Rantoul looking at increasing sales tax

RANTOUL — The village board is studying possibly raising the sales tax by a quarter of a cent. It would generate about $224,000 annually and would bring Rantoul in line with Champaign's 9 percent sales tax.

It would not affect the sale of groceries, prescription drugs or licensed vehicles.

Rich Warren: Presenting some gift advice

'Tis better to give than to receive. Yet, what if what you give already was received, or perhaps not ideal for the recipient? Most storefront retailers and some online sellers are tightening the screws on returns, even for gifts. When purchasing an electronic gift or something for yourself, be very sure to document a merchant's return policies.

It's Your Business: Guitar Center comes to Champaign

Guitar Center, which has more than 200 stores across the country, plans to open a Champaign store in February.

The store will be at 712 W. Town Center Blvd. — the former location of Dress Barn, which moved to Market Place Plaza at 1901 N. Market St., C.

IYB sneak peek: New shop strikes a chord

Guitar Center, which has more than 200 stores across the country, plans to open a Champaign store in February.

Early shoppers out seeking deals

CHAMPAIGN — As Amy Schaffer pushed her shopping cart around Meijer in Champaign on Thursday, she kept one eye peeled for pre-Black Friday bargains, the other for anyone who might recognize her.

When a familiar face walked by, the Fisher woman felt a twinge of panic, then ducked behind the purple bean bag chair stuffed in her cart.

Rich Warren: Don't get left out in cold finding a great deal

Perhaps you're reading this standing in line waiting for the doors to open for so-called Black Friday, even if you gave up Thanksgiving dinner as have many of the employees who must work to serve you. How many bargains await you? Pathetically few. Black Friday represents the ultimate in bait-and-switch in consumer electronics.

Main route to shopping includes prospect for crashes

CHAMPAIGN — Ask almost any person familiar with shopping in north Champaign and they'll tell you they love the mix of stores on North Prospect Avenue.

But the traffic? Not so much.

Once you cross Bloomington Road to go north over the Interstate 74 overpass, you're immediately aware of heavier traffic. And with that increase comes accidents.

Sears space to be demolished at Market Place

CHAMPAIGN — The former Sears store at Market Place Shopping Center is likely to be torn down early next year to make way for a new development.

Champaign Market Place LLC on Tuesday applied for a demolition permit from the city of Champaign for the nearly 160,000-square-foot building that anchors the east end of the mall.

Retailers vary on opening for Thanksgiving

Editor's note: The time for Gordman's has been changed to reflect new information from the company.

CHAMPAIGN — Many of the nation's biggest retailers will open their doors at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. But a few stores will open early that morning, while others plan to treat Thanksgiving as a holiday and wait till Friday to open.

Will you or won't you shop early?

Thanksgiving comes but once a year, but before the day is even finished, many of us have moved on to Christmas.

The pilgrims would turn over in their graves.