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15 must-know things we’ve learned about holiday shopping

Published: Friday, November 10, 2017 @ 7:54 AM

Holiday retail: What you need to know

The holiday shopping season has officially started, and stores and online retailers announced early deals and special offers this week.

Here’s everything we learned about what stores have planned:

1. Retailers are using virtual reality and technology to train employees for those crazy holiday crowds.

As retailers gear up for the busiest shopping season of the year, companies are turning to new technology features like virtual reality to train employees and draw in shoppers. Retailers like Walmart and Target are adding new technology to compete with online retailers like Amazon that offer convenience and quickness to customers. LEARN MORE

2. The Greene has a full line-up of independent stores coming for its pop-up shop program.

Three new stores will open temporarily at The Greene throughout November. Businesses like home decor shop Grit & Grain and clothing store Shop Bravura opened in the first two weeks of the month. The pop-up shops are housed in a space at 4420 Glengarry Road. LEARN MORE

3. Toys”R”Us will stay open for 30 straight hours on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

Toys“R”Us will open its doors at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving and remain open through 11 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 24 for 30 straight hours of shopping. The stores will remain closed during the day on Thanksgiving. LEARN MORE

4. Meijer will deliver gifts and groceries right to your door this holiday season.

Meijer is adding thousands of general merchandise items to its popular store-to-door home delivery service. Customers can now order gifts and toys, wrapping paper, artificial trees and Christmas decorations online and then have it delivered to their door this holiday season. LEARN MORE

5. Macy’s sales decreased again, and they’re hoping the holidays make up for it.

Macy’s reported its third quarter earnings, and company officials said the retailer is looking to gain “momentum” before 2018. Macy’s has locations at the Dayton Mall and the Mall at Fairfield Commons. READ MORE

6. Starbucks just added another new holiday drink to the menu.

Starbucks has unveiled another new holiday drink, and customers can get a special deal on their coffee for the next few days. The coffee chain released another new holiday drink — the Toasted White Chocolate Mocha. Other holiday flavors include the Peppermint Mocha and the Caramel Brulee Latte. LEARN MORE

Holiday Shopping Guide 2017
Deals, hiring, hours and everything else you need to know about local shopping for the holidays

7. If you need a job, there are thousands available at local retailers and distribution centers.

As retailers push early deals for shoppers this holiday season, thousands of jobs are being added to local distribution and logistics centers to meet the demand presented by increased online shopping. This is the first year that online sales are expected to surpass in-store sales during the holiday season, with about 59 percent consumers planning to shop online. LEARN MORE

8. Target’s Black Friday sales have already started.

Target stores will be open 6 p.m. to midnight on Thanksgiving, and will reopen at 6 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 24. Black Friday deals will also be available for customers on early the morning of Thanksgiving, with free shipping on all orders. READ MORE

9. Some toys like Hatchimals and Star Wars are going to fly off the shelves.

Half the list is dominated by relatively new toys launched after October 2016: Fingerlings, the Star Wars App Enabled R2-D2, and three L.O.L. Surprise! items, the research group found. The NPD Group has named the top 10 toys of the year that will most likely be hard to find closer to Christmas. LEARN MORE

10. Amazon has already announced early deals … and free shipping.

The online retailer said “customers will find better deals than ever before on the hottest gifts in toys, electronics, home goods and more, the best in holiday entertaining essentials including kitchen items and decor, and even wardrobe must haves,” according to a statement. LEARN MORE

11. Walmart is getting help with the holiday rush from robots.

The robots are about two-feet-tall and are outfitted with cameras that help them scan aisles and identify missing or mislabeled inventory across the stores. The robots also check for mispriced items, and give the information to employees who fix the issues. READ MORE

12. A local retailer says the death of retail has been greatly exaggerated.

Todd Bettman, who is founder and CEO of Shops by Todd Inc., owns and operates 19 shops in two states and the business continues to grow. He said his stores like Jake’s Toggery, Pandora and Occasionally Yours continue to bring in strong sales each year — in part due to the niche products sold and unique customer service provided by the brands. LEARN MORE

13. Amazon Key has launched in 36 cities, including West Chester and Cincinnati.

The service, offered exclusively for Prime members, will be available on Wednesday. Amazon Key allows customers to have their packages securely delivered inside their home without having to be there. Using the Amazon Key app, customers stay in control and can track their delivery with real-time notifications, watch the delivery happening live or review a video of the delivery after it is complete, according to Amazon. LEARN MORE

14. Elder-Beerman’s parent company got delisted from Nasdaq.

The financially struggling retailer will begin to trade on the OTCQX Best Market, leaving the Nasdaq exchange. Bon-Ton starts trading on the OTCQX on Thursday, but will continue to trade under the symbol “BONT.”LEARN MORE

15. Target doesn’t plan to keep stores open all night on Thanksgiving.

On one side is Target, which said Monday it will join Best Buy and Macy’s, which have closed their stores in the overnight hours in recent years. They have found less payoff in staying open during the wee hours when traffic dwindles now that their stores are open earlier on Thanksgiving evening. READ MORE


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Scene75 holding company buys shuttered Columbus department store

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 2:22 PM

Stevie Baia, general manager, left, and Jonah Sandler, chief executive of Scene75 Entertainment Center, in a 2014 photo. LISA POWELL / STAFF
Stevie Baia, general manager, left, and Jonah Sandler, chief executive of Scene75 Entertainment Center, in a 2014 photo. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Could the crew behind Scene75 — already planning a Pittsburgh, Pa.-area location this summer — be eyeing a new Columbus location?

A limited liability company tied to Scene75 bought a shuttered 225,000-square-foot department store at the Mall at Tuttle Crossing, Franklin County property records show.

The purchase price was $3 million. County records identify the buyer as “Scene75 Tuttle LLC,” with a West Carrollton mailing address.

RELATEDScene75 buys former ITT site

Scene 75 appears to be in acquisition mode of late.

Last fall, a holding company run by the chief executive of Scene75 Entertainment bought the former ITT Tech school property on Stop Eight Road.

JDS Commercial Holdings LLC — of which Jonah Sandler is the principal — bought the former school property at 3325 Stop Eight Road for $740,000, Montgomery County property records showed then.

In 2012, Sandler opened Scene75 at a former warehouse at 6196 Poe Ave., near the former ITT property.

Since then, he has opened a third entertainment location 30 miles south of Cleveland in Brunswick, Ohio. Besides the Dayton center, the company also has a 84,000-square-foot Cincinnati-area venue in Milford.

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The Columbus building most recently served as a Macy’s location at the Mall at Tuttle Crossing, the Columbus Dispatch reported.

A message seeking comment was left for Sandler, who founded the Scene75 chain of indoor entertainment venues with his father.

The Dispatch said Alex Zorniger, vice president of operations for Scene75, said in an email: “I can’t say much right now, but we’ll be able to give more information after some legal items are squared away next week.”

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CareSource seeks to hire 100 in Dayton

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 12:20 PM


CareSource is holding a hiring event to fill 100 open positions.

The nonprofit insurer, which primarily manages Medicaid plans, will be hiring for positions including:

  • Claims Analyst
  • Call Center Customer Care Advocate
  • Prior Authorization Specialist
  • Provider Resolution Specialist
  • Credentialing Onboarding Specialist

RELATED: CareSource expanding amid uncertain times for the Affordable Care Act

Other positions are also available. The openings are for positions based at the company’s downtown Dayton offices.

The career fair is open to the public.

When: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. May 2

Where: Dayton Marriott, 1414 S. Patterson Blvd

CareSource has about 2,800 employees in Dayton. It has nearly 2 million policy holders in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia and Georgia.

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WOW air offering $69 flights to Iceland from Cincinnati this summer

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 9:25 AM

How to find the best deal for your next flight? Zig when others zag.

Icelandic low-cost airline WOW air is offering $69 one-way fares from Cincinnati and 12 other cities to Iceland during the summer and the fall.

The first introduced $69 one-way fares in 2017 and is excited to bring them back in time for summer and fall vacation planning.

The discounted flights will be available from Baltimore/ Washington, D.C. (BWI), Chicago (ORD), Cleveland (CLE), Cincinnati (CVG), Detroit (DTW), New York (EWR & JFK), Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), St. Louis (STL), Pittsburgh (PIT), Boston(BOS), San Francisco (SFO) and Los Angeles (LAX) to Iceland (KEF).

» TRENDING TRAVEL NEWS: WOW air offers cheap flights, but what else will you pay?

Fares go on sale today and will be offered for flights May 1, 2018 to June 20 and Sept.1 to Oct. 27.

“We want to kick-off the summer travel season by giving our customers some of the lowest prices available,” said Skúli Mogensen, founder and CEO of WOW air. “Over the past year we have seen a continued growth and a strong demand for affordable transatlantic airfare. We are confident we can further build upon this success in the future.”

Launched in November 2011, WOW air now connects 39 destinations across the U.S. and Europe with the Icelandic capital. WOW air transported 2.8 million passengers in 2017, an increase of 69 percent on the previous year.

WOW air will start serving the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport next month.


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Women leadership program launched in Dayton area

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

            Keynote speaker Beth Mooney, KeyCorp CEO, addressed the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Tuesday morning. KAITLIN SCHROEDER/STAFF
Keynote speaker Beth Mooney, KeyCorp CEO, addressed the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Tuesday morning. KAITLIN SCHROEDER/STAFF

A new program in the Dayton area is designed to empower the next generation of women in executive leadership.

The Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce is working with Aileron to launch a new program called Empower to help women in management grow their careers.

The new program was presented Tuesday morning at the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting, held at Sinclair Community College.

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Empower will be a 10-month intensive cohort, said Kevin Weckesser, board president of the chamber.

“Created for women in mid to to upper management, Empower will guide participates as they identify their own leadership strengths, values and goals while empowering them to eliminate barriers to advancement,” Weckesser said.

Participants will attend in-depth leadership workshops, day-sessions and business coaching.

Weckesser said those in the cohort will get hands on business coaching to develop “their own personal brand” and build a support system to help them build their career.

“Our goal is to change the culture in the business community and pave the way to the top for all motivated business leaders,” he said.

RELATED: NCR to cut 360 jobs, CEO intends to retire

The goal of the program is to eliminate barriers that keep women from advancing their careers, encourage authentic self reflection, connect women with peer leaders and change the culture within organizations in the Dayton area.

Candidates for Empower should be someone who is already in a manager or leadership role and has been identified as a candidate for future growth opportunities or wants to take their leadership to the next level.

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Applications will be accepted for the inaugural 2018 Empower program year through May 31. Participants will be selected in July, and the program will begin in September.

Program pricing is $3,000 for Dayton Area Chamber members and $4,800 for non-chamber members.

Aileron is a Tipp City-area campus that supports businesses and entrepreneurs and was founded by Clay Mathile, former CEO of Iams Co.

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