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Sara DiNatale - Retail and tourism reporter

Retail and tourism reporter

I’m a Buffalo native who has been thawing out in Florida since joining the Tampa Bay Times in 2015. I started as a night cops reporter in Tampa. But these days, I’m running to new grocery stores instead of crime scenes. As our retail, tourism and workplace culture reporter, I’m able to use my sleuth-shopper skill set and eye for trends combined with my favorite pastime, telling stories. I search out topics I know will resonate with readers and get them thinking or talking. I’m a coupon clipper, yogi novice and eyeglasses enthusiast. You’ll rarely spot me on the weekend without my mini schnauzer, Addy, in tow. We’re regulars at St. Petersburg’s Dog Bar and the area’s several dog parks. So feel free to say hi or give us a news tip. Addy gives great high-fives.

  1. Macy's Countryside's personal stylist Lidia Luna, of Tampa, left, helps Lisanni Reyes, of Largo, pick out an evening dress at the department store in Clearwater. The chain, founded in 1858 by Rowland Hussey Macy, is in the midst of revamping its brand and stores, including the Clearwater store, which is among 100 stores nationwide, and 10 in Florida, to be updated this year.
    The new look and added services at the Clearwater Macy’s come as retailers shuttered more stores in the first six months of 2019 than in all of last year.
  2. The exterior of the Walmart Supercenter located at 1505 N. Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa.
    The mega chain says the program will be available to 50 percent of the country by the end of 2019.
  3. A mock-up of a Visit St. Pete/Clearwater billboard. The county agency is closer to finding its next CEO.
    The announcement comes four months after the county decided against its initial set of Visit St. Pete/Clearwater CEO choices.
  4. Tampa Bay's Big Storm Brewing Co. has expanded its distribution to include New Jersey and North Carolina.
    The local brewer also expanded its reach to Ohio last month.
  5. British Airways flight 2167 from London's Gatwick Airport lands at Tampa International Airport in 2007. The airline has long handled most of Tampa's direct flights to the U.K., but a pilot strike has grounded planes. [Times (2007)]
    Thousands of flights have been canceled amid ongoing pay negotiations.
  6. Perspective view rendering of the cigar factory at 1202 N Howard Ave. in West Tampa that developers plan to turn into a boutique hotel. [Courtesy of DLW Architects]
    Developers filed rezoning plans with the city and have a hearing scheduled.
  7. An Amazon cargo jet taxies into position for takeoff at Tampa International Airport in 2017.  The retailer hasn't been flying in orders after closing warehouses in Florida ahead of Hurricane Dorian.
    Independent drivers have been short on work as Amazon gets back to normal following its Dorian preparations.
  8. A new Outback Steakhouse at 4302 W. Boy Scout Blvd. near International Plaza and Bay Street. Outback's parent company, Bloomin' Brands, is currently facing pressures from an activist investor that once told the company to explore a sale.
    After Jana Partners increased its stake, stock share prices spiked at the restaurant company.
  9. The Aldi store located on 1551 34th St N, St. Petersburg in 2018.
    The discount grocer filed plans with the city to take over a shuttered Ruby Tuesday location.
  10. Walmart shopper Diana Calvero, 40, purchases six cases of water and non-perishable foods in preparation of Hurricane Dorian on Thursday in St. Petersburg.  As people secure supplies, the state is asking shoppers to keep an eye out for price gouging.
    In addition to the state’s hotline, residents can upload proof of price gouging to a new smartphone app.