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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
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.
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…
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.
Target cutting 1,700 employees

Target cutting 1,700 employees

Target Corp. cut 1,700 people at its corporate offices in the Twin Cities on Tuesday, the largest downsizing of its headquarters staff ever and the biggest at any Minnesota company since 2002.
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…
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.
Galleria loses another local tenant

Galleria loses another local tenant

Decorative hardware retailer Brass Handle, latest to leave, moving to Market Square

Former Star Tribune publisher receives Award of Distinction from U

Former Star Tribune Publisher Roger Parkinson on Wednes­day re­ceived one of the University of Minnesota’s high­est honors, the Award of Dis­tinc­tion.University Pres­i­dent Eric Kaler said…
Waseca farmer and conservationist James Zimmerman dies at 91

Waseca farmer and conservationist James Zimmerman dies at 91

James Zimmerman’s adult life could easily have been defined by tragedy. When he was 36, a freight train killed his wife and their six children as she drove them to school in Waseca, Minn.
No need to lose sleep over mattress shopping

No need to lose sleep over mattress shopping

Mattress buying is more complicated than ever, but it doesn’t have to be.
Sports Authority adding store in downtown Minneapolis

Sports Authority adding store in downtown Minneapolis

The sporting goods store will open in the fall in City Center, along Nicollet Mall.
In the light bulb aisle, bright ideas and plenty of confusion

In the light bulb aisle, bright ideas and plenty of confusion

Consumers face many options that are difficult to compare when light-bulb shopping.
TurboTax: Software good to go; Minnesota: Not so fast

TurboTax: Software good to go; Minnesota: Not so fast

Intuit's nationwide halt of state income tax returns lasted about 24 hours for identity theft investigation. Minnesota revenue officials still were reviewing the new security measures.
At Device Pitstop, call goes out for used gadgets

At Device Pitstop, call goes out for used gadgets

As Americans update digital devices more frequently, Device Pitstop and others want to rescue last year’s models from the junk drawer.
Saks Off 5th will reopen across street in City Center in 2016

Saks Off 5th will reopen across street in City Center in 2016

Saks Off 5th, which closed its downtown Minneapolis location this month, said Tuesday that it will return in April 2016 -- in City Center, across the street from its former location.

Lakes Entertainment to merge with Golden Gaming

Lakes Entertainment of Minnetonka will be renamed in merger with Vegas company.

Wal-Mart offers a quicker way to get tax refund checks

Retailer says it’s quicker than waiting for a check.
Chuck & Don's will fetch heavy pet food items for a fee

Chuck & Don's will fetch heavy pet food items for a fee

Chuck & Don’s enters the challenging world of home pet food delivery
Wet Seal closing 7 stores in Minnesota, more than 300 nationwide

Wet Seal closing 7 stores in Minnesota, more than 300 nationwide

A decline in the teen apparel market has created trouble for several retailers in the sector.
Second-busiest shopping day: Dash on to return unwanted gifts

Second-busiest shopping day: Dash on to return unwanted gifts

With many Americans taking Friday off work, the traffic to return the unwanteds on the day after Christmas is expected to be especially frenetic.
Pop-up stores aren't just in the mall aisles anymore

Pop-up stores aren't just in the mall aisles anymore

Entrepreneurs lease unused space and get to test demand for products.
Getting a new car? A few tips are in order

Getting a new car? A few tips are in order

Doing business on the phone and online resources can help ensure a good deal.
Aldi pursues Rainbow customers with credit cards, coupons

Aldi pursues Rainbow customers with credit cards, coupons

Customers at the grocery store for the truly frugal needed to pay with cash or debit cards. Now, in a new test, they can hand the cashier a credit card.
Christopher & Banks seeks clues for sales miss

Christopher & Banks seeks clues for sales miss

Christopher & Banks saw a huge change in September, about the time the new iPhone appeared.

Local businesses offer deep Cyber Monday discounts

Local vendors, daily deal sites offer big discounts.
Many Black Friday shoppers are out there for themselves

Many Black Friday shoppers are out there for themselves

When Dealnews.com polled its readers recently and asked for whom they were shopping on Black Friday, 38 percent said “myself.”
Shoppers, CEOs excited for hours-early jump on Black Friday

Shoppers, CEOs excited for hours-early jump on Black Friday

Despite temperatures that dropped into the single digits Thursday night and overnight snow around the Twin Cities, throngs of shoppers still lined up outside of stores in the earliest start yet to the Black Friday shopping bonanza.
Long, slow holiday lines put the snail in mail

Long, slow holiday lines put the snail in mail

Merle Minda walked into the main downtown Minneapolis post office with a package one day last week and got in line behind nine other people.Fifteen…
Financial advice goes down a lot better with a free meal

Financial advice goes down a lot better with a free meal

Would you listen to a guy talk about Social Security for a free meal at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse? Count me in.
Three local charities open resale shops in Bloomington

Three local charities open resale shops in Bloomington

Arc’s Value Village, Hope Chest and Bridging all opened new stores this fall.
Twin Cities' holiday shoppers will spend record amount, survey says

Twin Cities' holiday shoppers will spend record amount, survey says

Rosedale dethrones MOA as the #1 place where shoppers plan to do most of their shopping.
Obituary: Brian Nelson, beloved fishmonger at Coastal Seafoods

Obituary: Brian Nelson, beloved fishmonger at Coastal Seafoods

In his role as wholesale manager at Minneapolis-based Coastal Seafoods, Brian Nelson arrived at work at 4 each morning and usually found messages from 25…
Small retailers ramp up holiday message to compete with the big boxes

Small retailers ramp up holiday message to compete with the big boxes

During the holiday season, small retailers feel like the little kid in a big family, jumping up and down to get attention. They can’t match…
For outdoor retailers, Orange is the new Black

For outdoor retailers, Orange is the new Black

The Friday before Saturday’s firearms deer opener is becoming nearly as hyped as the Friday after Thanksgiving, and it’s even more lucrative than that day for some retailers.

Bloomington city council approves Total Wine liquor license

Superstore is expected to open in Bloomington next week.
Ten things for shoppers to watch this holiday season

Ten things for shoppers to watch this holiday season

Halloween. That’s done. Now, the holiday shopping season kicks into high gear. So what’s hot this year? And what changes should shoppers expect during the busiest time of the year?
Target debuts exclusive partnership with Faribault Woolen Mill

Target debuts exclusive partnership with Faribault Woolen Mill

Faribault fans can get versions of throws, scarves and bags at Target.com through the holiday season.
Schuler Shoes thrives on comfort but survives on style

Schuler Shoes thrives on comfort but survives on style

Now in its 125th year, the largest independent shoe store west of the Mississippi keeps growing.
Free, no-strings financial advice offered Saturday

Free, no-strings financial advice offered Saturday

All are invited to the Twin Cities Financial Planning Day, a free event held on Saturday.
LCD panel claimants, check your mailboxes next week

LCD panel claimants, check your mailboxes next week

The prolonged class-action suit is reaching its final stage: delivering the money.
Total Wine clears significant hurdle in Bloomington

Total Wine clears significant hurdle in Bloomington

Total Wine’s delayed license for the store now awaits approval from the City Council.
Rainbow begins closing sales at two more grocery stores

Rainbow begins closing sales at two more grocery stores

The Minneapolis store on 26th Av. and the one in West St. Paul are now discounting items ahead of closing on Nov. 9. Both stores are expected to close Nov. 9 but may close earlier if the shelves are bare.
Duluth Trading Co. opens second Twin Cities store in Fridley

Duluth Trading Co. opens second Twin Cities store in Fridley

After initial success, the Wisconsin retailer opened a second Twin Cities store.

Newspaper, magazine subscribers warned of deceptive renewal offers

Better Business Bureau raises flag on fraudulent bills being sent in the name of many publications, including the Star Tribune.
Dayton brothers' restaurant and men's store will expand

Dayton brothers' restaurant and men's store will expand

The owners of the Askov Finlayson men’s shop in downtown Minneapolis are often told that they should have named it “Dayton’s.” But Eric and Andrew Dayton shrug it off.
Target opens its first liquor store in Minnesota since 1970s

Target opens its first liquor store in Minnesota since 1970s

The Minneapolis-based retailer sells alcohol in other states but not here, until now -- in Otsego. The liquor store that Target announced in June has opened at a SuperTarget 35 miles northwest of Minneapolis.
Back to school, the extended version

Back to school, the extended version

Budget-conscious consumers waited longer to spend this year, leading some analysts to push the panic button prematurely.
Faribault Woolen Mill to hold tent sale this weekend

Faribault Woolen Mill to hold tent sale this weekend

Faribault's tent sale is another sign of its success, which will include a partnership with Target.com for the holidays.
Long-delayed 400 Bar is evicted from Mall of America

Long-delayed 400 Bar is evicted from Mall of America

An eviction notice went up Tuesday on the door of the 4th floor-location in the mall where the legendary bar was expected to open this summer. Mall executives put out a statement that suggested the bar’s owners encountered financing difficulties.
L.L. Bean will open large store in Mall of America in November

L.L. Bean will open large store in Mall of America in November

The outdoor retailer gives the mall another draw that’s found nowhere else in Minnesota.
Better Business Bureau adds customer reviews on its website

Better Business Bureau adds customer reviews on its website

But you can’t file both a bad review and a complaint.
As new iPhone arrives, buyers have more pricing options

As new iPhone arrives, buyers have more pricing options

The new iPhone 6 also introduces many consumers to more contract-free options.
General Mills to close Calif. cereal plant, Mass. yogurt facility

General Mills to close Calif. cereal plant, Mass. yogurt facility

A day after General Mills Inc. said it would begin $100 million in new cost reductions due to flagging sales, it announced the closing of two manufacturing plants in California and Massachusetts, one that makes cereal and one that makes yogurt.
Hard Rock's staying power has a surprise ingredient

Hard Rock's staying power has a surprise ingredient

Theme restaurants often struggle, but Hard Rock Cafe rocks on at the MOA.
Bite Squad brings on the party with Gift Squad

Bite Squad brings on the party with Gift Squad

Restaurant delivery service Bite Squad’s new launch is applying its model to gift and liquor sales in the Twin Cities.
Are the days of active fund managers numbered?

Are the days of active fund managers numbered?

With a few exceptions, managed funds have lost the battle to indexes and exchange-traded funds.
Gas prices fall below last year's Labor Day weekend

Gas prices fall below last year's Labor Day weekend

The usual bump ahead of Labor Day hasn’t materialized – and prices could drop further.
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