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Consumer News

  1. Feeling mental fatigue after Hurricane Irma and other disasters? It's real.


    TAMPA — Blackness. Eyes closed or open, the same.

    A Tampa Bay Times reporter in a sensory deprivation tank used for floating therapy at Sacred Floats & Gems Co. located at 6719 N Nebraska Avenue, in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, September 19, 2017. Floating therapy relaxes people because they experience a sense of zero gravity when they are inside the tank, which contains 150 gallons of water and 1000 pounds of medical grade Epsom salt. ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times
  2. Calling it a 'dangerous precedent,' Tampa chamber opposes city tax increase


    TAMPA — Calling the possibility a "dangerous precedent," the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce on Thursday took the rare step of opposing City Hall's proposal to raise Tampa's property tax rate because of its impact on business.

    The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce voted against supporting a city tax hike on commercial property. Pictured is Bob Rohrlack, CEO of the chamber. | [Times file photo]
  3. Grocery chain Aldi hiring for 500 positions across Florida


    Aldi, the German grocery store chain, is hiring for 500 positions across Florida, including at its locations in Tampa Bay. The company will hold a "one-day hiring spree" Thursday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at all Aldi stores in the state, a Tuesday release said.

    Aldi, a German grocery store chain, is hiring for 500 positions across the state. | [Times file photo]
  4. Toys 'R' Us files for bankruptcy but keeps stores open (w/video)


    NEW YORK — Toys 'R' Us, the big box toy retailer struggling with $5 billion in debt and intense online competition, has filed for bankruptcy protection ahead of the key holiday shopping season — and says its stores will remain open for business as usual.

    Shoppers shop in a Toys R Us store on Black Friday in Miami in 2016. Toys R Us, the pioneering big box toy retailer, announced late Monday, Sept. 18, 2017 it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection while continuing with normal business operations. [Associated Press]
  5. Aldi's award-winning $8 rose will now be sold in American stores


    Are you on the Aldi train yet?

    The discount grocer is beloved in my household for its low prices on staples like eggs, cheese and yogurt, plus an affordable line of organic products. And now there is another reason to start shopping at the German supermarket chain: Starting Sept. 20, you can buy one of the best …

    Aldi's Exquisite Collection Cotes de Provence Rose 2016
  6. Winn-Dixie store manager shelters locals in the Keys


    The Winn-Dixie grocery store on Big Pine Key opened Thursday after Hurricane Irma, thanks to a few local residents and one kind store manager.

    The Winn-Dixie Store in Big Pine Key of the Florida Keys housed several evacuees during Hurricane Irma. [Photos courtesy of Winn-Dixie]
  7. Still need ice? Winn-Dixie to hand out 40-pound boxes Saturday in Tampa Bay


    Those desperate for ice after Hurricane Irma have a chance to restock today when Winn-Dixie hands out 40,000 pounds of ice at select stores in the area.

    Select Winn-Dixie stores across Tampa Bay will be giving out free 40-pound boxes of ice on Saturday. [ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times
  8. Hillsborough County's economy sees $6 billion boost from tourists


    TAMPA — A record-breaking, 22.6 million people who visited Tampa and Hillsborough County in 2016 pumped nearly $6 billion into the economy, according to a study commissioned by Visit Tampa Bay. The visitors supported about 50,000 jobs and contributed $369 million in state and local taxes.

    The Cobra's Curse spin coaster is running at night at Busch Gardens for its Summer Nights party that ran this summer. [Company handout]
  9. Grocery stores working around the clock to replenish supplies after Irma


    When the big green semi-trailers with the Publix logo were driving into downtown St. Petersburg Tuesday morning, local residents breathed a collective sigh of relief.

     Water was completely sold out at the Publix at Northeast Park Shopping Center on Monday morning in St. Petersburg as residents prepare for a possible hit by Hurricane Irma [Photo courtesy Karen Pryslopski. ]
  10. Does Publix throw away returned food and water? Maybe donate unused hurricane supplies instead


    Now that the storm has passed, people may be inclined to return their food supplies back to the store.

    Shoppers stocking up for Hurricane Irma line up to pay for bottled water even before a Publix store on east Hillsborough Avenue opened for business 9/6/17. [SUE CARLTON   |   Times]