Follow stories on Costco and big-box stores; Amazon and bookstores; Starbucks and food and beverage retailers; Nordstrom and department stores; REI, Nike, Blue Nile and Coinstar. Also covered are grocery stores (PCC, Safeway, QFC, Fred Meyer, Kroger, Haggen); consumer spending, restaurants, fast food, clothing, e-commerce, auto sales, hotels, airlines, sales tax, credit cards and Black Friday.

Pantone declares another year of blue

FILE — A model presents a look from the Balenciaga spring 2020 collection in Paris on Sept. 29, 2019. Pantone has declared Classic Blue its color of the year for 2020. (Valerio Mezzanotti/The New York Times) X

For the 21st consecutive year, Pantone has named a color of the year, a trend-forecasting stunt as closely watched by the news media as it is by the industries — marketing, fashion, design — that actually traffic in visual trends.

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Online shoppers boost small business sales

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Shoppers, many of them using smartphones, spent $3.6 billion buying online from small businesses on Saturday. Adobe Analytics, which tracks online...