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  1. There are acres of leafy greens inside these shipping crates on an old St. Petersburg junkyard

    Consumer

    ST. PETERSBURG — The would-be farmers bought three transoceanic refrigerated shipping containers, just a little dinged up, for $6,500 each.

    Shannon O’Malley, an owner of Brick Street Farms, stands with heirloom lettuces growing under daytime LED lights.
  2. Tampa parent of Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba's can't stem loss of customers

    Retail

    Bloomin' Brands, Tampa's beleaguered parent of such big-name restaurant chains as Outback Steakhouse and Carrabba's Italian Grill, must feel like it's been wandering the casual dining bog in search of solid ground for years.

    Alas, there's no sign of dry land yet.

    Bloomin' Brands has been struggling, led by a 7.7 percent fourth quarter and 5.7 percent 2016 drop in customer traffic at its Outback Steakhouse chain.
{File photo from Bloomin' Brands]
  3. Why would these two St. Petersburg entrepreneurs want to open a used bookstore in the Internet age?

    Retail

    ST. PETERSBURG —The age of Amazon and online shopping has left a litany of retail casualties in its wake.

    Tim Russell, foreground, and his partner Bobby Hauske, sort through books at the 321-books.com warehouse at 4143 118th Ave N in Clearwater. The business is a reseller of used books which are catalogued and resold by the company at a high volume on Amazon.com. The company in March is opening a used bookstore at the Tyrone Square Mall, with plans to have more than 100,000 books on the shelves.
[DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]

  4. Winn-Dixie is beefing up its private label brands

    Retail

    Southeastern Grocers, the parent company of Winn-Dixie, is rolling out a new and revamped line of private label products in its latest bid to stand out in a sea of grocery shopping options.

    Southeastern Grocers President and CEO Ian McLeod shows off the new "Kitchen" area in their newly remodeled Hyde Park grocery store.  Winn Dixie recently accounced its new line of private label products. 
[JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
  5. 5 things to do under $5: Mutt Derby returns, '80s parties, Quiet Riot at Motorcycle Expo

    Events

    1 Mutt Derby: Back after a 20-year hiatus, the hilarious day of non-greyhound racing on the Derby Lane track opens at noon Sunday. It's free for spectators to watch pets line up by weight division to race (many choose to run the wrong way). If you want to enter your mutt, registration begins at 11 …

    The Mutt Derby at Derby Lane is back after a 20-year hiatus.
  6. Verizon latest carrier to return to unlimited cell plans

    Retail

    NEW YORK — Verizon is the latest mobile carrier to bring back unlimited plans, but its version is pricier than offerings from rivals T-Mobile and Sprint.

    Verizon is the latest mobile carrier to bring back unlimited plans, but its version is pricier than offerings from rivals T-Mobile and Sprint. [Associated Press]
  7. Sears, Kmart join other retailers in dropping Trump-branded items

    Retail

    The list of companies dropping products that carry the Trump name grew this weekend, with two major U.S. retailers announcing that they're no longer selling Trump Home items online.

    Ivanka Trump arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, for the presidential inauguration of her father Donald Trump. [Saul Loeb | Pool Photo via AP]
  8. Sears, Kmart join other retailers in dropping Trump-branded items

    Retail

    The list of companies dropping products that carry the Trump name grew this weekend, with two major U.S. retailers announcing that they're no longer selling Trump Home items online.

    Sears is joining the list of retailers that will no longer carry Trump-branded items. [Times files]
  9. New flavors and Donald Trump: Here's what's ahead for Florida strawberry season

    Consumer

    PLANT CITY — We count on them every February and March, big glossy berries, maybe with whipped cream and shortcake, maybe all by their lonesome, one frilly-capped stem at a time. Florida strawberries are a dependable harbinger of spring, but what they taste like, the price they command and just how competitive …

    Shane Schaibly, corporate chef for First Watch, bites into a Sweet Sensation at Strawberry Station in Plant City. Industry leaders gave a tour of the fields and information on new berry varieties in the works.
  10. Lucky's Market plans further expansion into Florida this year

    Retail

    ST. PETERSBURG — Lucky's Market, a natural and organic foods grocer from Colorado, announced it will open at least six new stores in Florida over the next 18 months.

    Lucky's Market opened its first store in Naples, Fla. The organic grocer has plans to expand in Florida. Photos by Justine Griffin, Times Staff Writer