• iStock/Thinkstock(ST. LOUIS) -- Seven people were arrested Friday at a Missouri mall after nearly 100 protesters disrupted Black Friday shopping, according to local media.Galleria Mall, located near St. Louis, was forced to close because of the protests, mall security told ABC News.Protesters entered the mall around 1:15 p.m. local time and help their fists up, chanting "No justice, no profit," an eyewitness told ABC News.They walked through the mall corridors and entered several stores, including a Dillard's. The protests lasted nearly two hours.Bruce Franks Jr., a Missouri state representative, was one of the people arrested, according to his legislative assistant, Danielle Spradley.The eyewitness said the protests were peaceful until the arrests happened.“Right at the end of the group, police grabbed people. People ran back to try to help, and the police started throwing them down. It got real ugly,” the witness said.Earlier this month, African-American clergy members and activists announced a boycott of the Galleria Mall and other business in St. Louis. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the protests were in response to police treatment of blacks, bank loan practices and infrastructure neglect in parts of St. Louis.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- During the peak of Black Friday shopping madness, a glitch in Macy's credit card system caused registers at the retailer's stores to stop working.At the Macy's in downtown Chicago, one salesclerk had to enter credit card numbers manually. Most purchases, appeared to go smoothly, however, and lines at the registers did not appear to have more than five to six people queued."It is taking longer than usual to process some credit and gift cards in our stores, but we have added additional associates to the floor [who] are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible," said Andrea Schwartz, vice president of media relations for Macy's.The cause of the issue was not immediately clear and it was not known how long the problem would last. Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(PALM BEACH, Fla.) -- When President Trump arrived at his Florida estate for the Thanksgiving holiday, his return was not welcome news for some local business owners and community members.The reason for many is not political, or even personal. It’s business.For Iftach Shimonovitc, who makes a living offering helicopter sightseeing tours in Palm Beach, Florida, every day the president is in town can mean upwards of a thousand dollars in lost revenue.“The problem is, when the president comes in town, we can’t fly. They issue a flight restriction to the area and we cannot do any sightseeing operations,” Shimonovitc, owner of Southern Helicopters, told ABC News in an interview.The Palm Beach County Park Airport, where Shimonovitc’s business is based, is located close enough to Mar-a-Lago that the airport falls within the no-fly zone that is imposed as part of the president’s security apparatus. As a result, all operations at the small airport are strictly grounded as soon as Air Force One descends.“Just today alone, I probably had calls from three people who wanted to come in today and unfortunately we just have to explain to them that we cannot fly,” Shimonovitc said. “It is frustrating.”Even though Shimonovitc voted for the president in the 2016 election and remains a fan, that vote has the potential to cost him his livelihood.“Eventually if [he visits] often enough, it could put us under,” said Shimonovitc, who said he hopes the president won’t visit the Palm Beach community as much this winter as he did last season.Shimonovitc said the airport and some organizations are working with the Secret Service and the Federal Aviation Administration to reach a deal that would make allowances for limited operations out of the airport during the president’s visits. But as of now, he said, he’s seen no signs of success.Neither the Secret Service nor the FAA responded immediately to ABC News' requests for comment.While the paralyzing effect of the president’s visits on Shimonovitc’s business is an extreme case, other business owners are closely watching what the president’s trips mean for their pocketbooks.Palm Beach resident and Jeff Greene is withholding judgment on whether the president’s visits are a positive or negative for the local economy as the busy season for the Florida vacation community starts to heat up.“It’s hard to say, we’re still early in the season,” Greene said. “I think that Donald Trump as president shines a bright, bright light on Palm Beach and I think that will put us on the map.”Greene owns the Tideline Ocean Resort and Spa just down the road from Mar-a-Lago. While the president’s visits may be a turnoff for some of his potential clients, it has been a draw for others, he said.“If you’re coming to Palm Beach and you want to be off beaten track and away from all of this commotion, it helps our hotel,” Greene said. “If on the other hand you want to shop on Worth Avenue and go to all the restaurants in town, it’s a little bit harder.”A major inconvenience for locals when the president arrives is the closure of South Ocean Boulevard -- one of the major roads on the island. Driving from one end of the island to the other means crossing over a bridge to West Palm Beach, driving along the water, and then crossing another bridge to get back to the island.But Greene, who is also a member of the president’s Mar-a-Lago club and describes the president as a friend and neighbor, downplayed the severity of the problem.“It’s a bit of an inconvenience, but most of the time it’s not that huge a problem,” Greene said of the street closure.In addition to the road closures, the community now has become accustomed to a heavy police presence around the president’s property, complete with a watch
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Hoards of shoppers will be on the hunt for the best deals of the year on Black Friday.But Black Friday may not be the shopping extravaganza it once was, according to several retail insiders."The reality is that promotions are meant to stimulate demand, but [retailers] are not seeing the blitz they want to see," said Farla Efros, a retail industry analyst and president of HRC Retail Advisory, a consulting firm. "Black Friday really starts around back-to-school."About 154 million people shopped last year during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, according to data published by the National Retail Federation (NRF). Forty percent of shoppers made in-store purchases compared to 44 percent of those who bought online.The NRF estimates that roughly 69 percent of Americans, or 164 million people, will be shopping the sales this holiday weekend, which includes Cyber Monday.Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at the NPD Group, a market research firm, told ABC News that online shopping has changed how consumers look at Black Friday. The best deals of the year are no longer exclusive to Black Friday, he pointed out.Online shopping has edged out in-store shopping, 51 percent to 42 percent, for this holiday season, according to Deloitte's 2017 Holiday Predictions data.Marketing expert Dave Mastovich said retailers now have access to detailed information on their customers, allowing them to target customers ahead of the holiday shopping season. As for Black Friday, he acknowledged that change was inevitable, but said people still loved the tradition of it.Paula Rosenblum, a retail industry analyst and partner with RSR Research, said Black Friday has lost some of its luster because of the "heinous" shopping experience.It has become a "race to the bottom" for retailers, she said.Rosenblum believes Black Friday will become a better experience for shoppers once the focus shifts to an enjoyable shopping environment instead of what products are being offered at the lowest prices."The next generation is focused on experiences. We know that we can often find the best prices [on products] online," she explained.Moreover, unconventional gift giving will become more of the norm, according to NPD's 2017 holiday report. This includes experiences like spa treatments and concert tickets.Forty-one percent of respondents in NPD's research survey said they would rather plan an outing with their family than exchange gifts this season.This trend means retailers will need to re-think their long-term strategies."If retailers don’t take a longer-term view, I think [Black Friday] could be noise like everything else," said Efros.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- If being home for the holidays has you in need of a getaway, it's time to book a vacation. Hotels and resorts are offering Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, but not all deals are created equal.We've rounded up some of the best travel deals for the busy shopping days ahead. The criteria: at least 50 percent off and a minimum of restrictions.Black Friday:Generations Riviera Maya
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  • O'Naturel(PARIS) -- Paris may have a reputation as a fashion capital, but one of its newest restaurants asks guests to leave their clothes at the door.O'Naturel, which began taking reservations earlier this month, bills itself the city's first naturist cafe, welcoming nudist diners in the 12th arrondissement of Paris.“When you enter the restaurant, there is a locker room where you must leave your clothes,” Yves Leclerc, the president of the French Naturist Federation, told ABC News.Leclerc said he and other members of the federation dined at O’Naturel last week.“It feels like we are about to jump into a swimming pool. But in fact, we are preparing for dinner,” Leclerc said.”It’s a little surreal to eat naked in the middle of Paris,” he added.A list of rules is presented at the entrance of the restaurant informing diners of the code of conduct. Mobile phones and cameras are prohibited in the dining room, and exhibitionism and disrespectful sexual behaviors are not tolerated. The chair covers are changed between sittings for hygienic reasons. Because of French law, the restaurant's waiters and cooks have to be dressed.The menu is made up of typical French bistro fare with a choice of foie gras, lobster, snails, lamb or scallops. For 49 Euros ($58), diners can try three different courses.Leclerc believes that similar restaurants will open in the future as naturism grows in France.“I have lots of friends all over the country telling me that they will come to O’Naturel next time they visit Paris,” he said.More than 3.5 million people -- including 2 million foreign tourists -- practice naturism in France every year, according to the French Federation of Naturism, and the country is home to hundreds of beaches, campsites and holiday centers that welcome nudists.The restaurant is the first of its kind in Paris and was opened by two brothers, Stéphane and Mike Saada.“When you think about nudism, vacation comes to your mind,” Stéphane Saada told French newspaper Le Parisien. “Nudists can only enjoy their hobby during the summer. We want to offer them something all year long."The restaurant has 20 tables and is open for dinner by reservation only Tuesday to Saturday.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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