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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
Costco shoppers will still find big things, but different and orderly, in 'business' outlet

Costco shoppers will still find big things, but different and orderly, in 'business' outlet

Small business center opens Wednesday with a focus on a new market.
Marketing guru Mike Arbeiter, left, has helped guide clothing-line founder Greg Horvitz in some of his decisions as he rolls out new Fisher+Baker prod

Casual look gaining a foothold at Fisher+Baker

Fisher+Baker menswear offers guys classic, sophisticated lines that are deceptively rugged — and attracting customers
With little advance publicity, Restoration Hardware opened an outlet store in the West End shopping district in St. Louis Park Thursday. Items in the

Restoration Hardware quietly opens an RH Outlet store in West End

Restoration Hardware quietly opened a new outlet store in St. Louis Park.
Linda Fox, of Roseville, one of the first to line up and enter the new Aldi store in Roseville, Minn., shopped in the produce section on Thursday, Jun

Aldi to open store in new Minneapolis apartment building next spring

The mixed-use project at 26th Street and Lyndale Avenue S. will include 86 apartments in a five-story building.
The interior of Wahlburger’s at the Mall of America is decorated with posters of the celebrity family that started the Boston-based burger chain. Hy

Hy-Vee CEO talks expansion of Wahlburgers and grocery stores

Its first Wahlburgers, opening Tuesday at MOA, is first of 25, CEO says.
Famous Dave’s new CEO Jeff Crivello, left, and founder Dave Anderson have put their heads together to reimagine the once-thriving restaurant concept

With new CEO and Dave himself, Famous Dave's shifts from evolution to revolution

Famous Dave's makeover in Coon Rapids appears to be paying off.
Indochino’s Andrew Workman, left, helped Pat Morseth shop for a suit for his wedding. Morseth’s fiancée, Lauren Hoskinson, helped with the select

Innovators create less-expensive made-to-measure clothing for men, find younger buyers

At innovator Indochino, the focus is on selling convenience and "an experience."
Famous Dave's reported a profit of nearly $1 million in the first three months of the year. The company recently opened a new concept layout at its Co

Shares jump as Famous Dave's reports profit rebound, jump in same-unit sales

Closed locations took a bite out of revenue, but same-store sales rose.
Wahlburgers will open at the Mall of America on May 22. Hy-Vee has entered a franchise agreement to double the size of the Boston-based hamburger chai

Hy-Vee to open state's first Wahlburgers; celebrity brothers to launch it

Mark, Donnie and Paul Wahlberg started the chain in 2011 and Hy-Vee will help it double in size.
John Yarish shopped at the Fridley Duluth Trading Store, where quality and a bit of humor have meshed to help the company set an aggressive plan for g

Duluth Trading Co. expands as many apparel chains languish

The clothing retailer aims to top 100 stores in the next five years.
Joanne Negstad

Joanne Negstad, Lutheran Social Service executive, dies at 82

Joanne Negstad was surrounded by Lutheran pastors all her life. Her grandfather, father, husband and brother all dedicated their lives to the ministry. But having…
Candy is out in the open in the food hall of the CMX Market Cinema at Mall of America.

MOA movie theater will feature food hall; owner backs off pricey tickets

It's the first movie theater in the country with an eatery concept inspired by food halls.
Supervalu sold several of its Farm Fresh stores.

Supervalu reports small gains in profit, same-store sales, and sells some property

The company aims to pay down more debt by selling and leasing back warehouses.
Sears said Monday that it was closing its Maplewood Mall location among nationwide changes, a move that leaves it with just four Twin Cities locations

Sears will close Maplewood store; down to four in metro

The Maplewood store, which opened in 1974, is one of about two dozen stores being shuttered in 17 states as Sears continues to struggle.
Herberger's at Southdale Mall has going out of business signs displayed.

Herberger's customers sorry to see a beloved store close

The 129-year-old department store firm began a liquidation sale Friday that is expected to last 12 weeks.
Reception area at the new redesigned Famous Dave’s in Coon Rapids.

Famous Dave's tests a new menu and new look in Coon Rapids

The company's founder, Dave Anderson, played a key role designing the food and dining room.
Deb Rasinski had a sneak peek Tuesday at the Fresh Thyme Farmers Market opening in the Prospect Park neighborhood of Minneapolis.

Fresh Thyme opens its seventh Twin Cities store in Minneapolis

The next store to open in Minnesota will be Rochester in 2019.
Many snow-removal contracts expired March 31. With a major snowstorm about to hit, people in the Twin Cities and much of the state looked for contract

Did your snow-removal contract expire on March 31? Try an app

Shoveling out from a 10-inch snowstorm is no big deal in midwinter — for people with a snow-removal contract.But many of those seasonal contracts ended…
Rapidly growing Mulberrys has carved out a niche with eco-friendly dry cleaning. “You have to re-imagine the whole experience,” founder Dan Miller

To survive, dry cleaners hit refresh

With eco-friendly products, self-serve kiosks and home delivery, Minnesota cleaners are rethinking the experience.
Dave and Mary Angell walked Nash, their peppy golden retriever, on a Sunday morning at Rosedale Center in Roseville.

Rosedale's winter indoor dog walks are going year-round

Rosedale Center in January started allowing people to walk their dogs inside the mall for two hours on Sunday mornings before the stores open at 11. It appears to be the only mall in the country doing such a thing.
Fleet Farm has changed some of its marketing and backgrounding policies for guns.

Fleet Farm quietly changes policies for selling guns

It will stop advertising assault-style rifles and high-capacity magazines, but will still sell them.
Rendering shows the exterior of the Restoration Hardware showcase store that will be built on the southwest corner of Southdale Center in Edina.

Design changes to cause slight delay at new Restoration Hardware store in Edina

The luxury furniture and design retailer now plans a shorter building with cafe dining on the roof.
Bloomington-based Gander Outdoors, formerly known as Gander Mountain, is planning to reopen six stores in Minnesota.

Gander Outdoors offers a surprise as it reopens six Minnesota stores this year

Eden Prairie site saved by a rerouting of proposed Southwest light-rail line.
Dan McCurley, top left, served to Britt Busch as they played a game of pingpong in the game area after lunch Tuesday at Hy-Vee’s $5.2 million new te

As shoppers migrate online, Hy-Vee wages fight to draw tech talent to Iowa

Fast-growing grocer has built a $5 million IT workspace with free snacks, gym and a "Big Bang Theory" lounge.
The Salvation Army is acting as a distribution hub for Super Bowl LII leftovers. Above, marketing director Michelle Wong with some of the donated item

Twin Cities charities divert tons of waste from Super Bowl

Twin Cities nonprofits have kept the Super Bowl leftovers from landfills.
Supervalu will open the first Cub anchoring an housing complex at 46th and Hiawatha. (Provided by Supervalu)

Cub to open first small, urban concept grocery store in Mpls. in 2019

It's a growing trend in retail, and Supervalu says it will be "unlike anything you'll see in any Cub."

Famous Dave's posts loss as work on new concept continues

Same-store sales climbed slightly, but overall sales continued to slide.
Love Your Melon comes in many colors.

Love Your Melon will open first store in Minneapolis' North Loop

The business started as part of a college entrepreneurship class, with a mission to improve the lives of kids battling cancer.
A since-closed Rainbow Foods in Minneapolis.

Rainbow Foods is closing in Richfield, leaving just one Twin Cities grocery hanging on to the name

Maplewood store will stay open, Supervalu says.
Macy's started its Backstage discount store line in New York three years ago.

Macy's first Minn. outlet will be inside the store it already has at Maplewood Mall

Macy's Backstage will take up the first floor of its Maplewood full-line store starting March 24.
The Galleria in Edina is picking up Filson and Shinola stores, brands that shared a location in the North Loop of Minneapolis until last week.

Popular North Loop neighborhood loses another retail tenant to the Galleria in Edina

North Loop retail is losing Filson and Shinola to the Galleria in Edina.

John Groos, special education pioneer, dies at 91

He was responsible for implementing the 1957 Special Education Law that required education services be provided for children and youths with disabilities.
An activist shareholder is now pressing for Supervalu to breakup.

Activist investor at Supervalu goes another step, urging breakup

Supervalu responds that it is already reshaping itself to emphasize its stronger business.
WSI owner Joel Wiens has turned his attention, after 30 years of cold-weather focus, to other seasons and other athletes.

Wiens Sports International, a cold-weather gear specialist, is looking at other seasons

Cold-weather gear specialist WSI is getting ready to change seasons
Some consumers buy big screen TVs during Super Bowl weekend -- and then take them back.

Buy TV. Watch Super Bowl. Return TV. It still happens.

Retailers see an uptick in returns after the game.
Gary Newman, a Red Owl produce and merchandise manager for 30 years, has a man cave set up with store memorabilia.

Gone 30 years, Red Owl supermarkets still live on in Minnesotans' memories

Ex-employees remember the store and its iconic owl with affection.
Product design director Jason Engelman arranged some of the new Eyebobs line of sunglasses in the prototype store in Minneapolis.

Eyebobs envisions bigger retail presence and audience

Eyebobs will open new stores in Mall of America and Orlando this year.
Stores in Rosedale and in St. Paul on Grand Avenue will remain open.

J. Crew shuttering its Mall of America, Southdale stores

The stores, which will close on Jan. 27, put merchandise on sale now.
Walmart is closing Sam's Club warehouse stores in St. Louis Park and Moorhead, Minn., part of a broader closing of about 60 stores around the country.

Walmart closing Sam's Club in St. Louis Park, about 60 others in U.S.

The store in Moorhead, Minn., will also close. They'll reopen Friday and remain for a few weeks until permanently closing.
Behind strong sales at stores like this Stillwater Cub Foods, Supervalu had been projecting a big turnaround in this fiscal year from last.

Supervalu back in the black, but its businesses still diverge

The retail division, including its main banner Cub Foods, gave up more sales.
A look inside a CMX theater, which has fewer seats, in Skokie, Ill.

New Mall of America movie theater to charge $25-plus per luxury seat

With jobs posted now, CMX looks to begin service by March.
MindWare vice president Jonathan Staruck peered through one of the Roseville company’s toys, Q-Ba-Maze, a marble run. “We’re helping young minds

Roseville-based toy company's stress on learning with fun pays off at Christmas time

MindWare, maker of brainy toys, outperformed other such firms this holiday.
Air travelers pass through one of the main shopping areas in Terminal 1 at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The airport remade its reta

For those with flights, MSP's retail makeover is making its holiday-season debut

MSP has been earning plaudits for its revamped shopping options for travelers
Ex-quarterback Brooks Bollinger said while pro athletes make most of their money while they’re in their 20s, they need to save “like they’re 55.

Former Vikings QB Brooks Bollinger is financial planner for fellow athletes

After spending six years in the NFL as a quarterback, including a stint with the Vikings in 2006 and 2007, Brooks Bollinger struggled to find…
An elf house is but one of the displays magician Matt Dunn set up in front of his house in Plymouth for the holidays.

Nostalgic for Dayton's annual holiday show? Drive by a piece of it in Plymouth

Magician Matt Dunn of Plymouth has re-created scenes from the 1989 "Cinderella" show in his front yard.
Anne Lippin, left, and Heidi Ritter, volunteers and board members of Steeple People, with equipment in the new space they found for the nonprofit thri

Steeple People thrift will reopen in new Minneapolis location

The nonprofit group hopes to start accepting donations next month and open its new thrift store in February.
Gander Outdoors, the rebranded Gander Mountain outdoors chain, will open a store in Lakeville on Wednesday. The company's webpage, shown here, has als

Gander Outdoors to open in Lakeville at site of bankrupt Gander Mountain

From the ashes of the Gander Mountain bankruptcy, a new store will emerge Wednesday in Lakeville.Gander Outdoors opens midafternoon in the same location at 16861…
The Cub bear delivered bags of groceries via Instacart in 2015.

Supervalu expands Instacart program to all of its retail stores

Delivery service now available at all stores.
Curio CEO Anne Sempowski Ward said Thymes’ Frasier Fir products have become part of many families’ holiday traditions.

The Frasier Fir candle, the 'smell of Christmas,' started in Minnesota

Retailers say the secret to Frasier Fir is the scent's ability to evoke fond memories.
Michael Engel, with Marsh Heating and Air Conditioning, tuned up a furnace Thursday. Marsh recommends a second opinion if a furnace is red-tagged.

Don't be fooled by the furnace company offering a red-tag special

Get a second or third opinion when costly furnace repairs or replacements are suggested.
Visitors wore funny hats and sunglasses as they played a game of Wheel of Phrases at the Game Show Battle Room last month in Golden Valley.

Come on down! You're the next contestant on Game Show Battle Rooms in Golden Valley

'Game Show Battle Rooms' mixes game-show nostalgia, participation in a novel team-building activity
The first rush of customers piled into MN Home Outlet in Burnsville at 6 a.m. on Friday. About 100 shoppers were lined up when it opened.

Burnsville small business attracts big-box-sized crowds on Black Friday

Home improvement liquidator MN Home Outlet makes its deals last all week.
TVs are among the most sought-after Black Friday deals, and Hunter Harvey and his dad, C.J. ,were part of the trend last year at a Target in Massachus

Want a TV on Black Friday? How to separate the doorbusters from the duds

Behind all the excitement of a bargain buy can be a product that isn't up to standard.
Jim Fiorentino shown in 2004 in the Minneapolis warehouse where he restored and preserved cuckoo clocks. Pictured in the display case he built are pre

Jim Fiorentino, who restored cuckoo clocks, built North Loop museum for them, dies at 94

Fiorentino died Sept. 30 at age 94 after a short illness.
Doug Raney, an electronics team member with Target, helped the Quach family, of Prior Lake, locate items on their 2016 holiday shopping wish list.

Twin Cities holiday shoppers spend less, spend late compared with rest of U.S.

Surveys find Twin Cities consumers plan to spend less than rest of the U.S.
A Costco employee in Woodbury prepped the store for its opening Wednesday. The company has been looking for a suitable site in the city since 1999.

Costco, after years of looking for the right site, will open a store in Woodbury

Warehouse store opening in Woodbury, with business center coming to Minneapolis.
Famous Dave's is getting a new main investor and a new CEO. The last time it had a top executive lead for more than 18 months was in 2012.

Another year, another CEO at Famous Dave's

No leader has lasted more than 18 months at the BBQ chain since 2012.
Colorful fruits and vegetables, many supplied locally, dominate the selection at Fresh Thyme stores. The newest Twin Cities location of the Chicago-ba

Fresh Thyme opens in St. Louis Park after months of delay

After some delay, St. Louis Park gets a new grocer to compete with major chains.
The new Hy-Vee in Shakopee has a larger seating area in its restaurant and coffee shop area.

Hy-Vee opens 8th metro store in Shakopee Tuesday, then plans to ease up

Chain to tap the brakes a bit on opening new Twin Cities stores amid upheaval in grocery industry.
The Brooklyn Park Mills Fleet Farm store, and all of the company’s other stores, were ready Thursday for Minnesota’s firearms deer-hunting season.

Mills Fleet Farm picks up pace with new owners

With its new owner, Mills Fleet Farm expands its reach with bricks and mortar and online.
Hy-Vee is moving plans for a distribution center in Austin, Minn., to the back-burner as it concentrates on new fulfillment and food-preparation sites

Hy-Vee delays Austin distribution center, makes plan for Twin Cities fulfillment center

The changes are due to customers looking for faster, fresher options, the company said.
An activist investor is seeking changes at Supervalu, including the sale of real estate and about one-third of its grocery stores. The Eden Prairie-ba

Activist investor pushes for major shake-up at Supervalu

The investment firm dubbed the company's financial performance "abysmal" and urged the board to sell off a third of the Eden Prairie-based company's stores and bring in new leaders.
In past years, questions ranged from whether children deserved an inheritance to whether a health savings account is a good idea. Last year’s event

Minnesota financial planning group prepares for annual event to help savers and investors

401(k)? Debt? Inheritance issues? Money experts can help Saturday.
Duluth Pack and Minnetonka Moccasin on Monday began selling products that they jointly designed, the first collaboration between the two Minnesota fas

Duluth Pack, Minnetonka Moccasin team up for new line of bags, moccasins

Duluth Pack, Minnetonka Moccasin team up to produce a limited edition line of slippers and bags for holidays.
Chad Ferguson, president of Cub's retail west division and Anne Dament, senior vice president of retail of parent company Supervalu Inc., at the popco

Remodeled Cub grocery in Stillwater tests new concepts

Fresh popcorn, grab-and-go foods, broader line of merchandise is its answer to Hy-Vee incursion.

Supervalu tilts its business structure further toward wholesale

The company announced another acquisition in its wholesale division, Associated Grocers of Florida.
Z Gallerie will open at Galleria in spring 2018. (Provided by Z Gallerie)

Galleria to add Z Gallerie home furnishings and two local pop-ups

The Edina mall will be 51 percent home goods stores when latest firm opens.
Liz Mugford, a buyer for the General Store in Minnetonka, organized displays designed to create a cozy and enticing customer experience.

Small, local retailers battle hard for customers

Small retailers sharpen skills to keep their customers coming back.
Two of the simulators of earth-moving equipment that will be featured at Extreme Sandbox Mini, opening next month in Rosedale Center.

Rosedale will open an indoor version of Extreme Sandbox in November

Malls are bringing in new entertainment concepts to provide experiences that can't be found online.
Snowblower storage is popular in summer and makes way for lawn mowers in winter.

Winter is coming, and storing seasonal toys and tools has become big business

Midwest seeing jump in the businesses involved and the services they offer.
Delta Air Lines is thinning the ranks at the highest level of its frequent flier program by raising the threshold that a credit card can be used to re

Delta Air Lines makes Diamond status even harder to achieve

Loyalty program qualification balloons from $25,000 to $250,000 in American Express SkyMiles purchases.
Steve Burwell is the owner of Fairview Wine and Spirits in Roseville.

Fairview Wine in Roseville, which battled nearby Total Wine, to close

Steve Burwell's store opened in 1985, and the competition moved nearby in 2014.
Hy-Vee, which has opened several stores in the Twin Cities over the past two years, is looking at building a distribution center in Austin, Minn.

Hy-Vee's growth in the Twin Cities could get a boost from giant Austin facility

The 1-million square foot facility would be its first distribution center outside of Iowa.
Rosedale Herbergers store grand re-opening celebration on September 13, 2017 in Roseville.

Bon-Ton sheds Herberger's Rosedale store in $19 million deal

The company attempted a sale and lease-back of the same location last year.
The remodel of Rosedale’s Herberger’s was the first since the store arrived at the mall in 1999. Herberger’s is owned by Bon-Ton stores.

With Herberger's remodel done, Rosedale moves on to what's next

Enhancements include more lighting, centralized dressing rooms with more seating for friends and family, open concept cosmetics areas and some larger departments.
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