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Consumer News

  1. Outback Steakhouse sees growth in U.S. and Brazil markets in second quarter


    TAMPA — The parent company of Outback Steakhouse and Carrabba's Italian Grill hopes investing in restaurant delivery and international expansion will stem sluggish sales and slumping traffic at its U.S. restaurants.

    The Outback Steakhouse, on 4088 Park St. N, is showin on July 26, 2017. Restaurant sales were up at Outback Steakhouse  and Carrabba's Italian Grill during the second quarter of 2017, but Bonefish Grill continues to lag at Tampa-based Bloomin' Brands. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]
  2. Ratings service Nielsen begins tracking live TV consumption on Hulu, YouTube


    TV ratings service Nielsen will begin tracking how many people watch network TV on YouTube and Hulu to gauge how many viewers broadcast networks have through streaming, the company announced Tuesday.

    Nielsen, a ratings company, is monitoring how many viewers watch live TV on Hulu and YouTube to get a better sense of overall viewership. | [AP]
  3. Michael Kors takes over shoemaker Jimmy Choo


    LONDON — American fashion brand Michael Kors has bought luxury shoemaker Jimmy Choo in a deal worth $1.35 billion (896 million pounds).

    Hopeful shoppers wait in line at Michael Kors before doors opened at the Tampa Premium Outlets grand opening day in Lutz, Fla. on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015.
  4. What you need to know about eyelash extensions: how they work, what they cost


    Natali Cespedes knew the next big thing was lash extensions.

    Volume lash artist Gabrielle Dalip poses for a portrait at Lash Addict Studio.
  5. Macy's chairman replaces ex-HSN head Grossman on National Retail Federation board


    Terry Lundgren, chairman of Macy's Inc., will replace Weight Watchers CEO Mindy Grossman as chair of the National Retail Federation, the organization announced Wednesday. Grossman stepped down from her position following her move from leading St. Petersburg-based HSN to Weight Watchers.

    Weight Watchers CEO and former HSN chief Mindy Grossman is being replaced as chair of the National Retail Federation. [HSN Inc.]
  6. Restaurant, ice cream shop join Tampa's Armature Works project


    TAMPA — A sushi restaurant and ice cream shop are on tap to join the Armature Works' Heights Public Market near downtown Tampa.

    A sushi restaurant and ice cream shop are on tap to join the Armature Works' Heights Public Market.
[SKIP O'ROURKE  |  Times file photo]

  7. Walmart to employ 1,500 at new mega-warehouse in Polk County


    DAVENPORT — A new Walmart e-commerce fulfillment center that opened Tuesday is bringing more than 1,500 jobs to this northern Polk County area.

    Gov. Rick Scott presents a medal to Air Force Veteran James Register, who is a floor manager at the new Walmart eCommerce Fulfillment Center in Polk County. [ Walmart handout photo ]
  8. St. Pete's 3 Daughters Brewing a finalist for national small business award


    ST. PETERSBURG — St. Petersburg's 3 Daughters Brewing is one of 17 national finalists for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's "Dream Big Small Business of the Year" award.

    Anthony Foster of St. Petersburg stacks cans of "Rod Bender Red Ale" coming off the conveyer belt at 3 Daughters Brewing. The craft brewery is one of 17 finalists for the US Chamber of Commerce's "Dream Big Small Business of the Year" award. | [CHERIE DIEZ | Times]
  9. Welcome to manhood, Gillette told the 50-year-old woman


    A 50-year-old professor and mother in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. A 19-year-old woman in Toledo, Iowa. A 48-year-old man who lives in Seattle.

     A marketing effort to get free razors in the hands of young men for their 18th birthdays has sometimes reached the wrong target. 
[TONY CENICOLA | The New York Times]
  10. These UF scientists are on a mission to make the perfect tomato



    There is the sound of roll-down windows thwapping closed after the tomato wedges are passed through in tiny plastic cups. All goes silent as a group of 10 tasters contemplate. Do they like this one? Is it sweet? Salty? Sour? Bitter? Or that magical unicorn of tastes: umami?

    A pair of tomatoes hang off one of the approximately 100 plants growing in one of the University of Florida's Klee Lab's greenhouses in Gainesville, Fla., on Thursday, Jul 13, 2017. Researchers developed this strain of tomato by sequencing the tomato genome and selecting DNA that would result in desirable tastes and smells.  For about fifteen years, researchers at the University of Florida's Klee Lab have worked on understanding the chemical and genetic markers that determine the taste of tomatoes. Through genetic sequencing, biochemical analysis and panels of taste testing, Klee scientists have developed different kinds of tomato that attempt to manifest "perfect" taste. ANDRES LEIVA   |   Special to the Times