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Deals & Shopping

  1. Bloomin' Brands sells Roy's for modest $10 million

    Retail

    Tampa-based Bloomin' Brands, parent of Outback Steakhouse and more, has sold off its interest in the seafood-based Roy's chain for $10 million. The sale, between Bloomin' and United Ohana, involves 20 restaurants and was agreed upon months ago, although the final tally wasn't revealed until Wednesday.

    Tampa's Bloomin' Brands sold Roy's restaurants for $10 million -- only about $500,000 per location. Stefanie Boyar | Times
  2. Yelp suit on reviews stirs the pot for local restaurateurs

    Retail

    Don Arvin, co-owner of St. Petersburg's Casita Taqueria, routinely combs through his online reviews.

    Don Arvin, co-owner of St. Petersburg’s Casita Taqueria, says a bad review on Yelp! may be written by a disgruntled ex-employee and a good review by the chef’s mom. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
  3. Pei Wei, BurgerMonger coming to Fourth Street in St. Petersburg

    News

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Pei Wei Asian Diner and BurgerMonger are coming to Fourth Street N

    Pei Wei will be part of the new construction on Fourth Street at 14th Avenue N.
  4. 5 things to do under $5 Feb. 26-March 4

    Events

    1Blast Friday: The free Blast Friday block party gets in the baseball spirit with baseball-themed vendors, a kids zone, games, prizes, live music by saxophonist Mindi Abair and representatives from the Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays, Clearwater Threshers, Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees. The nearby …

    The theme for this week’s Blast Friday in Clearwater is baseball, while the music will be provided by saxophonist Mindi Abair.
  5. Disney ticket prices rise, others may follow; $139 Florida resident deal still on

    Events

    Sunday Walt Disney World broke the $100 barrier, announcing a $6 price hike that puts Magic Kingdom admission at $105, but other prices at the world's most popular tourist destination also spiked.

    Fireworks and confetti fly over Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, in 2012. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel)
  6. Tampa Bay malls stress safety after global terrorist threat

    Retail

    After a radical Islamist group released a video on Saturday threatening to terrorize various shopping centers around the globe — including those owned by the Westfield Corp., which operates several malls in the Tampa Bay area — local retail hubs promised security would be of the utmost importance.

     Westfield Corporation operates malls in Countryside, Brandon (pictured), Citrus Park plus two in Sarasota. Westfield malls in London were specifically threatened in the video. [Times files (2012)]
  7. American Express loses antitrust suit in nondisclosure policy case

    Retail

    NEW YORK — American Express violated U.S. antitrust laws by barring merchants from asking customers to use one credit card over another, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

    A judge ruled against American Express’ policy discouraging merchants from encouraging consumers to use one credit card over another.
  8. Walmart announces wage increases for thousands of employees

    Retail

    Angelo Escano is one of about 12,000 Walmart employees in the Tampa Bay area — and like a lot of them, he's feeling pretty darn vindicated today. "This is what we've been fighting for," said the 32-year-old meat department worker at the Tampa location on Dale Mabry Highway just off of Interstate 275.

    Angelo Escano of Tampa is one of about 12,000 Walmart employees in the Tampa Bay area who’s celebrating the store’s widespread wage hikes announced Thursday.
  9. Credit card debt increased in 2014, but that's not all bad news

    Retail

    In another sign that we're gaining confidence in the economy and our ability to pay the bills, a new report shows we whipped out our credit cards more during last year's holiday season compared to the year before.

  10. In a first, Publix toppled from No. 1 spot in grocery satisfaction

    Retail

    Publix Super Markets, the Florida juggernaut of the grocery industry, was toppled from its No. 1 national industry ranking for the first time by two supermarket chains, says a report released Wednesday by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, or ACSI.

    [Times files]