square will feature an exciting mix of specialty shops and restaurants as well as Wegmans Food Markets, Equinox, and medical offices.

Chestnut Hill Square’s unique combination of uses, its ideal location on Route 9, and direct access from Route 9 east and westbound and from the Mall at Chestnut Hill are attracting national, regional, and local retailers and restaurateurs.   Douglass Karp, Executive Vice President of New England Development, commented, “We’ve envisioned Chestnut Hill Square as a location that will serve the local community and also become a destination by featuring unique shops, restaurants, and medical offices.  We’re especially pleased to announce several firsts:  the first Massachusetts location for Seasons 52 and BRIO Tuscan Grill, the first urban concept store for Wegmans, and the first suburban Club for Equinox.”

Seasons 52, the highly acclaimed fresh grill and wine bar, which will create approximately 100 new jobs in the area, will be the first-ever Seasons 52 in Massachusetts. The restaurant will be approximately 9,500 square feet and will feature a warm, welcoming ambiance with rich mahogany accents, custom-built wine cellar, casually sophisticated dining room, and piano bar featuring live music nightly.  Additionally, the restaurant will offer two private dining rooms and an exclusive chef’s table.  “We are excited to bring Seasons 52 to the residents of New England for the first time. Chestnut Hill is an ideal setting for our guests – people who celebrate living well while enjoying upscale dining, shopping and entertainment,” said Stephen Judge, president of Seasons 52.

BRIO Tuscan Grill, which serves steaks, housemade pasta specialties and flatbreads prepared in an authentic Italian oven, will open an 8,100 square foot restaurant at Chestnut Hill Square, which will feature outdoor patio seating. BRIO (meaning “lively” or “full of life”) is an upscale affordable restaurant serving authentic, northern Italian cuisine. The subtitle, “Tuscan Grille” is descriptive in the menu that features wood-grilled and oven-roasted steaks, chops and seafood, similar to what one would find in an authentic ristorante in Tuscany. BRIO’s philosophy is “to eat well, is to live well;” which is why it only uses the finest and freshest ingredients. BRIO brings the pleasure of the Tuscan country villa to the American city. BRIO is part of Columbus-based BRAVO|BRIO Restaurant Group (BBRG). Founded in 1992, BBRG currently operates more than 100 restaurants including BRAVO! Cucina Italiana, BRIO Tuscan Grille and Bon Vie Bistro.

Wegmans, as announced previously, will be unveiling a new, smaller urban concept at this location, where it will build a 70,000 square foot food store.  “This store will have almost everything customers have come to expect from Wegmans, including the incredible customer service that is our signature,” says Bill Congdon, vice president and New England division manager.

Equinox will be opening its first suburban Boston location at Chestnut Hill Square.  For over 20 years, Equinox fitness clubs have provided an unparalleled member experience, settings new standards from personal training to group fitness to rejuvenating wellness treatments. Equinox Fitness Clubs operates 55 upscale, full-service facilities in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Boston, Dallas and DC. The company offers an integrated selection of Equinox-branded programs, services and products, including strength and cardio training, group fitness classes, personal training, spa services and products, apparel and food/juice bars. Since its inception in 1991, Equinox has developed a lifestyle brand that represents service, value, quality, expertise, innovation, attention to detail, market leadership and results.

About New England Development Founded by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stephen R. Karp in 1978, New England Development is one of the nation’s premier real estate development and management companies, with nearly 50 million square feet of retail, commercial and residential space to its credit. Led by Steve Karp, together with principals Steven S. Fischman and Douglass E. Karp, New England Development is acclaimed for creating imaginative, high-quality real estate developments. They have demonstrated time and time again their expertise in turning the most challenging situations into the most successful projects. These developments include mixed use complexes featuring retail, residential, hotel and office uses; lifestyle retail centers; power centers; marinas; golf courses; resort and convention hotel properties; even an entire planned community. Known for having redefined shopping convenience with some of the country’s most widely recognized and successful enclosed regional malls, New England Development has experience developing, leasing and managing properties across the country. They have built more retail space in the past 30 years than any other developer in the Northeast. By working closely with residents, neighborhood leaders, investors, and tenants, New England Development has developed centers that reflect the best of their communities and have become, in many ways, communities themselves.


By Roberto A. Ferdman @robferdman December 26, 2013

Amazon shipped off holiday gifts to 185 countries this season. Reuters/Rick Wilking

Amazon just wrapped up a successful holiday shopping season. It sold 36.8 million items on Cyber Monday alone, or 426 items per second.

The company also revealed the most popular holiday purchases in a range of categories. Some of the items are kind of surprising…

The most popular grocery item was…

Miracle-Gro AeroGarden kit, which is a dirt-free herb and plant-growing aparatus that allows its owners to raise their own herbs in the confines of their kitchen. The Miracle-Grow beat out the well-known K-Cup Keurig coffee-makers, which topped Amazon’s list last year. This is what it looks like:

Miracle-Gro

The most popular jewelry item was…

A pair of “Sterling Silver Amethyst Flowers Earrings,” which beat out the “Sterling Silver ‘I Love You To The Moon and Back’ Two Piece Pendant Necklace.” What’s surprising isn’t that the most popular jewelry item is purple. These earings just seem a bit elaborate to have garnered such wide appeal.

Amethyst earrings

The most popular kitchen item was…

Tovolo Ice Mold, which makes spherical ice cubes. The ice mold is a neat but strange choice given that the ice cubes it makes are large, and don’t fit into many standard cup sizes. It beat out a far more traditional non-stick baking mat set and Cuisinart griddle. Everyone fashions himself a mixologist these days: Amazon says it sold enough Tovolo Sphere Ice Molds to fill Mad Men‘s Don Draper’s whiskey glasses for 251 years.

Tovolo ice cube mold

The most popular home good was…

An art set. The Darice 80 piece deluxe art set, which comes with everything from color pencils to watercolor cakes and crayons, sold better than any vacuum cleaner, ornament, or decoration. It even outsold Swarovski’s perpetually popular crystal star ornament.

80 piece art set

The most popular health and personal care item was…

The Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity + Sleep Wristband, a sleep, exercise, and health tracker that straps onto one’s wrist. Amazon sold more Fitbit wristbands this holiday season than it did Philips electronic toothbrushes and Braun electric shavers. The popularity of the little gadget is a pretty clear nod to the growth of the internet of things and growing comfort with mini, wearable computers, as well as the skyrocketing trend in health obsessiveness.

Fitbit

 


Martha C. White, NBC News contributor

Shoppers look through discount pamphlets at the Best Buy electronics store in Westbury, N.Y. Retail experts say more shoppers are waiting for bigger discounts this year.

SHANNON STAPLETON / Reuters
Shoppers look through discount pamphlets at the Best Buy electronics store in Westbury, N.Y. Retail experts say more shoppers are waiting for bigger discounts this year.

With just two days to go before Christmas, it’s becoming clear that shoppers won the annual game of chicken.

While retailers aren’t exactly tumbling off a cliff, they’ve rolled out aggressive last-minute efforts to entice shoppers to their stores or websites. Consumers are responding to these promotions, which include staying open for days straight, discounts of 40 percent or 50 percent and free delivery by Christmas as late as Monday.

Even with these inducements, though, shoppers are buying far more selectively than retailers had hoped, and some even say they’ll wait until after Christmas to make purchases so they can score even bigger discounts.

“People just held back,” said Jeff Feinberg, managing director with professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal. “They just didn’t spend as much, so retailers really had to drop prices in order to spur it,” he said.

“I just waited until this weekend to [pay] what I thought was fair,” said Andrea Vollf, an interior designer in Schaumburg, Ill. “Stores pretty much overprice everything to cover their overhead …. I don’t see the point of paying $100 for something that’s maybe worth 10 or 20 bucks. I just wait for the sales,” she said.

Vollf said she didn’t have as much company at the mall as she expected over the weekend. “I was kind of surprised,” she said. “I didn’t have to fight with people to get my presents.”

Holding out for deeper discounts

In-store analytics company RetailNext studied 450 stores nationwide and said traffic dropped by about 7 percent Friday and Saturday. “Early indications show a miss on comparable sales in brick-and-mortar stores compared to last year,” the company said in a statement.

“It has been a promotional season,” said Joseph Feldman, senior analyst at Telsey Advisory Group. “We still think comps will be up 2, 2.5 percent in aggregate … with total sales up in the 3 to 4 percent range,” he said.

Other analysts also predicted that same-store sales would inch up 2 percent to 3 percent across the retail sector overall, with aggressive discounters and value brands faring the best. Across most income levels, shoppers responded to a still-slow economy, while the shorter holiday shopping season gave them less time to buy, Feinberg said.

“There’s still this overhang and people … hold their purse strings a little bit tighter,” said Morningstar equity analyst Jaime Katz. She said retailers responded by lowering prices, if not across the board, at least on selected items. In these final days, “It seems like it’s escalating,” she said. “To me, that would indicate holidays didn’t turn out as fruitful as maybe they had originally hoped.”

In the crush of discounts, shoppers apparently still want more.

“When you ask consumers why they didn’t get finished, the number one reason was they were waiting for bigger discounts,” said Britt Beemer, chairman and founder of America’s Research Group. In a survey, nearly a quarter of last-minute shoppers said they were holding out for 60 percent or 70 percent off discounts.

RetailNext said shoppers who opened their wallets were spending more — sales were up between 3 percent and 4 percent, but whether that’s enough to make up for fewer shoppers remains to be seen. “I think people are willing to spend more this year; (I) think they just want to see lower prices,” Katz said. “It’s great for consumers and it stinks for companies.”

‘It’s still a present’ after Christmas

Vollf said she planned to continue her seasonal shopping after Christmas. “I know they’re going to be having a lot of 50 percent off or 60 percent off. For the things that are not gifts or an emergency, I’m waiting until the 26th and I’m going to shop it,” she said. “I might spend the same amount and get more items.”

Mark LoCastro, spokesman for DealNews, said some shoppers were using gift cards as a kind of placeholder gift that recipients could use for post-Christmas bargain-hunting. “Get a gift card and put it under the tree, which will force the recipient to shop the after-Christmas sales, which are way better than they are before Christmas,” he said.

That’s what Raleigh, N.C., resident Michelle Morton said she decided to do. Morton said waiting until last weekend to do some shopping paid off — she was able to get an extra discount on an iPad mini for one of her kids — and she expected the deals to be better after the holiday. Rather than purchase clothes for her teenagers, the 43-year-old professional organizer and life coach had what she called a “light bulb moment” and bought them gift cards for their favorite stores.

“After Christmas, all that stuff is going to be on sale so they’re going to be able to get more than if I buy it now,” she said. “We need to do our shopping the day after Christmas.”

One bright spot for retailers there is that gift card users tend to spend more than the amount of the card. “It helps, especially to get people back in the stores in the next week or two,” Feldman said. “The week after Christmas is a big period.”

While giving after-Christmas gifts isn’t likely to become the norm, it could certainly grow between close friends or relatives. “Most kids probably understand you can get them placeholder smaller-ticket items,” Katz said, and deliver the goods after Christmas. “The worst that happens is you wind up paying the same price as before Christmas.”

Paul Zuk of Bayonne, N.J., said he doesn’t consider Christmas Day an actual deadline for buying gifts. “I actually plan to do a lot more shopping after Christmas,” said Zuk, a 26-year-old computer programmer. For his sister and his girlfriend, Zuk said he had plans for big-ticket gifts, but that he would wait until after the holiday because he expected better prices.

“They got little things now and I’m going to get better things after the holidays,” he said. “It’s still a present, no matter what day you give it to them.”

 


Silver Lake Cookie Company Gourmet Baked Cookies pulled

AVON, Mass. —Costco and a New York-based company are pulling a batch of cookies off shelves nationwide after a local woman says she found larvae inside her box of Christmas cookies.

Irina Cheremetieva, of Stoughton, told NewCenter 5 she found dozens of worm-like insects crawling inside her box of Silver Lake Cookie Company Gourmet Baked Cookies. She had eaten some before discovering the yellowish larvae.

Her family told NewsCenter 5′s Liam Martin that she’ll be getting blood work done in the coming days as a precaution.

She bought the cookies this week at the Costco store in Avon.

The pest, according to Silver Lake, is Indianmeal Moth larvae. They can infest stored foods, but won’t necessarily make you sick, if you have the misfortune of eating them.

The reaction of shoppers at the Avon store said it all.

“I think that’s pretty disgusting,” said one shopper.

“We buy a ton of stuff here; we’ve never had a problem,” said another. “It always seems like it’s very fresh. And I’m kind of surprised.”

This is the second incident reported with the cookies.

Costco told NewsCenter 5 it has pulled that entire batch of cookies off the shelves nationwide, writing in a statement, “We feel the same way as any other consumer would feel. It’s a bad situation, and we don’t like this at all. Cosco’s responsibility is to buy the best product we can. We can’t inspect every package that comes in.”

Silver Lake Cookies, based out of New York, also released a statement, saying it’s investigating how this happened.

“We stand up for our product and have been in business for a long time,” the company said. “We want to make things right for the consumer.”

While both Costco and Silver Lake are pulling that batch, there is no official recall of the product listed on the websites for Costco or the Food and Drug Administration. NewsCenter 5 only learned about the story through Cheremetieva herself.


Man kills self after girlfriend won’t stop shopping

20131209-162858.jpg
A Chinese man jumped seven stories to his death after his girlfriend refused to stop shopping.

Tao Hsiao, 38, had been shopping with his girlfriend at the Golden Eagle International Shopping Center in Xuzhou, China, when she asked to go to one more shoe store, according to Gawker.

The pair had been shopping for five hours.

And, police say, he finally reached his limit.

“He told her she already had enough shoes, more shoes that she could wear in a lifetime and it was pointless buying any more,” an eyewitness said, according to the Daily Mail. “She started shouting at him accusing him of being a skinflint and of spoiling Christmas, it was a really heated argument.”

The fight ended when Tao threw the pair’s shopping bags down and jumped over a balcony, smashing into Christmas decorations before hitting the floor below, CCTV reported.

Tao was pronounced dead at the scene. No one else was injured.


My daughter, Alicia Mucha, works as the Department Leat at the New Balance Factory Outlet Store in Brighton

She asked that I share this coupon with all of my friends.  For those of you in the area, I hope you will be able to enjoy the 40% off savings at any of the Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine Stores.  You must present the coupon to receive the discount.

Photo: Here is a big thank you to all of our loyal customers for visitng us during construction!