Small-business owner Melane Nelson sees it all the time. Moms come into her store looking for information on cloth diapers, baby carriers and other kids accessories. They touch and test every product, and ask about the pros and cons.
Then they wave bye-bye and purchase their favorite items online for less money, a practice known as showrooming.
Nelson doesn't hold a grudge: "A lot of them are young families trying to save money wherever they can." But it definitely hurts sales at her store, Growing Up in St. Petersburg....
Amazon has a saying it teaches all its new employees: Work hard. Have fun. Make history.
But working hard at one of the retail giant's "fulfillment centers'' isn't always all that fun, according to news reports. It can be physically grueling and mentally stressful. Some warehouses don't have air-conditioning. Several reports have described them as sweatshops.
State and local officials are pondering a deal with Amazon that would create 3,000 jobs in Florida, including 1,000 in Hillsborough County. The news has again raised questions about Amazon's record on working conditions and whether the jobs are worth paying millions of dollars in state and local incentives and tax breaks. ...
TAMPA — A local jeweler selling one of 25 Ulysse Nardin watches inspired by the Game of Thrones said it wouldn't last long on the shelf.
And it didn't.
A Tampa watch collector and Game of Thrones fan snapped up the $10,500 watch after reading a story about it in Thursday's Tampa Bay Times.
"I saw the watch and was immediately attracted to it," said Bill Hoffman, director of human resources for a local financial services company. "It's a nice watch, and I'm a fan of Ulysse Nardin. I like the design."...
TAMPA — Trader Joe's is a big leap closer to opening its first specialty grocery store in the Tampa Bay area.
The developer of the project has hired an architect and is taking bids to build a store near Dale Mabry Highway and Swann Avenue in South Tampa, according to documents obtained by the Tampa Bay Times. The store would take over the current Shapes gym along Swann.
A bid document for "Trader Joe's/Tampa'' calls for demolition of the existing structure and construction of a 12,300-square-foot building for a national chain grocery store at 3808 W Swann Ave. Bids are due from a preselected list of general contractors June 25....
TAMPA — You might associate glitzy International Plaza with fashion-forward places like New York, Los Angeles or Milan.
International Plaza has teamed up with PromPeru, the country's tourism commission, on a summer promotion to entice shoppers to travel to Peru.
"We want to get our residents and visitors to think about Peru,'' mall marketing director Nina Mahoney said....
TAMPA — Fans of Game of Thrones still distraught over the massacre of the show's heroes may take solace in this: Swiss watchmaker Ulysse Nardin has created a limited-edition watch inspired by the HBO series and books.
But they better have the coin do it.
The Night's Watch costs $10,500.
That buys you serious exclusivity. There are only 25. No. 15 has its own corner display case at Old Northeast Jewelers' store at International Plaza....
Known for its thrill rides and exotic animals, Busch Gardens is combining both elements in a new 335-foot drop tower called Falcon's Fury. • The attraction will give riders five seconds of free fall, simulating the feel of "rushing to the earth like a bird of prey at 60 mph.'' It is scheduled to open late next spring in the theme park's Timbuktu area next to the Desert Grill and Scorpion roller coaster....
Every Friday as the sun comes up, a crowd forms outside Dick's Sporting Goods in Brandon waiting for the doors to open at 9.
They aren't there for Black Friday door-buster deals.
They want bullets.
Miss first dibs on the Friday shipments, and gun owners know the pickings will be slim to none. Dick's, like virtually every other store that sells guns, has been suffering from a yearlong shortage of pistol and rifle ammunition. And there's no end in sight....
ZEPHYRHILLS — Brandon Butts figures most people know that texting and driving is dangerous. But are they willing to spend money to stop themselves from doing it?
He hopes so.
The 26-year-old computer repair guy has invented a device that automatically prevents drivers from texting while behind the wheel. Called the Quiet Zone Drive, the $329.99 gadget can be permanently installed into a car's dash or plugged into a cigarette lighter. Any phone that comes near it is blocked from texting, provided the phone has downloaded the free Quiet Zone application available through the Google Play store. Get of out the car, and the phone reverts to normal....
TAMPA — Less than two months after Dick's Sporting Goods announced plans to open at WestShore Plaza, Sports Authority has completed a major renovation of its store across the street.
On Saturday, Sports Authority will celebrate the "grand reopening'' of its location at 4900 W Kennedy Blvd., answering speculation that the area wouldn't be able to sustain two sporting goods stores, at least in the short term....
It's a simple cause and effect that works both ways.
Eat pretzels and pizzas, and you get thirsty for beer.
Drink beer and you get hungry for pretzels and pizzas.
For the folks at the Brass Tap, it's a no-duh reality they hope will translate to heady business. Its flagship location that opened last week at 10019 N Dale Mabry Highway in Carrollwood is the first to have a full food menu to complement the more than 300 kinds of craft beer....
Banks can behave like finicky cats. The latter snub all but the cleanest litter boxes. The former settle for nothing less than the best corner locations for their branches.
Take JPMorgan Chase.
Unhappy with a spot at Columbus Drive and Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa, Chase decided that the corner of Spruce Street would be better. The relocation cost more than $6 million — for a move of just a third of a mile....
05/28/13 Real Estate
TAMPA — A 212-unit apartment complex with 15,000 square feet of restaurant, retail and office space could be headed to a prominent section of S Howard Avenue, the latest example of the area's apartment boom.
SoHo Flats would replace a nearly vacant, rundown strip center just north of Morrison Avenue that once housed Joe Redner's popular gym, Xtreme Total Health & Fitness. The complex would cover a total of four parcels that include a laundry equipment supply company dating to the 1970s....
If you haven't seen the light blue, plum or yellow Volkswagen Beetles cruising around town, it's only a matter of time.
AT&T has launched a new wireless service called Aio that offers customers no-contract, unlimited talk, text and data plans. The Georgia-based company chose Tampa, Orlando and Houston as its first test markets and has been marketing the brand aggressively in the Tampa Bay area through the cars, billboards and media ads....
Trying to keep pace with princesses at Disney World and Potter at Universal Studios, SeaWorld has bet its future on making penguins from Antarctica at home in the middle of a former swamp. It was no picnic. Designers could fake the glaciers and icicles. But they had to lower temperatures in the birds' habitat to a permanent 30 degrees and figure out how to pump in 20,000 pounds of snow a day. And, of course, there's the penguin poop problem....