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  1. Package delivery improves despite some hiccups

    Retail

    NEW YORK

    Christmas came on time this year for most people.

    Cargo jets are unloaded during overnight operations Dec. 11 at the FedEx shipping hub in Memphis. FedEx and United Parcel Service hired more seasonal help to better handle any surge in late shipments, which caused problems last year.
  2. Five trends reshaping Tampa Bay economy in 2014

    Business

    Was it just a year ago that Tampa Bay was obsessing about rising flood insurance rates and Floridians were speculating about the return of "Governor" Charlie Crist?

    Gasoline prices in the bay area, at $2.39 at this Tampa RaceTrac earlier this month, are about 90 cents less than a year ago.
  3. Everybody's Business in Tampa

    Retail

    CARROLLWOOD — Twenty years ago, Theresa Henry realized her dream of owning her own salon when she opened Hair Expressions of Carrollwood in a small storefront on Ehrlich Road.

  4. U.S. wine industry toasts rise of drink's sales in Japan

    Retail

    TOKYO — Standing next to the wine display at the Nissin World Delicatessen, Masahiro Ino, 24, eyed a $99 bottle of Silver Oak cabernet sauvignon imported from California.

    Toshiko Nakaya, left, and Masakou Hamachi sample sake at a tasting in Tokyo in October. U.S. wineries are beginning to challenge sake sales.
  5. Merry madness at new American Girl Orlando store (w/video)

    Retail

    ORLANDO — When you're a dude at the American Girl store, you lay low, seek shadows, hug walls. Hiding's cool, too. Samuel Gaskin, visiting from Las Vegas, is motionless on a bench, sitting directly beneath a wall-sized portrait of a young lass cradling a rubber-faced 18-inch doll that's dressed exactly like her. …

    American Girl began as a mail-order business, but experienced tremendous growth. Founded by a Wisconsin company, it was bought by Mattel for $700 million in 1998.
  6. 5 things to do under $5 Dec. 25-31

    Events

    1 Bleachers: Alternative station 97X is putting on a free concert on Monday by Bleachers, the new project from Fun. guitarist Jack Antonoff, with MisterWives opening the show. Antonoff, the boyfriend of Lena Dunham and collaborator with Taylor Swift and Sara Bareilles, is a burgeoning alternative teen idol thanks in …

    NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 28:  Jack Antonoff of Bleachers performs during T.J. Martell Foundation’s 15th Annual Family Day Honoring Tom Corson, President & COO of RCA Records and his Family at Hammerstein Ballroom on September 28, 2014 in New York City.  (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for T.J. Martell Foundatio
  7. At ESPN Bitcoin Bowl, push is on for football — and cryptocurrency

    Retail

    MADEIRA BEACH — The Alligator Attraction is a classic Florida joint, the kind of place where tizzied tourists can toss turkey dogs to snappy reptiles. But this week, old-school fun will start accepting new-school funds: bitcoin, an online "cryptocurrency" that has gained buzz — if not exactly a stronghold in …

    Bob Barrett, owner of Alligator Attraction in Madeira Beach, gives Chompers, its star reptile, a kiss on the snout Monday. Alligator Attraction is enthusiastically accepting bitcoin.
  8. Keurig recalls 7 million 'Mini Plus' coffeemakers

    Retail

    WASHINGTON — Keurig is recalling some 7 million of single-serve coffee brewing machines because of reported burns.

  9. Apple Pay rolling out at Disney World this week

    Retail

    ORLANDO — Apple Pay and other "contactless payment" services are being introduced at Walt Disney World this week.

    For in-person purchases, Apple Pay users hold their phones, which are protected by their Touch ID systems, near a touch-to-pay reader.
  10. It's crunch time for shippers as retailers push last-minute holiday sales

    Retail

    MEMPHIS

    Donner Pass, the icy stretch of road that cuts through the Sierra Nevada mountains, is 2,000 miles away from FedEx's world hub in Memphis.

    Employees in an area called the matrix place packages on convertor belts at the FedEx shipping hub in Memphis in mid December. FedEx and UPS want to avoid the chaos of last year caused by a late surge in shipments and bad weather.