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Deals & Shopping

  1. Here's when stores will open on Thanksgiving and Black Friday

    Retail

    Although the crowds might still be unruly and the lines long, Black Friday as "The Day" is slowly waning.

    Shoppers at Kohl's in Brandon wait in line during Black Friday 2016. Because of online shopping, the day has waned in importance in the retail world, but many consumers still like to mosey through the mall. "There's still a social experience and sensory experience that's not replicated on a computer screen," said UF professor Steve Kirn. "Those perfumes they spray, it smells pretty good." [Times files]
  2. 5 things to do under $5 Nov. 23-30: Craft festival, License-Free Saltwater Fishing Day, Snow Bash

    Events

    1 Gem, Jewelry and Bead Show and Sale: Check out these rocks when more than 50 dealers from around the United States sell crystals, minerals, beads, gems and jewelry. $5. Coliseum, 535 Fourth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday. (941) 954-0202.

    Daniel Lopez, 13, catches fish on the west span of the Sunshine Skyway North Pier with Katelyn Rivera, left. Saturday, Nov. 25, will be License-Free Saltwater Fishing Day.
  3. Black Friday deals at Legoland, SeaWorld, Disney and more

    Florida

    Black Friday isn't just for stores. Many theme parks and attractions in Florida are also offering up deals that could make a nice gift or family splurge.

    Legoland Florida in Winter Haven, Fla.  (AP Photo/John Raoux)
  4. Online purchases, gift cards expected to rule holiday shopping

    Retail

    The name of the game for this holiday shopping season is online purchases and gift cards. According to a holiday shopping forecast by AAA, The Auto Club Group, Floridians are expected to spend $951 on gifts — up 9 percent from last year — and much of that is likely to be online.

    AAA, The Auto Club Group, predicts this holiday shopping season to revolve around online purchases and gift cards. | [Times file photo]
  5. Can toy stores create Toys 'R' Us kids in an Amazon world?

    Consumer

    Stefanie Dunlop is pinning high hopes on her Fingerlings.

     Stefanie Dunlop, owner of two Learning Express Toys chain stores in Tampa and Clearwater, helps customers at the Learning Express Toys store inside the Westfield Citrus Park mall in Tampa , FL, on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017. As more people turn to online for their toy-shopping, businesses from big corporate stores to smaller chains to independents are doing what they can to stay in the black. Gabriella Angotti-Jones  | Times
  6. A new threat this shopping season: toys that can spy on kids

    Retail

    ST. PETERSBURG — Not all sinister toys are as obvious as a Chucky doll. Many present more subtle threats — choking hazards, high lead content, privacy concerns. And as the biggest shopping season of the year kicks off, consumer advocates are urging shoppers to be judicious when choosing gifts for children …

    A doll called “My Friend Cayla” presents privacy concerns because of its unsecured Bluetooth connection and ability to record audio, according to consumer advocates who on Tuesday released their annual “Trouble in Toyland” report ahead of the holiday shopping season. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  7. Up for sale? Activist investor grabs stake in Tampa's Bloomin' Brands

    Retail

    TAMPA — If you tread water too long in the same spot, someone might start asking why you're not trying to swim somewhere.

    Barry Rosenstein, principal owner of hedge fund Jana Partners. Jana took a 8.74 percent stake in Tampa's Bloomin' Brands, parent of Outback Steakhouse and three other restaurant chains, because Bloomin' is perceived as an underperformer. Jana may push to sell the company. [Courtesy of Jana Partners]
  8. Forecast: Florida retailers expect strong holiday shopping sales

    Retail

    'Tis the season for holiday shopping, and this year is expected to be particularly kind to retailers.

    The Florida Retail Federation predicts high sales for the holiday shopping season. Pictured are shoppers walking in front of Santa's Flight Academy at International Plaza. | [ALESSANDRA DA PRA   |   Times]
  9. HSN, Good Housekeeping pick five contest finalists

    Retail

    ST. PETERSBURG — Good Housekeeping and St. Petersburg-based HSN have chosen five finalists for their entrepreneur competition. The partners are searching for a novel item to promote as endorsed by the Good Housekeeping Seal, denoting reliability and quality.

    HSN and Good Housekeeping chose five finalists for its entrepreneur contest. Pictured is Perry Mercer from Fort Worth showing off his product on the Home Shopping Network in June. | [Times file photo]
  10. A Santa flight academy? Malls pull out stops to counter online shopping

    Retail

    TAMPA — One of Santa's helpers warns the grown ups to stand back. Sawyer Baker is about to be fitted for his virtual flight academy suit.

    (From left) Leila Gonzalez, 4, of Wesley Chapel, and her brother Luis, 1, play with fake snow inside Santa's Flight Academy's snow globe at International Plaza and Bay Street on Wednesday, Nov. 15, in Tampa.
[ALESSANDRA DA PRA   |   Times]