Dozens of stores to remain closed on Thanksgiving night

Published: Monday, November 09, 2015 @ 12:32 PM
Updated: Monday, November 09, 2015 @ 12:32 PM

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Thanksgiving and Black Friday have all but merged with stores now opening their doors on Thursday night for shoppers to take advantage of holiday deals. Excited consumers flood retailers on Thanksgiving night to get a head start on crowds, but many say that isn't fair for the employees who have to work that night.

>> Read more trending stories 

Critics have argued that stores should remain closed to allow workers to spend time with their families on the federal holiday. 

Some stores have listened.

According to BestBlackFriday.com, these stores will be closed on Thanksgiving Day:

• A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts

• Ace Hardware

• American Girl

• AT&T

• Barne's & Noble

• Bed Bath & Beyond

• BJ’s Wholesale Club

• Burlington

• Cabela's

• Costco

• Crate and Barrel

• Dillard’s

• DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse

• GameStop

• Gardner-White Furniture

• Half Price Books

• Harbor Freight

• Hobby Lobby

• Home Depot

• HomeGoods

• IKEA

• Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts

• Lowe’s

• Marshalls

• Mattress Firm

• Neiman Marcus

• Nordstrom

• Patagonia

• P.C. Richard & Son

• Petco

• PetSmart

• Pier 1 Imports

• Publix

• Reymour & Flanigan

• REI

• Saks Fifth Avenue

• Sam’s Club

• Sierra Trading Post

• Staples 

• Sur La Table

• T.J. Maxx

• The Container Store

• Tractor Supply Co.

• True Value

• Von Maur

Read more here

7 brilliantly slick ways to get Amazon Prime for free

Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 1:59 PM

Amazon's Echo speaker with Alexa has the most integrations with "smart home" gadgets. The Google Home offers the search company's powerful AI and home automation. Apple HomePod promises better sound quality from a nicer speaker.

You don’t have to fork over $99 to become an Amazon Prime member. You can actually take advantage of Prime benefits without having to spend a penny. Here are seven ways you can get free Amazon Prime membership:

1. Get an Amazon Prime Free Trial

You can try an Amazon Prime free trial membership if you don’t already have an account. After your Amazon Prime 30-day trial is over, you will be converted to a monthly subscription.

Amazon will offer you a free, 30-day trial each year. Should you cancel after your Amazon Prime trial, you’ll have to wait 12 months for another chance to try it for free.

>> Convenience stores getting squeezed by fast food, dollar stores

2. Get an Amazon Prime Student Membership Trial

College students are privy to some great deals on credit cards, checking accounts and more. Students can also get an Amazon Prime free trial student program for six months. After the trial ends, you’re eligible to pay only $5.49 per month for the service (for four years or until you graduate, whichever comes first).

3. Share Amazon Prime With Your Family

Amazon Household is a smart choice when you need Amazon Prime for the long haul. If your roommate or parents have Amazon Prime, Amazon Household allows you to share your benefits with up to one other adult, four teens and four children in your household. All family members create and use their own logins and passwords. Children and teens can shop on their own, but parents must approve the order with a simple text.

4. Earn Cash Back With the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card

At this time, no credit cards come with a complimentary Amazon Prime membership. Amazon, however, offers a Prime Rewards Visa Card and an Amazon store card. Each will get you 5 percent back cash back when you shop at Amazon.com, you’ll pay no annual fees and there are no earning caps. If you spend $2,000 over the course of the year on your Amazon credit card you’ll earn $100 cash back, which will pay for your Amazon Prime membership.

>> Prices fall when this grocer comes to town, new study finds

Amazon also offers the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card, which has no annual fee and enables you to earn:

  • 3 percent cash back when you shop at Amazon.com
  • 2 percent cash back at restaurants
  • 2 percent cash back at gas stations and drugstores
  • 1 percent cash back on all of your other purchases

You can see your rewards balance when you check out at Amazon.com and you don’t need a minimum balance to redeem them. You can use your rewards to purchase millions of items through Amazon.

5. Save on Amazon Prime Day

For the past three years, Amazon has celebrated “Prime Day” with a one-day sale on Amazon products like the Echo and Fire TV Stick, and electronics such as laptops, televisions, tablets and smartphones. Amazon will announce Amazon Prime Day in July 2018, and although it’s only available for Prime subscribers, you can use a free Prime trial to shop the great sales.

6. Become an Amazon Associate

Consider becoming an Amazon Associate. By doing this, you’ll earn a “bounty,” or bonus, when eligible customers complete certain actions, like registering for a third-party video subscription, creating an Amazon Baby Industry or signing up for an Amazon Prime free trial.

For 2018, you’ll get $3 for each person who registers for the Prime free trial. Refer just three people per month and you’ll pay for the cost of your annual membership.

>> Amazon will buy Target this year, analyst predicts

7. Utilize Amazon Prime Discount Membership Options

An Electronic Benefits Transfer card might qualify you for a Prime membership for $5.99 per month. The following programs will qualify you:

  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
  • Women, Infants and Children
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
  • Other programs by state

Amazon uses a state-of-the-art algorithm that automatically matches or beats competitors’ prices, which means there are numerous ways to save money on Amazon year-round. Keep an eye out for more ways to save on your favorite items.

Sign up for Amazon Prime trial.

The AJC may receive a commission for purchases made through some links in this article.

Prices fall when this grocer comes to town, new study finds

Published: Sunday, January 14, 2018 @ 1:08 PM

Could Lidl come to your neighborhood?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — When the German grocer Lidl enters a new market, other grocery stores respond by lowering prices to stay competitive, according to a new study from UNC-Chapel Hill.

The low-priced grocer made a splash this summer when it first entered the U.S. with stores in the Carolinas and Virginia. Experts have said its effect could be as significant as Amazon’s is on other retailers. According to the UNC study, competing grocers near Lidl stores set their prices 9.3 percent lower on average than in markets where Lidl is not present.

The report, commissioned by Lidl, was conducted independently by UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, and researchers had full discretion of the study without Lidl’s input, according to Katrijn Gielens, an associate professor of marketing at UNC who led the study.

» How to spend $25 or less on one week of groceries

Still, the findings skewed favorably for Lidl over competitors, including Aldi, Food Lion, Walmart, Publix and Kroger.

“Without a doubt, (Lidl is) putting extra pressure on retail prices,” Gielens said in a call with reporters Wednesday.

The study examined 48 commonly purchased private label products from a variety of categories, including dairy products, meats, produce, canned food and frozen goods. It examined Lidl stores and competitors in six markets in the Carolinas and Virginia.

The study found that supermarkets in proximity to Lidl stores set their grocery prices up to 55 percent cheaper compared with stores in markets without Lidls. (Competing stores were within a 1.7-mile radius of the nearest Lidl, according to the study.)

» If you think grocery stores are playing tricks on you, they really are

“The University of North Carolina study validates what we have seen on the ground in every market since launching our stores,” Lidl spokesman Will Harwood said in an email.

As Lidl continues to expand throughout the U.S., other grocers will continue to slash prices, according to the study.

“It is not yet clear who the retail winners will be as the grocery price wars evolve, but there is little doubt that consumers will benefit as retailers are forced to continue dropping prices and offer more convenient shopping services in order to stay competitive,” the study stated.

This summer, the Observer conducted an analysis of the lowest prices of five staple items – a dozen large eggs, a gallon of skim milk, a loaf of white bread, ketchup and 1 pound of lean ground beef – at nine Charlotte grocery stores. We found that Aldi had the cheapest total: $7.69. At Lidl, which expanded here after the analysis, that same list of items was $6.29.

» Walmart sets its sights on shopping via virtual reality

The UNC study revealed that consumers experience significant cost-savings when shopping in areas where Lidl has already expanded. Here are some additional results about cost-saving in Lidl markets:

—Aldi lowered prices by an average of 13.9 percent (savings of $14).

—Food Lion lowered prices by an average of 13.6 percent (savings of $17).

—Kroger lowered prices by an average of 10.1 percent (savings of $22).

—Publix lowered prices by an average of 3.9 percent (savings of $7).

—Walmart lowered prices by an average of 2.5 percent (savings of $3).

Here are the big coupon deals of the week

Published: Saturday, January 13, 2018 @ 12:00 AM


            Nexium
Nexium

Coupon availability and coupon values may vary within different regions or neighborhoods.

Colgate Toothbrush

This week at Walgreens, select varieties of Colgate toothbrushes are on sale for $2.99 each. Use the $1 off one Colgate 360 or floss tip toothbrush coupon found in the January 7 SmartSource inserts. Visit www.walgreens.com/coupons and you can also add a $2 off one Colgate toothbrush coupon to your card. With these deals combined, you will get this item for free.

Fixodent Adhesive

This week at CVS, Fixodent Adhesive is on sale two for $10. Use two copies of the $2.50 off one Fixodent Adhesive coupon from the Dec. 31 Procter & Gamble insert. When you buy two, you will also get $3 in Extra Care Bucks good off your next purchase. When you factor in these savings, you will ultimately get this item for $1 each when you buy two in total.

Garnier Fructis Hair Care

This week at CVS, Garnier Fructis shampoos and conditioners are on sale two for $7 or $3.79 each. Use the $3 off two Garnier Fructis shampoos, conditioners, treatments or styling products coupon from the Jan. 7 RedPlum insert. When you spend at least $9, you will also receive $3 in Extra Care Bucks good off your next purchase. With these savings combined, when you buy three in total, you will pay just $1.60 per container.

Gillette or Venus Razors

This week at Rite-Aid, Gillette or Venus disposable razors are on sale for $6.99. Use the $3 off one Gillette or Venus razor coupon from the Dec. 31 Proctor & Gamble inserts and you will end up paying just $3.99 for this item.

Huggies Diapers

This week at Walgreens, select varieties of Huggies diapers are on sale two for $18 or $12.99 each. You will want to buy three packs in total. Use the $2 off one Huggies diaper coupon found in the Jan. 7 SmartSource insert. Also, use the $2 off one Huggies diaper coupon found by visiting www.coupons.com. Lastly, visit www.walgreens.com/coupons and add another $2 off one Huggies diapers coupon to your card. When you spend at least $30 on this item you will get an additional $10 back in Register Rewards good off your next purchase. With all of these deals combined, you will pay just $4.99 per package when you buy three in total.

Nexium 24HR

This week at Rite-Aid, a 14-count of Nexium 24HR is on sale for $10. The 28-count of Nexium 24HR is on sale for $20. Use the $2 off one Nexium 24HR product coupon from the December 3 RedPlum insert as well as the $2 off one Nexium 24HR product coupon from the Jan. 7 RedPlum insert. When you spend $30 on this item, you will get $10 back in Wellness+ Bonus Cash, which is added to your Plenti card and redeemable during your next visit. With these deals combined, you will pay just $8 per container when you buy two in total.

Decadent gift ideas from one of the best places for chocolate in the world

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

The Salted butter caramels are one of Madame Delluc's best sellers. Customize your box at the counter. (Contributed photo by Alexis Larsen)
The Salted butter caramels are one of Madame Delluc's best sellers. Customize your box at the counter. (Contributed photo by Alexis Larsen)

In 2016, Conde Nast hailed it as one of the “Best Chocolates in the World.”

Earlier this year, CNN named the company one of the “15 Happiest Places in the World.”

Gwyneth Paltrow’s goop listed it as one of the things “Women Really Want for Valentine’s Day” in 2016.

There’s a lot of buzz around the chocolate that Oakwood’s Madame Delluc Artisan Chocolatier shop carries, and for good reason. It’s fabulous.

The chocolates it carries that are handmade in Brussels, Belgium, are intoxicatingly delicious and beautiful to behold. They make great gifts for anyone on your list.

The best part: you can shop for most of this online with a $25 purchase or more at www.francoiseimports.com and get it shipped to you. Or you can shop and have it ready for pick-up.

WANT TO GO?

What: Madame Delluc Artisan Chocolatier

Where: 2510 Far Hills Ave. in the Shops of Oakwood

More information: Call 937-356-8890 or visit www.francoiseimports.com

CHOCOLATE GIFT IDEAS

Here are a few items we found on a recent visit that are ready to gift and sure to impress whoever is on the receiving end.

>> Oakwood chocolate shop scores national shout-out

>> The best places to get chocolate in Dayton

Madame Delluc in Oakwood is open and ready for holiday business. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY ALEXIS LARSEN(Staff Writer)

This six-piece chocolate set retails for $12.95. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY ALEXIS LARSEN(Staff Writer)

The Ecailler Royale has beautiful new packaging. This large set retails for $79.50. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY ALEXIS LARSEN(Staff Writer)

These are some of our favorites chocolate covered ginger and chocolate covered candied orange peel. The bag retails for $16.95 and is one of the best values in the store. The ginger is perfect addition to your next holiday party. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY ALEXIS LARSEN(Staff Writer)

The mild chocolate mousse with nougatine. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY ALEXIS LARSEN(Staff Writer)

Customize your chocolate box at the counter. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY ALEXIS LARSEN(Staff Writer)

Another great holiday gift idea the Madame Delluc Cacao en Poudre for $19.95. Your hot cocoa will never taste the same again. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY ALEXIS LARSEN(Staff Writer)

The Reglette is a six-piece chocolate set that retails for $12.95. It’s a great hostess gift or stocking stuffer. Note how they used the box in the background to create a little winterscape. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY ALEXIS LARSEN(Staff Writer)

Beautiful new packaging has arrived for the holiday season. The 8-piece chocolate in this specialty box retails for $22.95. When you are done, it will hold your colored pencils perfectly. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY ALEXIS LARSEN(Staff Writer)

The Salted butter caramels are one of Madame Delluc's best sellers. Customize your box at the counter. (Contributed photo by Alexis Larsen)
Champagne truffles are also extremely popular. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY ALEXIS LARSEN(Staff Writer)