December 27, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - U.S. holiday retail sales this year grew at the weakest pace since 2008, when the nation was in a deep recession. In 2012, the shopping season was disrupted by bad weather and consumers' rising uncertainty about the economy. A report that tracks spending on popular holiday goods, the MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, said Tuesday that sales in the two months before Christmas increased 0.7 percent, compared with last year. Many analysts had expected holiday sales to grow 3 percent to 4 percent.
December 27, 2012 |
The story of crowds overrunning stores the day after Christmas continued its shift to near-mythical status Wednesday as consumers' ongoing frugality - combined with the growing community of online-shopping devotees - meant that post-holiday commerce was likely to disappoint retailers relying on brick-and-mortar locations to sell their wares. Healthy throngs braved sleet and chilling rain to partake in the annual tradition of returning unwanted holiday gifts, looking for post-holiday discounts, or just killing time during a vacation week.
December 26, 2012 |
All Anton Mahne's wife wanted for Christmas was a Pandora bracelet. That, and to walk again. "I can't do anything about that," Mahne said of his wife's disability, the result of a stroke she suffered after giving birth to their daughter 18 months ago. But at 8 a.m. Christmas Eve, the Cherry Hill radiologist was among the first in line at the Pandora jewelry store at Cherry Hill Mall. Yes, in line, with several other flinty holiday shoppers making a mad dash for gifts.
December 22, 2012 |
'Tis the weekend before Christmas and time's running short, to go shop for presents of any sort. OK, you don't like crowds or getting up early, so you missed Black Friday. You had lights to put up, cards to send, too. In any event, you still have shopping to finish. You could climb into the car and drive to a mall, which is always a fine option, but the atmosphere is going to be holiday hectic. Want a more sedate alternative? Try some of the area's smaller stores for one-of-a-kind gifts the recipients won't have seen a million times.
December 21, 2012 |
The gun sat on the counter. The customer was ready to pay. But Delia's Gun Shop owner Fred Delia was still on the phone, waiting for a background check to get approved. So many people have been buying firearms in the wake of Friday's elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn., that a typically five-minute call has been taking 30 or more minutes because the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System has been under strain. The system is used to determine whether someone is eligible to buy a gun. That comes on top of already heavy demand.
December 20, 2012
THIS IS certainly a magical time of year for many. And Gizmo Guy hopes to add to the excitement, with these last-minute gift suggestions celebrating the wonders of modern technology. It's a 3-D Christmas! Purchased a 3-D-ready HDTV this holiday season or last? Santa's bag is bulging with effects-rich 3-D (and 2-D-compatible) Blu-ray movie titles to make that high-tech TV strut its stuff. A few recommendations: "Men In Black 3" (Sony) goes back to and from the future with much visual funny business.
December 19, 2012 |
A man was shot in the leg at an auto service center in North Philadelphia this morning. The 62-year-old man was wounded at the Midas Auto Service on the 4300 block of North Broad Street at about 5:30 a.m., police said. A police spokeswoman said the circumstances of the shooting are under investigation and no arrests have been made. An employee at the Midas shop declined to talk about the incident. The man is in stable condition, police said. In a separate Philadelphia shooting, a 25-year-old man was critically wounded when he was shot shortly after 11 p.m. Monday in the Harrowgate section, also in North Philadelphia.
December 15, 2012 |
Dan Weiss is a trusting guy. For more than 20 years during the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, he has put a bin outside his Chestnut Hill Cheese Shop to collect toys for the Marine Corps charity Toys for Tots. Many nights, he left it out for after-hours donations. "I guess I was looking for the brighter side of humanity," said Weiss, whose father started the business in 1962. Until last weekend, humanity had never let him down. Every morning, Weiss would arrive to open his store and the bin would be right outside the front door where he'd left it the night before, usually piled higher with toys.
December 13, 2012 |
Joseph Brigandi Sr. found more than one way to serve the people of Glassboro. The first was academic; the second, gastronomic. During 24 years on the Glassboro Board of Education, the last six as president, Mr. Brigandi was a force behind several nationally validated reading and writing programs in the 2,300-student district. He was pivotal in getting a grade school built. And he negotiated teachers' and administrators' contracts. But there was another post he held nearly twice as long - behind the counter at Joe's Sub Shop.