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Denim Depot's Grand Opening Set for Feb. 2
By John Durkan On: 12:05AM / Friday February 01, 2013
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Tom Quinton shows his products at Denim Depot, which will open on Saturday.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Tom Quinton's soon-to-be-open Denim Depot sets to offer an "affordable alternative" to high-price denim.

"It's a type of thing most people can appreciate," Quinton, a North Adams native, said of his roughly 600 square-foot store located at the Oasis Plaza on the corner of Ashland Street and American Legion Drive.
 
The shop's grand opening is set for Saturday, Feb. 2, with store hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The initial regular hours will be from Tuesday to Saturday, 10 to 5, but Quinton said he'll be considering offering later hours on certain days, like Thursday.
 
"I'm going to get a feel for what the customers want," Quinton said.
 
Quinton's store offers new and gently worn denim products, which includes men's, women's and children shorts, pants and jackets, as well as handbags and toddler clothes. Quinton hopes to offer more denim products as time goes on.
 
The products range from $8-$15. Quinton explained the prices are cheaper than other retail outlets because most of his stock comes from store closeouts and factory seconds — clothes that have defects, usually minor, such as slightly improper stitching.
 
On opening day, Denim Depot will have a buy two, get one half-priced sale (of up to equal-value) for jeans. Quinton said he's flexible with making deals on quantity.
 
"I'll do my best to make everyone happy," Quinton said.
 
In addition, Quinton said the shop will buy denim items, as a chance for the shop to pick up on inventory and for others to make an extra couple bucks for their unwanted clothing.
 
Quinton hopes the location of his low-price denim shop attracts customers who frequent the nearby shops — Angelina's Sub Shop and Whitney's Beverage Store for example — as well as college students looking for a cheap pair of jeans.
 
Quinton said he doesn't expect the store to be "a big money maker," but aims for it to be sustainable.
 
"Jeans just seem to be a staple in everybody's wardrobe," Quinton said.


     
Amazon to Collect Massachusetts Sales Tax Next Year
On: 10:13AM / Tuesday December 11, 2012
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BOSTON — Massachusetts residents will have to pay a little more next holiday season for their online purchases.

Gov. Deval Patrick and Amazon announced on Tuesday an agreement for the online retail giant to collect and remit state sales taxes beginning next Nov. 1. According to the press statement, Amazon also plans to create hundreds of high-tech jobs in Massachusetts in coming years.

Online retailers for years have been under pressure to collect state sales taxes even if they don't have a physical presence in the state. Brick-and-mortar merchants say Web retailers failure to collect taxes puts them at a disadvantage, states that they're losing billions in revenue.

The Congressional Research Service says states lost some $8.6 billion in tax revenue in 2010 alone.

Amazon already collects sales taxes for California, Kansas, Kentucky, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington. Massachusetts and five other states will be added in the next couple years.

"We are thankful Amazon was willing to come to the table and we will continue our conversations with them about creating jobs here," said Patrick in a statement. "This agreement is a win for all sides, and I am pleased it promises to generate millions in long-term revenue for the commonwealth."

Patrick and Amazon officials reiterated support for federal legislation to resolve the sales tax issue. The Supreme Court in 1967 determined that collecting sales tax would place an undue burden on what were then catalog sales but technology has vastly changed the remote retail industry.

"We appreciate Governor Patrick's commitment to Massachusetts jobs and investment and his support for legislation now before Congress that would provide a final resolution to the sales tax issue," said Paul Misener, Amazon vice president of global public policy. "We look forward to creating hundreds of high tech jobs in Massachusetts and continuing to work with Governor Patrick, state leaders, retailers and Congress to pass federal legislation permitting interstate sales tax collection."
 



     
Lenox Yarn Shop Offers 'Tasty' Designs
Staff Reports On: 04:16PM / Thursday June 21, 2012
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It looks almost good enough to eat ... if a little heavy on the fiber.

Colorful Stitches co-owner Bonnie J. Burton designed and knitted a variety of fast food and traditional summer fare for exhibit at the specialty yarn store at 48 Main St. in Lenox.

The yarn sculpture food — "Knitted Taste of Lenox" — includes hot dog and hamburger, pizza, cake, a bottle of wine, ice cream, full lobster dinner and more. (We particularly loved that lobster dinner, although the layered chocolate cake looks good, too.)

"Little did I know how addictive this project would become. I just kept coming up with new subjects to knit, but finally had to stop adding dishes so the exhibit could actually be installed," said Burton, in the announcement the store sent us. "I didn't get all my ideas created yet. The list goes on. My husband even suggested I could knit the Thanksgiving dinner this year and skip all the cooking."

Burton said the exhibit is the latest in a string of "yarn bombings" started last year when the store's staff covered its porch and entry with custom designed and knitted fabric. They say that led to further "yarn bombs" around Lenox, including Shakespeare & Company.

Burton has been knitting for more than 50 years and is often a contributor to the collection of custom fashion designs/patterns for hand knitters exclusively found at Colorful Stitches. Check out the shop's website here



     
Best Buy at Berkshire Mall Staying Open
By Larry Kratka On: 05:52PM / Monday April 16, 2012
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LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — It looks like the Best Buy store at the Berkshire Mall will be staying open.

Best Buy is reeling from online competition and announced last month that it would be reducing the number of locations in an effort to cut costs. The company has just disclosed the list of retail locations it plans to close this year, which will come to a grand total of 50 stores in the United States.

Boston and Wareham will lose one store each but that's it for Massachusetts. No stores are closing in nearby New York or Connecticut.

The hardest hit states were California, Illinois and Virginia. Best Buy officials said they expect most of these stores will permanently close by May 12. Three additional locations are expected to permanently close later this summer. Best Buy operates 1,400 stores across the nation.

USA Today reported the electronics retailer is also cutting 400 corporate jobs. CEO Brian Dunn stepped down last week. The company has said it will be opening some 100 smaller and more profitable "mobile" stores.


     
Walmart Buys Curran Highway Site for $7.35M
Staff Reports On: 04:09PM / Monday January 09, 2012
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The final step in the development of the Walmart Supercenter was completed in December with the sale of the former gravel bank on Curran Highway.

Wal-Mart Real Estate Business Trust bought the property and an adjacent parcel at 1519-1525 South State St. for $7.35 million on Dec 19.

The property includes the gravel bank on Curran Highway and land formerly used by Berkshire Concrete Co.

The retail giant filed plans for a 160,000 square foot store last fall but purchase of the 23 acres was put off until some site preparation and cleanup was completed. Buying the land means the company will begin construction soon.

BVS 5401 Investors LLC, developers for the shopping plaza, purchased the property from the city in 2007 for $700,000. The parcel was one of several bought by developers Nigro Development LLC of Albany, N.Y., and Starwood-Ceruzzi of Connecticut several years ago. Nigro has since dropped out, leaving Ceruzzi Properties of Fairfield, Conn., in control.

Ceruzzi, acting as BVS 5401 Investors LLC, also purchased the Dellaghelfa properties at 1519 South State St. and West Road for about $2.2 million in 2007, and the former North Adams Plaza in 2004 for $2.5 million.


     
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Bill Schmick separates the bull from the bears in his weekly columns on investing and market wrap-ups.



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