Gazans excited over territory's first indoor mall

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — In a welcome sign of normalcy, the first indoor shopping mall — complete with an international retail chain, three-story bookstore and bustling food court — has opened in the Gaza Strip.

Lincoln Square: From epicenter to comfort space

Just before 10 o'clock on a recent February Friday morning, Chelsey Campbell is standing near what used to be the entrance to the original Carson Pirie Scott department store. Today, Tang Dynasty, a Chinese restaurant a few feet to her left is the marquee establishment at that entrance. Inches away to her right is a "For Lease" sign for the available space inside Lincoln Square.

Development in North Prospect corridor gaining steam

CHAMPAIGN — There's more in store for the commercial strip along Champaign's bustling North Prospect Avenue.

Green Street Realty — which has already developed one retail center on the west side of Prospect with a newly opened Taco John's restaurant — has staked a claim on the east side of the road.

Just Askin': Thefts at Wal-Mart?

After the Champaign Wal-Mart decided to close from midnight to 6 a.m. due to low foot traffic during those hours, several readers suggested the real reason was late-night theft.

Wal-Mart spokeswoman Leslee Wright insisted this wasn't the case, and the data from local police departments appear to back this up.

Kraft still hungry for Unilever after rejected offer

NEW YORK (AP) — Kraft Heinz is attempting to buy Unilever in a $143 billion deal that would create a global food leader that sells products including cheese, lunch meats, spreads and snacks.

U.S. food giant Kraft Heinz Co. says its offer to buy Europe's Unilever was rejected, but it's still pursuing the deal.

Monticello Bootcamp teaches entrepreneurial essentials

MONTICELLO — About two years ago, Samantha Koon loved the idea of opening a wine bar.

She still does, but the Monticello businesswoman has since launched a gourmet meal delivery service (Gourmet to Go), and soon will open a boarding house (Zybell House) and home decor and gift shop (Monticello Mercantile).

Athena Young Professional Award winner 'loves to brag' about county

CHAMPAIGN — Athena Young Professional Award recipient Carly McCrory "loves to brag" about Champaign County, and as a cancer survivor is heavily involved in volunteering.

McCrory, 28, will be presented the award today at the Champaign Country Club.

Baked chips, diet sodas 'guilt-free'? Pepsi thinks so

NEW YORK (AP) — What do Baked Lay's potato chips, Simply Tostitos chips and Diet Mountain Dew have in common? They're all "guilt-free," according to how PepsiCo categorizes them.

Retail sales rise in January, led by gas, restaurants

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans increased their spending at gasoline stations and restaurants in January, boosting retail sales even though auto buying fell.

Retail sales rose a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent, down from a solid 1 percent gain in December, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

Sears may sell land, cut jobs to save $1 billion a year

NEW YORK (AP) — Sears may sell more locations, cut more jobs and put more of its famous brands on the block as part of its latest plan to revive the faltering retail chain.