Monday, March 22, 2021

Posted By on Mon, Mar 22, 2021 at 9:29 AM

click to enlarge Rocket A Go-Go in Tempe offers customers punk, rockabilly and retro clothes, and has been serving the community for 9 years. - SOFIA FUENTES/CRONKITE NEWS
Sofia Fuentes/Cronkite News
Rocket A Go-Go in Tempe offers customers punk, rockabilly and retro clothes, and has been serving the community for 9 years.

PHOENIX – Being an environmentally friendly consumer means more than recycling paper and avoiding plastic. For those who avoid fast fashion – cheap, trendy items that often come from sweatshops – thrift and resale/trade shops have offered a smart way to shop.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic changed how such stores could operate, Goodwill locations and smaller shops have been regaining their footing in recent months. About 16% to 18% of Americans indicated they will shop at a thrift store at some point during a given year, according to an August 2020 report by the Association of Resale Professionals, the largest trade group for resellers. Economic pressure and job losses during the pandemic increased demand for secondhand goods, too.

When COVID-19 shut down much of the economy a year ago, more than 100 Goodwill stores in northern and central Arizona had to lay off workers, but spokesperson Courtney Nelson said 70% have been hired back.

“We are a nonprofit organization in addition to a thrift store, so the revenue directly from our stores goes to helping people here in the community,” Nelson said.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Posted By on Mon, May 11, 2020 at 1:30 PM

click to enlarge LOGAN BURTCH-BUUS
Logan Burtch-Buus
Located in the Catalina Foothills, La Encantada shopping center reopened its stores on Friday, May 8. The shopping center included “significantly enhanced” cleaning and sanitization practices and added signage and other safeguards to the property in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“We are looking forward to seeing our retail partners and welcoming local shoppers back to La Encantada Shopping Center,” said property manager Marcos Medrano, in a statement. “More than ever, people are ready to safely get back to the places and activities they’ve been missing and we are excited to be a big part of this. All of us are committed to ensuring our property can get back to making major contributions to our local economy through jobs, sales taxes, and more.”

Currently, open for in-person shopping is AJ’s Fine Foods, Anthropologie, Fuchsia Spa, Robert Markley Salon, SAAG Gallery, Spirit of Santa Fe, Tiffany & Co., Tucson Rescue Now, Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma. Other retailers are open for to-go and curbside business.

Located at 2905 E. Skyline Drive, La Encantada is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays. For more information on store openings and practices, go online at

Posted By on Mon, May 11, 2020 at 12:00 PM

Tucson Premium Outlets reopened Monday morning at 11 a.m. after closing to slow the spread of COVID-19 on March 19. The shopping center announced it would open its stores Friday, and unveiled a coronavirus exposure control policy in order to meet elevated safety standards.

"The health, safety, and well-being of the community we serve will always be our highest priority, and we have developed a thorough and detailed set of protocols highlighting the exceptional measures we’ve implemented for shoppers, retailers, and employees as we reopen,” said outlets general manager Kyra Monroe, in a release. “We also recognize that individuals and families in our community are suffering significant hardship as a result of both COVID-19 and the economic shutdown, and we believe that reopening our property will not only help people get back to work during these challenging times but also enable us to use our property to further support charitable initiatives."

The outlets shared its enhanced safety protocol with all its tenants, who are expected to meet those guidelines.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Posted By on Fri, May 8, 2020 at 3:00 PM

Tucson’s original second-hand clothing store will reopen to the public beginning Saturday, May 8, the company announced Thursday.

The company will operate at reduced hours, from noon to 6 p.m., seven days a week. Customers will also have the option to sell their clothing by drop-off through appointments only. A variety of safety and social distancing protocols will also be implemented.

In addition to sanitation and daily cleanings, employees will wear face masks, and shoppers are asked to do the same. The store will also only allow a limited number of shoppers at one time.

The company is also asking sellers to leave their clothing untouched for 24 hours, and Buffalo will now offer contact-free payouts through PayPal, Venmo, or a Digital Trade Card. Shoppers can pay with Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, or tap-to-pay credit cards in addition to traditional payment.

“Deciding to temporarily close our doors in March and then staying closed for almost two months was one of the toughest things we’ve ever had to do. In 46 years of business, we’ve never dealt with so much uncertainty,” said Buffalo Exchange Vice President Rebecca Block, in a statement. “But having the chance to come out on the other side and start to reopen makes us hopeful. We’ve received a lot of support from the community during this time and are very grateful for that.”

Buffalo has also extended its Tokens for Bags program through the end of the year to provide aid to charities facing financial hardship due to COVID-19.

Starting May 9, appointments for drop-off can be made by calling 795-0508.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Posted By on Thu, May 7, 2020 at 11:30 AM

click to enlarge TARA FOULKROD
Tara Foulkrod
Passing time during the quarantine, especially if you're a non-essential worker, unemployed, or a full-time student can be a chore, more so if you live alone. You start to feel like Rapunzel in the beginning stanzas of When Will My Life Begin.

Granted, you can spend your time doing all of the things she mentions, or you can sit and binge Tiger King for the seventh time. You can even go outside for some hiking or other outdoorsy goodness, as long as you maintain social distancing - though, do be careful with the heat.

There's one other tried and true way to spend your time that some people have been using with or without a pandemic, and that's video games. It's fun, it's interactive, and at times the storyline or interactions with friends can be really fulfilling. Unfortunately, it's also becoming really expensive.

click to enlarge TARA FOULKROD
Tara Foulkrod
While maintaining an MMO monthly subscription is cheaper than going to the club every weekend, some people are looking for a more casual or family-friendly way to pass the time. When you think of gaming in those terms, one brand name usually pops up pretty consistently, and that's Nintendo. Their catalog is huge and contains a vast amount of titles that you can play either as an adult or a child. With the recent release of Animal Crossing, loads of people have been maintaining their islands and coming up with some amazing creations to pass the time during the quarantine.

But, if you don't already have their latest Switch system, you could be waiting a while - or at the very least paying a ridiculous amount of money.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Posted By on Tue, Mar 31, 2020 at 11:17 AM

click to enlarge COURTESY WALMART
Courtesy Walmart
On Tuesday, Walmart U.S. President and CEO John Furner announced that the company would take the temperatures of all its employees as they arrive to work. This new measure includes all Walmart facilities: stores, clubs, and distribution centers.

Shipping infrared thermometers to all locations will take up to three weeks.

In a company communication, Furner said employees will also be asked health screening questions. Any employee with a temperature exceeding 100 degrees will be paid for reporting to work and asked to return home and seek any necessary medical attention.

Employees will not be able to return to work until fever-free for at least three days.

“As our company and country continue to deal with the spread of COVID-19, we remain focused on the health and safety of our associates,” Furner wrote.

Furner added that the company’s emergency leave policy will allow employees to stay at home if they have any COVID-19 related symptoms or concerns, or if they are in quarantine.

In addition to temperature checks, Walmart is also making masks and gloves available to any employee who wants to wear them (as supplies permit). Furner wrote that masks should arrive within two weeks.

“We will continue to consult with health officials and experts inside and outside Walmart as this situation evolves,” Furner wrote. “We greatly appreciate the work our associates are doing for customers, members, and their communities, and we will continue to prioritize their health and well-being.”

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Thursday, March 19, 2020

Posted By on Thu, Mar 19, 2020 at 3:28 PM

click to enlarge Fourth Avenue won't be this crowded, but you can shop the Street Fair online. - DANIEL MATLICK
Daniel Matlick
Fourth Avenue won't be this crowded, but you can shop the Street Fair online.
Retail merchants on Fourth Avenue are locking their doors and setting up shop online—and on social media—in an attempt to salvage sales lost after the Fourth Avenue Merchants Association canceled the 50th Annual Fourth Avenue Street Fair on March 13, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fred Ronstadt, executive director of FAMA, said he was at a loss when it became clear the spring street fair would need to be canceled. The street fair, held twice a year, accounts for nearly half of the association’s revenue to maintain the avenue, Ronstadt said. But more importantly, he knows how much street fair season means to Fourth Avenue merchants before going into triple-digit weather.

“It’s the revenue we use to take care of the avenue, pick up trash, clean the streets and market events,” Ronstadt said. “But it’s especially tough on the merchants. This is the revenue they need to get through summer.”

Help came in the form of a street fair volunteer for the Ironhorse neighborhood’s beer tent. Daniel Dempsey, owner of local start-up coManage, developed the Fourth Avenue Virtual Street Fair’s page.

“When we saw the event was cancelled, we saw there was no way to easily find the vendors, it was all in a PDF. So we decided to take the data and throw together a simple, static website,” Dempsey said. “This is not even close to what we do. We went from idea on that Thursday to done by Friday.”

The virtual street fair highlights all the booths that would have participated this year, with links to peruse and purchase their crafts. The page has received over 25,000 click-thrus in under a week of going live, said Ronstadt.

“It lists all the artists that would’ve been in the fair plus all of the merchants that would’ve had booths, as well,” Ronstadt said. “All the links and sales go directly to the artists.”

But the virtual street fair isn’t the only thing individual Fourth Avenue merchants have planned for Friday. Lizzie Mead, owner of Silver Sea Jewelry, and her crew are also taking matters into their own hands since closing up shop due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Right when they decided street fair was not going to be a go, I realized I was super overstretched and I’ve dumped all my money into products for street fair,” Mead said. “So, I just tried to come up with a solution.”

Silver Sea Jewelry is hosting Merm-Aid on Facebook Live, showcasing their handmade jewelry in the style of the Home Shopping Network for eight hours, starting at 11 a.m. Friday morning.

“We’ve had a lot of juice for our live sale already on Facebook and that’s been great,” Mead said. “The most important thing right now is my employees because they’re my best friends.”
Mead said she hopes her live-streaming sale will help her be able to give street fair bonuses to her employees in addition to their hourly rate, as that’s something she’s done since moving to Fourth Avenue 11 years ago.

“My feeling was let’s do this live sale and try to get (her employees) what they would’ve made at street fair,” Mead said. “The goal of this sale is to help them pocket more money to get them solid.”

For Mead, having street fair canceled is especially hard. Not only do those three days account for over two months of income, she said, the jewelry maker also has to start making her inventory months in advance. Mead said she hopes to be able to recoup the money she's already spent.

“The best thing I can do at this point is come up with a way to at least try to make up the prep-money I spent for street fair,” Mead said. “Not try to make the money I would have made. I would just like to make-up what I invested.”

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Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Posted By on Wed, Mar 18, 2020 at 7:02 AM

The following statement has come out from Target CEO Brian Cornell regarding the company's COVID-19 response:

An Update on How We’re Supporting our Guests and Team, from CEO Brian Cornell

Every day, for weeks now, you’ve turned to Target to stock up on supplies as you cope with the impact of the coronavirus. As we all continue to adapt to the country’s fast-changing needs, we want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to keep our stores open and support our team.

We've announced a couple of changes that will go into effect today and last until further notice.

We’ll reduce hours and close all stores by 9 p.m. daily. This will help us as we replenish and deeply clean our stores for our guests. And it builds on measures we shared earlier this month, including enhanced cleaning and more staffing for in-demand services that support social distancing, like Order Pickup and Drive Up.

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Friday, October 25, 2019

Posted By on Fri, Oct 25, 2019 at 11:49 AM

click to enlarge COURTESY PHOTO
Courtesy photo
An event celebrating a healthy lifestyle will return for the second year to two area farmer's markets this November.

The Heirloom Farmers Markets’ second annual Healthy Living Expo will take place at the Green Valley Village Farmers & Artisans Market (101 S. La Cañada Dr., Green Valley) on Wednesday, Nov.6, and Rillito Park Farmers Market (4502 N. 1st Ave.) on Sunday, Nov. 10.

Both events start at 9 a.m. and will go on until 1 p.m.

The mission of the event is to provide visitors access to fresh produce, demos by chefs, healthcare services and resources through community health partners. They will also be doing hourly giveaways and providing healthcare enrollment assistance.

Some of the special activities will include free clinics for diabetes checks, flu shots and mammogram Screenings. Clinic services will be provided on a first come, first come basis and are free.

For those interested in a mammogram screening, it is recommended to contact Assured Imaging at 1-888-233-6121 to make an appointment.

For more information on the Healthy Living Expo, contact the Heirloom Farmers Markets at 520-882-2157 or visit

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Monday, August 5, 2019

Posted By on Mon, Aug 5, 2019 at 11:00 AM

Courtesy MSA Annex

As cooler nights set in during the summer, the Mercado San Agustin Annex invites you to their Summer Night Market. Every last Friday of the month through September, the annex is turned into an open-air market with local makers and vendors.

Come for the live music from DJ Herm, grab some Japanese food from Kukai and browse some rescued potted cactus from DIRT shop.  This family-friendly event features Now or Never boutique store, Why I Love Where I Live and MESA shop, among many others.

When: Friday, August 30

6 – 10:00 p.m.

Where: MSA Annex

267 S Avenida del Convento

Next Night Market:

Friday, September 27

6 p.m. – 10 p.m.

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