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SOUTHPORT, England Jon Rahm thought he was moving a loose twig, didn’t realize he had violated a rule and eventually was cleared of a penalty in the opening round of the British Open.

It was the second straight tournament in which Rahm was caught up in a rules dispute.

This one occurred on the 17th hole on Thursday when he was playing his second shot out of deep grass. Rahm noticed what he thought was a loose impediment to the right of his ball and went to move it. But it was a vine growing just above the ground with thorns. Lee Westwood noticed and mentioned to Rahm that he was violating Rule 13 2 for improving the area of his intended swing.

The walking rules official was called over and after a brief discussion, Rahm was assessed a two shot penalty.

That changed in the scoring area when the 22 year old Spaniard met with David Rickman, the rules director of the R would not have affected my swing unless I hit a 50 yard slice, which was not the case for any player in the world in that situation,” Rahm said.

Why move it if it wasn’t in the way of his swing? Rahm said it was a reflex because he thought it was a dead twig, similar to a player moving away leaves or other loose impediments as a visual distraction.

There was no video of the incident, and Westwood and Patrick Reed were not close enough to him to see for themselves. Rickman, through an R official, said he weighed the balance of facts and rescinded the two shot penalty. The bogey became a birdie. Rahm’s 71 became a 69.

“At the end of the day, it’s not my call, honestly,” Rahm said. “I can describe what happened as honestly and truthfully as possible, as detailed as can happen. And they make the judgment call. It’s up to them. They did say it’s a very fine line. I would have been fine with whatever the rules official . they know the rules better than any of us and it’s their call.”

Two weeks ago at the Irish Open, Rahm avoided a two shot penalty in the final round for replacing his ball incorrectly on the sixth green after the European Tour received emails and calls from TV viewers. Andy McFee, chief referee of the European Tour, said Rahm made a “reasonable judgment” after having moved his marker one putter head to the side to get it off the line of his playing partner.

Rahm won the Irish Open by six shots.

Rough startMark O’Meara was honored when the R asked him if he would be the first to tee off at the British Open because it will be his last time playing and he won at Royal Birkdale in 1998.

The honor quickly turned into mild embarrassment.

It was raining, and O’Meara had his left hand on the driver as he waved to the fans that filled the grandstand. He felt his grip slightly wet, but figuring it wouldn’t be a problem, O’Meara took a swing. The ball shot to the right into the gorse, and O’Meara hit another tee shot. That one went into the pot bunker on the left. He wound up starting his final British Open with a quadruple bogey 8.

He followed with another bogey into the wind. He made double bogey on the par 3 seventh. He was 9 over at the turn. O’Meara wound up with an 81, the highest score of the day. In his 109th round at the Open, it was only his third round in the 80s. His highest was the opening round at Carnoustie in 1999.

“It’s not the end of the world. I realize kind of where I’m at in my life,” O’Meara said. “But, you know, you still play for your pride. When I play like that, I don’t care who plays like that, they’re disappointed. And certainly I’m disappointed that I didn’t do better today.”

At the age of 60, O’Meara has reached the age limit for the Open. He got one last chance at Royal Birkdale, where he beat Brian Watt in a playoff in 1998 to add the claret jug to the green jacket he won earlier in the year at the Masters.

But it wasn’t his day from the first shot on, though O’Meara was happy that he was able to somewhat limit the damage.

“My day was toast after that first tee shot,” he said. “But I still had to play.”

Fashion platesJustin Thomas had his “coat” and tie. Jason Day had his high tops.

Together they made a fashion statement Thursday at the British Open. More importantly, perhaps, both played well.

Thomas, wearing a Polo Golf cardigan and a loosely knotted tie, shot a 67 and was two strokes off the lead. Day shot 69 while wearing white Nike high top shoes that stood out against his black pants wherever he walked.

“If you wear golf shoes with these pants, they don’t look that great,” Day said. “So they look all right with these shoes. I’m happy with them.”

Thomas also was happy with his throwback look, which the company had publicized beforehand.

“Obviously I knew it was going to get a lot of publicity and be out there,” he said. “But I didn’t come here to dress well. I came here to try to play some good golf. And I guess that just happened.”

Casey’s cyclingPaul Casey is a cycling enthusiast at home in Arizona, and he took it on the road to Italy two weeks ago.

Casey said he cycled 300 miles, which involved 3,700 feet of climbing, from Verona and up to Corvara. He was accompanied by his caddie, John McLaren, on the occasion of his 50th birthday.

“There was a lot of wine drinking going on, as well,” Casey said.

Casey has had a resurgence since he brought McLaren, known as “Johnny Long Socks,” on his bag. He hasn’t won yet, but he had two close calls in the FedEx Cup playoffs last year, losing out to great final rounds by Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson.
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certain doorbusters will be available. other doorbusters will be available. the next morning a third group of doorbusters will be available and this varies from chain to chain.”

To make sure you don’t get in line at the wrong time, you need to carefully read the circulars to make sure you know what time that doorbuster deal begins.

Remember, very few of the items on sale for Black Friday are truly doorbusters. And those are normally limited to just a few per store.

For more information

You might want to stock up on tequila and rum if margaritas or mojitos are on your summer menu, because prices are likely going up at many local retailers this week and prices are just one of several big changes in store when Washington state abandons its long held place in the liquor business.

Voters approved Initiative 1183 last fall, allowing stores larger than 10,000 square feet and some smaller stores to sell liquor. Supporters touted the initiative, backed by warehouse giant Costco Wholesale Corp., as a free market reform for an industry monopolized by the state since the end of Prohibition.

Under the measure, restaurants and bars were allowed to begin buying liquor directly from distributors March 1, and they can begin buying directly from retail stores June 1.

Between July 11th and August 7th, we are asking you to take a second (today or once a day) and vote for the favorites in your community. All you had to do is choose your community,
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write in your nominations and submit. Yep, that easy. You’ll vote for these categories: Eat, Drink and Be Merry, It’s All About the Art and Entertainment, Shop ‘Til You Drop, Look and Feel Your Best, It Is Your Business and Pet Projects plus we might ask a little about you.

Don’t worry, we won’t spam you. Your votes are all confidential unless you check that little opt in box and then you may receive some awesome emails from us after this promotion ends.

More small details: You were welcome to enter votes for multiple communities as we know we all have favorites in other places but you can just vote once per day. Now that you have the voting thing down, don’t forget to vote in this year’s November election.

I got the chance to check out A Taste of Edmonds today and it was well worth it! I got to see the wonderful items for sale and ran into Danielle Garfoot and her 10 month old twins, Morgan Riley who loved Kranial Komfort’s hats and headbands.
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What do you expect when you go shopping on a high street? All the usual chain stores perhaps? Oxford does not disappoint in this, although many of the big names are in Queen Street and Corn Market.

But the difference in our city is that, like a lovely necklace of random stones, shops, banks and cafes enjoy a beautiful setting, interspersed among listed buildings and ancient and mysterious alleyways.

Oxford High Street falls naturally into three sections, the divides occurring at the Turl Street junction and again at the Queen’s Lane junction. There are plenty of eateries, sandwich bars and souvenir shops to serve each section.

The obvious thing you would visit Oxford’s High Street for is fashion, both women’s and men’s. The men’s clothing is mostly classic, but there are one or two very trendy outlets as well.

You would also go for jewellery, silverware, original prints, contemporary art and good places to lunch, dine or take afternoon tea.

Afterwards you could visit other, truly original shops that offer products you did not even know you wanted!

Starting from Carfax, it is worth remembering that the numbering goes down one side and up the other (like Tottenham Court Road in London). Lloyds Bank (1 5) occupies the north corner with Ryman’s the Stationers (6 7) next door.

Opposite is the Edinburgh Woollen Mill (Carfax Corner they don’t give a number, but must incorporate 139/140). We all know we can rely on this well known mill outlet for Scottish knitware, clothing for men and women, shortbread, jewellery, accessories and good value multi purchases always on offer.

If you are searching for a ball gown, a special outfit, smart business clothes or indeed, more everyday work clothes, shoes or the usual accessories, you could spend a good half day making comparisons from the great selection stocked in the following shops on the High.

Coast (138) has female fashions for the young and young at heart with lovely evening gowns and statement jewellery. The manager, Karla Banta, explained that their clientele is aged between 16 to 65. Coast is also well known for modern bridesmaid’s dresses. There is also a good selection of cocktail and smart business dresses and accessories. Knitware starts from 45. Karla is proud of their free one to one service. Just make an appointment to book exclusive assistance in finding your outfit for that special event. Dresses: mid price 175.

Reiss (135) is a brand with a distinctive style of its own. Before I spoke to anyone I was drooling over some black leather, elbow length gloves with faux snakeskin inserts between each finger, then there were the womens’ bowler hats and, hey, I was still just looking at accessories. Manager, Kylee Bowen told me that the designs are catwalk inspired, with a definite homage to the greats such as Coco Chanel. Here you will find names are such as Erden, Herve Leger and soon they will be stocking Celine. Shoes, smart evening wear and knitware complete the collection. Dresses: mid price 169.

Karen Millen (136) is a branch of the well established, own brand women’s clothing chain. There you will find some of the chunkiest ever leather bags, the highest heels and shortest skirts. There are mirrors everywhere, the staircase to the upper floor sparkles with faceted mirror glass, so shopping here has a glitzy feel about it. Dresses: mid price 140.

At Jigsaw (134) there is plenty of room in which to browse, with a comfortable leather sofa near the changing rooms, clearly useful for waiting husbands. But do not trip over the Grecian urns which decorate the shop while you browse the selection. Dresses: mid price 159.

The L K Bennett (10) chain was established in 1990 and now has stores across Britain,
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Europe and some in the USA. They describe themselves as luxury British fashion and are proud of their signature shoes. Dannii Minogue was spotted in the recent X Factor series looking gorgeous in one of their creations. Dresses: mid price 195.

White Stuff (9) has a young, comfortable, free and easy feel about it. Girls’ dresses are designed to be worn over tights, leggings or trousers. Guys should check out their jeans. Dresses: mid price 50.

Whistles (106) has its own distinct style. Apart from own brand clothes they stock Sam Edelman and Kat Maconie shoes. The Oxford store has plenty of room in which to find out. I was rather taken by the Dotty dress (110) with skater skirt, but then, I have a weakness for polka dots. Dresses: mid price 145.

Hobbs (115) is known for combining fashion with the best features of classic items. Soft forgiving fabrics and good, staple colours are always available. Look out for their Delancy Mary Jane shoes everything you would expect from a ‘Mary Jane’ but in patent leather with 90mm chunky high heels. Dresses: mid price 159.

Oxford’s Sahara (46) branch is one of nine boutique shops founded by Suzy Coppersmith Heaven. Suzy has created her own individual style which is elegant, but easy to wear, mix and match clothing. She says she uses Eastern techniques, but with Western designers. Her ranges are made by craftspeople and artisans and the emphasis is on comfort using materials that breathe. Many of the ranges on sale here complement the fuller figure. Look out for Grizas, Out of Xile and Masai. Dresses: mid price 120.

Brora (131) is the place for fine Scottish Cashmere and beautiful clothing. Assistant manager, Tracy Brown enthused about the stock and her recent trip to the woollen mills at Howick in the wilds of Northumberland. She hopes also to go to Brora’s other source of wool, Elgin. The soft water from the River Teviot helps creates the especially soft wool (rather like a fine whiskey). Up to five dyes are mixed to produce anyone of the many beautiful shades in their colour range. There is a nice selection of men’s items, a baby and a children’s section.

Ede and Ravenscroft Ltd (119), the gentleman’s outfitters is the place to go when you decide to spoil the man in your life with undisguised lUxury. I was stopped in my tracks by a claret coloured, velvet smoking jacket with a black collar, scrumptious at 795. A small showcase displays Cashmere stockings owned by Warren Hastings, First Governor General of India 1779.

Shepherd and Woodward (109/113) occupies a large site just on the junction of Oriel Square with the High. Everything you can imagine to fit out a gentleman from country gear (they are big on Barbour) to about town outfits. Grandfathers can shop side by side with their grandsons and both will find what they want from traditional, thermal underware to pink bow ties. It also stocks the Zara Phillips range by Musto. Shepherd and Woodward sell and hire formal evening wear and supply gowns and regalia, both academic and for professional or livery companies. It also supplies school uniforms for all the Oxfordshire schools from its Summertown shop.

The Varsity Shop (Castells) (114) is part of the Shepherd and Woodward group and the shops are linked inside. It launched the modern necktie in 1870 and today you can buy a tie for every one of the 38 Oxford colleges, plus anything that can have a crest put on it, such as rugby shirts, cuff links etc.

Jack Wills (125) offers men’s clothing with a ‘preppy’ look, including classic rowing blazers and Burlington lounge pants. I doubt if the majority of students could afford to shop there, but when you have made your money and get nostalgic for your school days, maybe that is the time to go.

Payne and Sons, silversmiths (131) was founded in 1790 by George Septimus Payne and, though it became a limited company in 1947, it is still run by members of the same family. It trades in modern and antique silverware, contemporary jewellery and is a major stockist of Georg Jensen, the Danish design company.

Reginald Davies silversmiths (34) is another old and trusted firm of jewellers, this business is run by the fifth generation of the family. It buys and sells second hand jewellery and, in complete contrast, stocks items by the award winning Malcolm Appleby, an artist in precious metals.

Pia (16) offers fashion jewellery with lots of freshwater pearls. Lots of the jewellery has little messages on it stones with the words, wish, hope and dream on them. Or you might prefer symbolism with a whale or elephant broach (silver, 25) . Pai also sells fashion handbags in both leather and fabric.

It is worth buying something in Whittards (15) just for the pleasure of being served by manager, Tom Donaldson. Tom has managed this shop for 14 years and knows the likes and dislikes of his regular customers. Locals, academics and students rely on Whittards for their excellent teas and coffees to see them through the day. Visitors from abroad come back regularly, even if regular just means once a year. Some ring ahead to make sure their favourite brand will be in stock. I loved their new range of nursery rhyme mugs (10). The Alice range still sells steadily and there is a good selection of tea pots.

Hotel Chocolat (132) was a joy to visit. Prices start from as little as 1 .95 for children’s Tiddly Pots (chocolate buttons) and chocolate licks (a lolly) to 85 for a vast boxed set. I liked the ‘Thank You’ boxes of chocolates at 6.50 and the clear identification of types of chocolate. Manager, Jessica Williams told me the Oxford branch has been open for about 16 months, but people are still ‘discovering’ them.

The Old Bank Hotel (91 94) incorporates the restaurant,
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Quod Chelsea Clinton’s favourite Oxford restaurant when she studied here.

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For all the talk of shopping boycotts on the grounds that family values exceed the desire to save a few bucks American consumerism has triumphed. The crowds that typically appear before dawn Friday showed up at what traditionally dinnertime on Thursday.

Mall managers across the country said shoppers showed up in droves this year, only they all did it earlier. That led to a smoother flow of traffic throughout the night instead of the usual rush at midnight. Penney. Their demeanor was more calm and reserved than in years past, said mall manager Chad Hastings.

is definitely a game changer as far as what the customer expects now, Hastings said. future years, the customer will expect stores to open at 8 o earlier start also meant that foot traffic dropped in the morning early hours, an unusual sight.

At a Target in Philadelphia, Qiana Roberts skipped a family dinner for a spot in line.

Shoppers say workers should be home with their loved ones. But they head out anyway.

don like that the hours are earlier. Penney. He wanted to get himself a little belated birthday gift, as he has turned 23 on Wednesday.

He was among the first 50 in line to get a ticket for the doorbuster prize, a 50 inch Element TV, normally $600, but on sale for $229.

a good birthday gift, said Dorma, whose sheepish grin briefly emerged from an orange knit scarf and striped hat.

Here are the kinds of discounts that beckoned them: A 50 inch Element TV going for $229 instead of $600. Half carat diamond earrings priced at $79. Side deals like Target $100 gift card with every iPad.

That last one convinced Charlie Wu don his parka and brave the freezing weather outside a Target in New Jersey.

buy as many iPads as they let me buy, he said. Some will go out as gifts. But he said he take advantage of the temporarily low prices and sell the rest online.

On the bright side, shoppers said they felt a calmer experience this holiday season. The typical rush into stores gave way to cool headed families meandering through store aisles, perhaps still under the sleep inducing effect of a full sized dinner of turkey and cranberry sauce.

The lines were still long though. And there were reports of fights. On Twitter, the hashtag WalmartFights became a top search term as people posted videos of violent brawls over low priced products.
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Despite the early crowds at stores, analysts at Bain say Amazon is expected to take half of the holiday season’s sales growth. And Amazon is the top destination for people to begin holiday shopping, according to a September study by market research firm NPD Group.

“The retailers are in survival mode. It’s about stealing each other’s market share,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at NPD. “Amazon is the Grinch. Thursday. Abi Gyawali normally shops online on Amazon or Best Buy for Cyber Monday, where he said he finds some of the best deals.

But he said the couple wanted to check out the scene at the mall before friends came over to share a meal. He and his wife planned to just collect coupons that were being handed out, but ended up getting a discounted air fryer.

With the jobless rate at a 17 year low of 4.1 percent and consumer confidence stronger than a year ago, analysts project healthy sales increases for November and December. The National Retail Federation trade group expects sales for that period to at least match last year’s rise of 3.6 percent and estimates online spending and other non store sales will rise 11 to 15 percent.

Amazon is expected to be a big beneficiary as it cements loyalty among its Prime members and moves into new services and private label merchandise. That leaves stores looking at rivals to see where they can pick up sales. There are extra dollars up for grabs this year, after thousands of store locations have closed and several retailers filed for bankruptcy protection.

Target CEO Brian Cornell recently noted that up to $60 billion in consumer spending will be up for the taking in the next few years, and said the chain has been picking up market share in such areas as clothing. division, said that the retail giant’s holiday shopping season appeared to be off to a good start. It got things going in the first minutes of Thursday with an online sales event that featured a range of deals from toys to TVs to slow cookers and Google Home mini gadgets.

“We have a bit of momentum and we had a good kickoff online,” Foran told The Associated Press, “and with a bit of luck we are going to have a good 24 hours and be ship shape for the weekend, and go from here to the 25th of December.”

The Thanksgiving weekend, when stores go all out to attract shoppers, can be an indication of how well they’ll do through the season. About 69 percent of Americans, or 164 million people, intend to shop at some point during the five day period from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, according to a survey released by the National Retail Federation. It expects Black Friday to remain the busiest day, with about 115 million people planning to shop then.

Judy St. Antoine, 60, of St. opening. There were already two lines of a couple hundred people each waiting. St. Antoine said she came “for the sale,” and that she’ll finish up her Thanksgiving afterward.

Mary Bergeron, 62, of Tampa, bought an oil less fryer, a waffle maker and a steamer at JC Penney, and was headed back for more.

“It’s a tradition. We come here every year,” she said, adding that she’d eaten turkey at noon. “It’s crazy, there are so many people and it gets tense. It’s fun.”

Some retailers are using the weekend to test new product areas: Penney has TVs and consumer electronics like game consoles as doorbusters for Thanksgiving and Black Friday only, one example of what Penney’s Senior Vice President James Starke called “market share plays.”

Chris Baldwin, CEO of BJ’s Wholesale Club, says it is offering more toys and clothes, including key national brands in areas like casual athletic wear.

“There’s no question that consumer spending has started to tick up and confidence is a little bit better, which is terrific, but we are also seeing some benefit from other retailers,” he said.
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The shopping frenzy is now in full swing. Tax Free Weekend kicked off Friday morning and, all across Texas, shoppers enjoyed not having to pay sales tax on adult and children clothes and shoes under $100.People traveled near and far to shop at South Plains Mall on Friday, all for the same reason. “Just to do some extra shopping, take advantage of the good prices today,” said Tom Moore from New Mexico. “I took the day off today to come back to school shopping with my girls,” said another shopper.All clothes and shoes under $100 are tax free through Sunday. “We came to get some shorts and shoes, just something to start the school year off with,” said one shopper.And eight cents off of every dollar, is worth fighting the crowds. “It does help, I was just looking at my receipts and it does help, it really adds up,” said a shopper.”It great because a lot of the stores have additional sales and if you have a coupon on top of that, that great. You know the tax free is just a bonus on top of that,” said another shopper.Though the Tax Free Weekend kicked off Friday, the biggest crowds are expected to turn out Saturday and Sunday.”Everybody is cutting back a little bit, the mall is not as crowded as I thought it would be at this time, but I sure tomorrow will be more crowded. But yeah, that does help. Every little bit helps,” said a Lubbock shopper.If you are planning to head out this weekend to do some shopping, the mall is opening an hour earlier on Saturday and staying open an hour later on Sunday.
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There were 50 kids and 22 law enforcement officers at Walmart in Albany Saturday morning. All of them were there to shop as part of the 22nd Shop with a Cop event, a program that pairs kids from less than fortunate circumstances with officers armed with $50 gift cards.

Each kids takes a cop around the store, shopping for holiday gifts, generally for other members of their family. Of course, they get stuff for themselves as well. And if they exceed the $50 card, their shopping buddy will invariably open their own wallet to make up the difference.

This year, a surprise $20 came from a random anonymous shopper, impressed with the program and wanting to help out. That donation added to the $2,500 grant from Walmart, and any funds that came from the shopping cops. In addition, the management at Walmart decided to give away 10 artificial Christmas trees to shopping families that needed them.

Such random acts are in line with the spirit of the season, but there’s something else at work at Shop with a Cop. The stated purpose, beyond the financial help, is to help the kids put a positive face to law enforcement. This is because the majority of the kids in the event come from violent homes, or have had to be placed in foster care, so their interactions with the police usually involve bad news and confrontations.

“It’s important that the children get to see the officers in a better light,” said Karen Cook, office manager with the Child Welfare Division at the Department of Human Services.

Albany Police officer Brian Corbett took Jena Huston around with her list, helping her find stuff for her stepmom, her real mom, and for her dad and stepdad. Corbett wheeled the cart through the bath wares aisle, and later through the automotive department. Back over in the toy aisle, Sheriff Bruce Riley helped his shopper find a Nerf gun with an impressive rate of fire.

But Cook said watching the kids shop is very much an eye opener. While they have a list for their family members, many fall back on necessity when shopping for themselves.

“I’ve had kids here that have bought shoes,” she said. “They don’t have shoes. Or toothbrushes.”

While the kids and the cops shopped, Santa and one of his elves wandered the store, shouting holiday greetings and handing out candy canes. How Santa is able to make so many appearances in one day, some simultaneous, can only be attributed to Christmas magic.
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In the age of convenience, where a package can end up on your doorstep with the click of a button, online retailers and package delivery services are starting to push methods that might seem a bit old school. online shopping day ever ease and safety of delivery are becoming increasingly important to consumers. Packages left on doorsteps run the risk of being stolen, and people can’t always be home during standard delivery times to make sure their holiday gifts or latest technological gadgets make it safely inside.

So retailers and delivery services like Amazon and UPS are trying something that flies in the face of consumerism in the digital age giving customers the option of goingbrick and mortar to pick up their online purchases.

In recent years, Amazon has been pushing Amazon Lockers, placing the small, locking cubbiesin convenience stores and now Whole Foods the organic foods grocery chain they recently acquired where people can both pick up their packages and drop off returns. UPS, similarly, has “Access Points” in convenience stores and bodegas, and has installed lockers of its own this year. And FedEx has partnered with retailers like Walgreens drug stores and Shaw’s supermarkets through its similar “Onsite” program

It may seem counter intuitive to draw customers off their couches and into stores to pick uppackages ordered online, but Dawn Wotapka, a UPS spokeswoman, says her company is “following what consumer and customers tell us they want.”

“People want control, choice. It’s not just a 9 to 5 world anymore. People want their packages delivered on their terms,” she said.

Companies like Amazon, UPS and FedEx have been pushing alternative methods of package delivery for years. Brightly colored Amazon Lockers have been popping up in cities across Europe and the United States since 2011, and UPS has thousands of Access Points in delis, grocery and convenience stores around the country. This is the first full year UPS has had lockers as well, about 300 nationwide, Wotapka said.

“I think it boils down to choice,” said Scott Latham, strategy professor at UMass Lowell.

Latham personally likes to receive his packages at home, but sees the value in the lockers, especially for those who live in more urban areas and multifamily homes, apartment or condominium complexes.

“People don’t want to put socks on, don’t want to put their sweats on. But now, oh, I’m going to my locker, it’s a neat thing. While I’m out at my locker I’m going to buy a loaf of bread,” he said.

For Amazon, the lockers are also a business strategy, Latham said.

“It’s this really integrated vision of making Whole Foods and Amazon seamless,
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Using these alternative methods of package delivery is simple.

Access Points and lockers have been popping up around the Merrimack Valley and Southern New Hampshire recently. Locations include several bodegas in Lawrence and Haverhill, the Whole Foods in Andover, and gas station convenience stores in Methuen and throughout Southern New Hampshire. Onsite locations are also available in several Walgreens locations on both sides of the border.

Along with creating another option for consumers to get their packages safely and conveniently, these avenues of delivery are also giving local businesses a boost. In choosing shops like grocery and convenience stores for their lockers, the hope is a consumer coming to pick up a package will also pick up a carton of eggs or a jug of milk, and then continue to patronize that business.

“The smaller businesses like it because it brings new faces in,” Wotapka said, adding, “People come in and buy a candy bar and it works for them and it works for us, and keeps the packages safe.”

It’s a trend that Rohan Patel, manager of Derry Convenience at 127 Rockingham Road, Suite 1, in Derry, has noticed in the four months since the business became a UPS Access Point.

“When customers are looking for stuff they kind of come by and do things, get milk as well as pick up the package. It helps the business a little,” Patel said.

On the store’s end, operating the Access Point is simple. UPS provided one of their handheld devices for employees to scan in packages as they come in, and customers are alerted to come pick them up. Patel said the service is useful for customers because it saves them from having to drive to places like Manchester or Nashua to pick up packages. The convenience store is also open longer on a daily basis than those locations, up to 15 to 16 hours a day.

He said he’s already seen an uptick in packages coming through now that the holiday shopping season has been fully underway for a week or so.

The Amazon Locker at the Andover Whole Foods saw some use this week as well. On Tuesday, Tewksbury resident Amber Shah trekkedin to make a return, keying in her code to open one of the locker slots and slide her package in.

“It seems like a great idea,” Shah said after.

The Andover Whole Foods has only had its locker for about two weeks. It sits just inside the entrance, near the floral section, and is named “Railroad,” presumably for the street the store is located on.

While Shah said it’s “less convenient” to have to leave her house to get a package, she shops at Whole Foods anyway, therefore getting two things out of the way at once.

She sees the value in the Amazon Lockers more for returns, though. Being able to come to Whole Foods saved her from having to drop off her package at UPS or have the postal service pick it up from her house.

“Dropping off here seems like a great idea,” she said.

Latham also believes the appeal of the lockers will be more for returns.

“If I ordered $600 Beats headphones or are returning (them), I might need a locker, especially for returns,” he said. “Returns are really where a lot of the value is.”
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As decorations start going up and snow has finally made an appearance, the Christmas season has begun to make its presence felt everywhere one looks.

Part of this time of year is the act of gift giving. Whether it be small gifts traded between coworkers, treasured presents between family and friends or a little surprise for the neighbour, there always seems to be someone to pick something up for.

To help with what can seem to be a never ending and overwhelming task, Camrose business owners have suggested items that suit a variety of people. From expecting mothers and little ones to fashionistas and foodies, Camrose has a plethora of gift resources.

For the Foodie

For those whose happy place is the kitchen, trying their hand at making something for everyone to enjoy, Pampered Chef consultant Marilou Yampolsky has several suggestions. The Rockcrok Everyday Pan ($125), created from heat resistant clay, can be used to sear, braise, bake and boil, among many other things. She also recommended the Double Burner Griddle ($220), which will grill steaks, burgers and vegetables indoors.

For the baker, stainless steel scoops (three sizes, $21 $24) can be used to measure cookie dough, muffin batter and meatballs.

Should homemade beer or wine be more the thing, Harvey and Denise Nadeau at Ezee Brew recommend The Brewdemon ($130) for the novice. The starter kit makes six litres of ciders and malts, brews in two weeks and includes everything necessary to make the first few brews.

For the more advanced brewer, the Brew House ($55) is available.

Over at Vinesation, Bridget Lennartsson suggests extra virgin olive oil ($6 $30), with a wide range in flavours and sizes and pair well with the red and white balsamic vinegars on hand. Gift baskets include a variety of options and can also be requested to fit a gift buyer budget.

For the Fashionista

There are seemingly limitless options to be found in Camrose in regards to filling closets.

Over at Cobblers, the suggestions will keep the gift recipient warm, from boot toppers and leg warmers ($15 $30) made with lace or wool to leather gloves and mittens (from $35) for men and women to wool socks ($18 $35) for the whole family to wear on hikes or out hunting.

For someone who crave something a little different, Space Clothing is the place to look.

Assorted brooches ($15) featuring day of the dead and cameo images, Astro Boy underwear ($20) and an Iron Fist Lamby Hand Bag ($85) are all on offer.

Rejime owner Nicole Sistani has leg warmers stockpiled as well as lacy scarves ($20 $25) to bundle up in.

Down the street at Not Just Hats, Beth Borgel has a variety of hats perfect for the winter season, with scarves and scarf clips to accompany.

Susan Kelndorfer, owner of Aya Styles Boutique, suggests cozy Jackson Rowe scarves.

For the Environmentally and Socially Conscious

While pretty scarves and comfy sweaters are always welcomed, there are those who appreciate a bit of extra thought behind their gifts. Knowing that the purchase has a positive ripple effect can sometimes make a purchase mean that much more.

Several options exist, with Space Clothing Supernova Hoodie ($145), the fabric of which is made in Canada from 2 recycled plastic.

Popular brand Ten Trees is available at Cobblers. A selection of hoodies, sweats and hats ($35 $85) are available for youth and adults.

Over at Twig, C Moi bamboo tanks and leggings are in stock, which are made from the sustainable and eco friendly crop, which are made into moisture releasing and hypoallergenic clothing.

They also carry Basha blankets, hand made from recycled saaris bought from women in Bangledesh, and each blanket story can be found on the company website. Blankets come in every size from twin to king.

At cafe and yoga studio Sacred Arts Cafe, Spiritual Gangster Sweatshirts (starting at $88) are available. Covered with an uplifting quote, the purchase of an item of clothing will go on to provide someone in need with a free meal. They also have Eko Manduka Yoga Mats ($50) available. The tree rubber mats are PVC and chemical free, as well as compostable.

Aya Styles Boutique also carries Falling Whistles, a company with the objective of calling people to use their voice as a weapon for peace.

For those who like to carry things

While some people like hats and others appreciate scarves or shoes, there are those who are always on the lookout for a great bag.

Sole City Shoes will have many people covered with their bag selection. They carry Derek Alexander products, which include men and women wallets, purses, backpacks and briefcases, and The Trend bags, which are made of fine leather and come in a variety of colours.
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