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Consumer News

  1. Port Tampa Bay steers course toward promising 2017 — with headwinds

    News

    TAMPA — Paul Anderson has big plans for the years ahead at Port Tampa Bay, and some significant headwinds to overcome along the way.

    Among the 2016 highlights for Port Tampa Bay: Two 16-story  cranes, constructed in China, went into service. They allow the port to serve the wider container ships that travel through the recently expanded Panama Canal. 
[Times file photo]
  2. Solid customer service no longer enough for Publix as competition heats up

    Retail

    Publix Super Markets has never had to be particularly fancy or sophisticated to win over customers.

    Publix is the top brand in Florida, with hundreds of stores across the state including this one at 3700 4th Street N in St. Petersburg. SCOTT KEELER   |   TIMES
  3. Report: Tampa's Checkers fast food chain to be put up for sale seeking $500 million

    Retail

    TAMPA — Tampa-based fast food chain Checkers Drive-In Restaurants will soon be put on the sales block by its private equity owner with a hopeful price tag of near half a billion dollars.

    So says a Bloomberg news report.

    Tampa-based fast food chain Checkers Drive-In Restaurants will reportedly be put on the sales block by its private equity owner, [TImes file photo]
  4. Walmart is pulling out of St. Petersburg's Midtown neighborhood

    Retail

    ST. PETERSBURG — Walmart is closing its Neighborhood Market in St. Petersburg's Midtown neighborhood, reigniting a 20-year struggle to keep a grocery store in the underserved area.

     Shoppers and Walmart employees attend a grand opening ceremony Jan. 29. 2014 for a new store in St. Petersburg's Midtown neighborhood. On Tuesday, Walmart confirmed the store will close March 3.
[SCOTT KEELER    |    Times]
  5. Starbucks opens cafe inside Publix store in South Tampa, and more are coming

    Retail

    TAMPA — Shoppers can now sip a Starbucks latte while they browse the aisles at the Publix grocery store in the Gandy Shopping Center.

    Publix opened a Starbucks cafe inside the store in the Gandy Shopping Center in Tampa. [JUSTINE GRIFFIN | Times]
  6. Wal-Mart to add about 10,000 retail jobs in the U.S.

    Retail

    NEW YORK — Wal-Mart plans to add about 10,000 retail jobs in the U.S. as it opens new stores and expands existing locations.

    Wal-Mart plans to add about 10,000 retail jobs in the U.S. as it opens new stores and expands existing locations. Times files.
  7. Save-A-Lot carves niche serving communities that Publix and others overlook

    Retail

    GULFPORT — Betty Duffey has a half-dozen grocery stores vying for her business near her neighborhood in southern Pinellas County.

    The Save-A-Lot in Gulfport at 5015 Gulfport Blvd S. Save-A-Lot opens stores in "food deserts" where most other brands would never go. They offer a sense of community that's often lost at competitors, like Walmart and even Publix. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  8. Port Tampa Bay finds niche in growing cruise industry

    Tourism

    TAMPA — Port Tampa Bay may have finally found a formula that works to grow its long-limited cruise business.

    Passengers wait for rides outside Cruise Terminal 3 after disembarking The Carnival Paradise, operated by Carnival Cruise Line, in Port Tampa Bay on Thursday.  Port Tampa Bay is on pace to serve 1 million cruise passengers in 2017, a record breaking number.
[JAMES BORCHUCK  |   Times]
  9. Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly in Tampa, hopes Trump keeps Cuba route

    Airlines

    TAMPA — Southwest Airlines has been offering direct flights between Havana and Tampa for just 31 days now, and the airline's chief executive says his fingers are crossed that the route will remain open once Donald Trump is sworn into office.

    Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly is the 2016 Tony Jannus Award winner. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
  10. Florida Hospital partners with Walgreens to open express health clinics

    Retail

    Times Staff

    Florida Hospital and Walgreens are partnering to offer health clinic services inside Walgreens stores around Tampa Bay.

    Walgreens is partnering with Florida Hospital Tampa. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa. File) NYBZ135