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An inside look at top retailers and the consumers they covet

Weekend sales feature sports gear, candles, organic cotton & drones

It's the season for sales, including local warehouse sales that feature products from local manufacturers or distributors.

Acadian Candles (10801 Hampshire Av. S., Bloomington) closed its retail store in Richfield in January and is now doing warehouse sales once or twice a year. Save 50 to 80% on scented and unscented dinner candles, pillars, drinkware and barware with Minnesota graphics ($2, reg. $10), designer travel tins ($6 each, reg. $13), glass votives with architectural tree of life designs ($4- $8), wedding candles ($10, reg. $30), and Nelli Design dog and cat candles in gift boxes ($10, reg. $30). Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fri. and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sat. 

Creative Apparel Concepts (10050 89th Av. N., Maple Grove) sells men's, women's and kids' novelty pajamas, robes, collegiate and pro sports apparel at about 70-80% off, Sample prices: 2-piece flannel pajamas $15, robes $10, men's and women's sports hoodies, tees, nightshirts, and toddler sets ($7-$10), There's also a broad selection of mildly offensive photorealistic ugly Christmas sweaters that are actually T-shirts. Hours: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and then open weekdays only from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For samples of designs, go to www.creativeapparelconcepts.com or www.fauxrealshirt.com

Sustained Organic Living (7301 Washington Av. S., Edina, www.solorganix.com) sells fair trade, organic cotton adult and infant bedding, candles and warming therapy products. It's rare to find cotton that's fair trade and organic cotton at places such as West Elm or Target, but SOL's prices are lower due to a smaller markup. Use discount code MONDAY17 for a 35% discount in the store or online through Dec. 16. Get a slightly better discount in store. 

Best Buy is offering 20 Days of Doorbusters through Dec. 20. Past deals have included $200 off a Macbook Pro and 50% off a Dyson vacuum. Friday's deal is a DJI Mavic Pro Drone with remote controller for $899.99. Also thrown in to sweeten the deal: a $100 Best Buy gift card and $20 from Shutterfly. 

Save 10% at Aldi through Dec. 31. You'll need the savings to buy eggs.

Last Sunday, Target discounted its gift cards by 10 percent. Shoppers could save an additional 5% by charging the gift cards on a Discover credit card.

Now Discover is offering an even better deal at another discounter, Aldi supermarkets. Charge up to $50 at an Aldi store through Dec. 31 and get 10% cash back savings on the Discover card. 

Aldi accepts Discover? I should have known since they take all major credit cards, including American Express. Many consumers probably don't have Discover cards, but it's worth considering getting one. This quarter, all purchases on Amazon and Target get an additional 5% cashback savings. Each quarter several major retailers offer an additional discount, but you have to activate it each time. No activation is required for the Aldi promo. 

If you don't typically spend $50 at Aldi, choose an Aldi gift card to use later.

You may need the extra discount to buy a carton of eggs. A reader said that the price of a dozen eggs at Aldi on Rice St. was $2.19 a dozen earlier this week. Aldi vice-president Matt Lilla said egg wholesale prices went up in the last two weeks. Fortunately for consumers, some grocers are slow to pass along price increases. Wednesday, Dec. 6 is the last day of Lunds & Byerly's baking sale. Get two dozen Country Lane large eggs for $0.99. No coupon needed. 

In other local Aldi news, the first Aldi in Red Wing opens Thursday with lots of giveaways. All newer stores, including recent openings in Roseville and Burnsville sport more open concepts, wider aisles, and better lighting. 

Aldi is also working on finalizing details of a possible store near 26th and Lyndale in Minneapolis, where a Trader Joe's was proposed five years ago. A final decision on the store as part of a mixed use apartment building called Rex 26 is expected within a month, Lilla said.