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John Ewoldt

Reporter | Consumer news
phone: 612-673-7633
John Ewoldt searches the Twin Cities and beyond for bargains and strategies to spare consumers time, money and hassles.
Recent content from John Ewoldt
Home remodeler creates bundled services to lower cost, save time

Home remodeler creates bundled services to lower cost, save time

The St. Louis Park company offers itemized packages to end sticker shock.
While Chipotle is closed Monday, Freshii tempts customers with deal

While Chipotle is closed Monday, Freshii tempts customers with deal

On Monday, all Chipotle restaurants are closing until midafternoon, missing the lunchtime rush, for employees to receive health and food safety training after customers in Minnesota and elsewhere.
Decor superstore At Home arrives in Burnsville with 3,000 pillows

Decor superstore At Home arrives in Burnsville with 3,000 pillows

The Texas retailer opens a location in Burnsville with plenty of fanfare and more than 3,000 accent pillows.
Free recycling of your old TVs and monitors is on the decline

Free recycling of your old TVs and monitors is on the decline

Best Buy joins Hennepin County and Carver County and many other government recycling agencies across the country that now charge nominal fees for disposal.
Rainforest Cafe, a little less wet, reopens at the Mall of America

Rainforest Cafe, a little less wet, reopens at the Mall of America

The restaurant kept most of its features but lost water elements as it starts fresh
Your best financial adviser? Start with your employer

Your best financial adviser? Start with your employer

When I attempted to become a financial planner years ago, I realized that a successful adviser has to be a good salesperson first and an educator and adviser second.
Dayton's scion Bob Dayton, who owned the Harold store, dies

Dayton's scion Bob Dayton, who owned the Harold store, dies

He spent his early career in the family business before buying Harold department store.
Gold buyers, sellers wait for precious metal's luster to return

Gold buyers, sellers wait for precious metal's luster to return

With prices far below their peak, no one is rushing to get cash for old jewelry.
Eagan company's gear will warm Vikings, Seahawks in Sunday's subzero temps

Eagan company's gear will warm Vikings, Seahawks in Sunday's subzero temps

WSI Sports in Eagan will supply layers for Sunday's subzero temps.
Warmer holiday shopping season ends with discounts on cold-weather gear

Warmer holiday shopping season ends with discounts on cold-weather gear

Outdoors retailers have struggled to sell cold-weather gear so far
Love the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping? Today is your day

Love the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping? Today is your day

As procrastination reigns, Super Saturday could eclipse Black Friday.
More retailers create friendlier return policies

More retailers create friendlier return policies

There’s good news for consumers this holiday season. The chances of getting many happy returns after Christmas have improved a bit. According to the annual…
CVS completes acquisition of Target pharmacy and clinic business

CVS completes acquisition of Target pharmacy and clinic business

Target Corp. and CVS Health Corp. announced Wednesday the completion of CVS' acquisition of Target's pharmacy and clinic businesses for $1.9 billion.
Most popular gift of the season was probably made in the Twin Cities

Most popular gift of the season was probably made in the Twin Cities

Last-minute holiday shoppers won't find "Made in Minnesota" on a gift card they snap up in the next few days, but chances are it was.
Gabberts mulls leaving Galleria as shopping center weighs expansion

Gabberts mulls leaving Galleria as shopping center weighs expansion

Retailer could join the growing list if it isn't given the OK to raise its ceilings.
Old Friend Footwear begins to raise its profile in its Twin Cities home

Old Friend Footwear begins to raise its profile in its Twin Cities home

The company is holding the first of what will likely become an annual warehouse sale on Saturday.
Record traffic on Cyber Monday led to site troubles for Target, others

Record traffic on Cyber Monday led to site troubles for Target, others

Site crashes aside, Cyber Monday's likely $3B in sales underscored retail's evolution.
For small retailers like Patina, the make-or-break holidays take a year of preparation

For small retailers like Patina, the make-or-break holidays take a year of preparation

There were no “doorbuster deals” and no one busting down the door at the Patina lifestyle store in south Minneapolis on the morning of Black…
For hard-core holiday shoppers, Thanksgiving is the new king

For hard-core holiday shoppers, Thanksgiving is the new king

Families making retail stops an annual tradition as officials say Thanksgiving sales were promising.
At Magers & Quinn, big-box critics cast shadow on store's Thanksgiving tradition

At Magers & Quinn, big-box critics cast shadow on store's Thanksgiving tradition

For 13 years, Magers & Quinn has opened on Thanksgiving, but now it has critics
Obituary: Carl Weschcke built Llewellyn into prolific publisherabout spirituality, mysticism

Obituary: Carl Weschcke built Llewellyn into prolific publisherabout spirituality, mysticism

Time waits for no one, including a spiritualist philosopher who studied the afterlife extensively. Carl Weschcke told many friends he expected to live to age…
Low prices intensify competition among Twin Cities supermarkets

Low prices intensify competition among Twin Cities supermarkets

Rainbow is out. Hy-Vee is in. The Twin Cities supermarket scene is the most competitive it's been in a decade.
Less trash, more cash for Minnesota thrift stores

Less trash, more cash for Minnesota thrift stores

Charities are generating more revenue by accepting the salvageable stuff they used to refuse.
Holiday lights failing? Recycle instead of tossing them out

Holiday lights failing? Recycle instead of tossing them out

Hanging holiday lights in this unseasonably warm weather? Many people toss burned-out or tangled strings in the trash before they buy more. But now holiday lights can be recycled once the twinkle is gone. Here's how.
'Deer widows' are highly sought by malls, casinos and entertainers

'Deer widows' are highly sought by malls, casinos and entertainers

Deer hunters won’t be the only ones chasing big bucks this weekend during the firearm deer season opener. Shopping malls and outlet centers, casinos and…
You don't have to pay top dollar for gutter guards

You don't have to pay top dollar for gutter guards

Confession: One of the main reasons that I sold my single-family house several years ago was to avoid raking and cleaning out the gutters. That…
Free financial planning with no catch

Free financial planning with no catch

Last week's event gave attendees practical tips on 401(k) investment choices and more.
Target's Redcard holders getting new credit cards and PINs

Target's Redcard holders getting new credit cards and PINs

Target Corp., the first major credit card issuer to opt for a chip-embedded card that requires users to enter a four-digit code instead a signature, is in the process of mailing out new Redcards.
Morrie's Auto Group owner selling 11 car dealerships

Morrie's Auto Group owner selling 11 car dealerships

Company CEO and investment firm are buying dealerships. They do not plan to make any material changes to the staffing, management or dealerships.
Sports Authority, Walgreens opening on Nicollet Mall

Sports Authority, Walgreens opening on Nicollet Mall

They filled key vacant spaces as the downtown Minneapolis pedestrian mall undergoes remodeling.
Mills family to sell Fleet Farm chain of megastores

Mills family to sell Fleet Farm chain of megastores

Mills Fleet Farm, the Brainerd-based chain of giant stores of farm, hunting and home supplies that dot small towns and suburbs in the Upper Midwest, is for sale.
Twin Cities supporting two outlet malls just fine

Twin Cities supporting two outlet malls just fine

A year after the Twin Cities became home to two outlets, both are thriving
Galleria in Edina adds Robert Redford's Sundance store

Galleria in Edina adds Robert Redford's Sundance store

The Galleria in Edina just boosted its star quality. The newest retailer to open in the high-end specialty mall is Sundance, an apparel, accessories and…
Sun Country to drop flights between MSP and Chicago

Sun Country to drop flights between MSP and Chicago

Sun Country Airlines' last flight between Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and Chicago Midway is Sept. 28.
Target makes new plan after Minnetonka rejects liquor license

Target makes new plan after Minnetonka rejects liquor license

The Minnetonka City Council rejection of Target Corp.'s application for a liquor store has sent the company back to the drawing board and raised questions about the prospects for another national retailer, Total Wine & More, to enter the suburb.
Delta's SkyMiles changes shake up frequent-flier programs

Delta's SkyMiles changes shake up frequent-flier programs

The latest effort by the nation's airlines — led by Delta — to lower the value of frequent-flier miles is this: More will be needed to get on a flight that's popular.
Sports souvenir shop next to Metrodome is moving St. Louis Park

Sports souvenir shop next to Metrodome is moving St. Louis Park

Sporting goods store that sat next to old Metrodome is moving.
Obituary: Bernie Barnett was a Big Brother and a big charmer

Obituary: Bernie Barnett was a Big Brother and a big charmer

Six weeks before Bernie Barnett died, he told his wife, Barb O’Neal, that he wanted to write a bucket list. Considering that her 88-year-old husband…
Faribault Woolen Mill celebrates 150 years

Faribault Woolen Mill celebrates 150 years

Faribault's revitalized mill marks its anniversary Saturday
Hobby Lobby opens store in Maple Grove

Hobby Lobby opens store in Maple Grove

The grand opening of Hobby Lobby in Maple Grove on Monday will mark the eighth Minnesota location for the crafts and home decor retailer, which…
Discount chain Gordmans opens in Edina's Southdale

Discount chain Gordmans opens in Edina's Southdale

Retailer, Dave & Busters help fuel mall's rebound.
Blu Dot modern furniture opens outlet store in Minneapolis

Blu Dot modern furniture opens outlet store in Minneapolis

From the beginning, the founders of Blu Dot wanted to make modern furniture at a reasonable price. “Design what you can actually afford,” said Chief…
Recliners, free video games and soda refills welcome moviegoers back to St. Michael

Recliners, free video games and soda refills welcome moviegoers back to St. Michael

On the northwest edge of the metro, a cineplex unlike any other has reopened
Between empty-nesters and millennials, furniture resellers see opportunity

Between empty-nesters and millennials, furniture resellers see opportunity

Entrepreneurs see a market in downsizing boomers, nesting millennials
Blu Dot sets July 18 open for Minneapolis outlet

Blu Dot sets July 18 open for Minneapolis outlet

Blu Dot, the Minneapolis-based manufacturer of modern furniture, said Thursday that its new outlet store will open July 18.The store will sell closeouts, samples and…
Eyewear company Warby Parker opening showroom in Askov Finlayson

Eyewear company Warby Parker opening showroom in Askov Finlayson

The Dayton brothers have attracted Warby Parker to their fashion outpost in the North Loop.
Total Wine has uncorked booze pricing battle in Minnesota

Total Wine has uncorked booze pricing battle in Minnesota

In an unfolding price war the cost of wine and spirits has plunged, and while a few sellers have closed, others have fiercely fought back, taking advantage of Minnesota's quirky liquor laws.

Christopher & Banks shareholders re-elect board despite criticism

Shareholders voted for directors despite criticism from major investor.
St. Paul inventor's toys are retro but eco-friendly

St. Paul inventor's toys are retro but eco-friendly

Yoxo building sets with chipboard cutouts of "X," "Y," and "O" have a retro-chic appeal. And when kids are done playing with them, they can recycle them.
Adding Christie's brings buzz to MCAD auction, local art scene

Adding Christie's brings buzz to MCAD auction, local art scene

The spotlight coming with the partnership with the world renowned auction house energizes artists and art enthusiasts.
BBB offers advice for handling door-to-door sales pitches

BBB offers advice for handling door-to-door sales pitches

Many consumers get ripped off by door-to-door contractors out of "convenience."
Obituary: Sister Marie Thérèse Conaty, longtime Visitation teacher

Obituary: Sister Marie Thérèse Conaty, longtime Visitation teacher

As Kathy Daniewicz looked at photos of Sister Marie Thérèse Conaty to use on her funeral bulletin, she noticed all of them had something in…
Downtown Disney emerging as a stand-alone attraction

Downtown Disney emerging as a stand-alone attraction

The outdoor mall delivers a Disney experience, plus a touch of Minnesota, but without hefty admission and parking fees.
Dropping of cable, satellite accelerates as business of TV adapts

Dropping of cable, satellite accelerates as business of TV adapts

Americans dropped cable and satellite TV subscriptions at the fastest rate ever during the first three months of the year, new data showed last week, as viewing habits get shaken up in a manner last seen during the emergence of cable four decades ago.
Rainforest Cafe creator licenses 'Puff, the Magic Dragon'

Rainforest Cafe creator licenses 'Puff, the Magic Dragon'

Golden Valley-based Schussler Creative purchased licensing rights to the song and plans to open a themed restaurant.
Macy's Glamorama fashion show will not return

Macy's Glamorama fashion show will not return

Macy's fashion show that raised millions to fight children's cancer won't return.
Macy's pulls plug on Glamorama fashion show

Macy's pulls plug on Glamorama fashion show

The annual fashion show raised millions for Children's Cancer Research Fund.
Thrift stores find news ways to monetize your old junk

Thrift stores find news ways to monetize your old junk

Charities are finding new revenue sources from items they used to refuse.
Thrift stores make more revenue being less choosy

Thrift stores make more revenue being less choosy

Charities are finding new revenue sources from items they used to refuse.
Restaurant creator took Minnetonka to Downtown Disney

Restaurant creator took Minnetonka to Downtown Disney

Steve Schussler's idea for the Boathouse began to form a few years ago when he drove his own Amphicar into Lake Minnetonka with his dog.
Distributors don't take Minnesota's thirst for whiskey seriously

Distributors don't take Minnesota's thirst for whiskey seriously

Minnesotans are in the midst of a whiskey craze. But liquor distributors view the state as a second-tier market.
Whiskey fans in Minnesota feel squeeze from rise in popularity

Whiskey fans in Minnesota feel squeeze from rise in popularity

Minnesotans are in the midst of a whiskey craze. But liquor distributors view the state as a second-tier market and allocate smaller quantities of whiskey to retailers in it, leading to scarcity of some popular labels.
Attorney general sues newspaper, magazine renewal firms, alleging fraud

Attorney general sues newspaper, magazine renewal firms, alleging fraud

Scores of newspapers and magazines have been affected by false subscription billings.

Retail clothing lines grow, shrink with economy

No category in apparel retailing is more volatile than plus-size women's clothing. And none is more bereft of action than small-size men's clothing, a niche without a national chain devoted to it.
Ewoldt: Paying more doesn't guarantee good customer service

Ewoldt: Paying more doesn't guarantee good customer service

In January, I wrote that people can’t expect great customer service and low prices. American shoppers want low prices and that means lowering our customer…
Worries bloom about the future of the Macy's flower show

Worries bloom about the future of the Macy's flower show

Macy's flower show still attracts large crowds, but some worry about its future.
Blu Dot furniture to open its first outlet store

Blu Dot furniture to open its first outlet store

The new outlet will also include a showroom for full-priced, new items.
Target extends its return policy to one year on select items

Target extends its return policy to one year on select items

The new policy includes store brands and bridal, baby and college registry purchases.
Target introduces designer collection for young men

Target introduces designer collection for young men

The new products include leather goods, T-shirts and soap from various designers including Duluth Pack and Locally Grown.
Bucking consumer trends can often pay dividends

Bucking consumer trends can often pay dividends

Warren Buffett made billions of dollars buying on sale. “Whether we’re talking about socks or stocks,” the Oracle of Omaha has said, “I like buying…
Target layoffs will hit 1,700, with another 1,400 jobs going unfilled

Target layoffs will hit 1,700, with another 1,400 jobs going unfilled

Target Corp. cut 1,700 people at its corporate offices in the Twin Cities, the largest downsizing of its headquarters staff ever and the biggest at any Minnesota company since 2002.
Personal masks can be fashionable germ grabbers

Personal masks can be fashionable germ grabbers

In designing masks that are more stylish than surgical, a local company hopes trend will catch on in the U.S. and help limit spread of infections
Swedish outdoor retailer Fjällräven to open at Mall of America

Swedish outdoor retailer Fjällräven to open at Mall of America

Swedish outdoor retailer Fjällräven will open a flagship store, its first Minnesota location, at Mall of America this spring, hoping to attract the large number of Twin Citiians with Swedish backgrounds.
Goodwill's new flagship store opens Saturday in St. Paul

Goodwill's new flagship store opens Saturday in St. Paul

St. Paul store, opening Saturday, affirms bargains' popularity but also showcases more inviting decor and merchandise
Mall of America tightens security after latest terror threat

Mall of America tightens security after latest terror threat

The Mall of America said it beefed up already-complex security measures Monday in the wake of a weekend terror threat and sought to assure shoppers that everything possible is being done to keep them safe.
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