Ford Motor Co. executives say the upcoming battery-electric F-150 will be cheaper to operate and more powerful than the current gasoline-powered pickup, addressing two common concerns around electric vehicle ownership two years ahead of its debut.

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    After six months of slumped sales because of the coronavirus pandemic, Kohl's Corp. said it was reducing its corporate workforce by around 15%. The retailer has taken a hit during the pandemic that closed all of its more than 1,100 stores this spring. Net sales were down 32.8% in the six months ending Aug. 1, the company reported in its second-quarter filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission...

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    Walmart has launched Walmart+, a subscription that costs $98 annually, and offers free shipping, gas discounts and mobile checkout in stores. Walmart is looking to the new service to help it keep existing customers and bring in new ones that have the option of using other subscription services such as Amazon Prime.

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    Amazon will expand its global workforce by around 10% with the addition of 100,000 logistics and fulfillment center employees in the U.S. and Canada, the company said yesterday. Amazon also said it will open 100 more operations facilities this month...

    Demand for home goods is still on the up and up, based on the quarterly results published by home furnishings retailer RH. RH, formerly known as Restoration Hardware, posted a top- and bottom-line beat in its fiscal 2020 second-quarter report as the company capitalized on the stay-at-home environment, CEO Gary Friedman tells CNBC. "There's clearly, you know, a consumer shift that's happening and you know people are holed up at home," he said.

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    Walmart has launched a drone pilot program to test on-demand delivery of groceries and select household essential items in North Carolina, the state where the Wright brothers took flight with their powered aircraft in 1903. Tom Ward, SVP of customer product, wrote on a company blog that the retailer has begun testing drone deliveries in Fayetteville.

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    Home Depot says it will offer Black Friday deals for two months in the leadup to Christmas. The retailer said it would make use of its mobile app to give customers early peeks into its promotional deals. It also is collaborating with Pinterest to help customers with their DIY projects, including making gifts at home...

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    Peloton’s “connected fitness” subscriber numbers have topped 1 million in recent months, driving “a massive surge in sales,” according to CEO John Foley. The company is also introducing a less expensive bike and treadmill along with other newer, pricier models. The company is looking to offer more affordable options to make its products and services accessible to greater numbers of consumers…

    Burger King unveiled two futuristic restaurant designs that offer a “touchless” experience, complete with conveyor belts that deliver orders to customers. The new designs, which will debut in new restaurants opening next year in Miami, the Caribbean and Latin America, will feature dedicated mobile order and curbside pick-up areas, drive-in and walk-up order areas, an enhanced drive-thru experience, exterior dining spaces and sustainable design elements, including solar panels.

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    Walmart has posted a list of the “36 hottest toys” with expectations that the category will remain in heavy demand throughout the Christmas selling season. “Toys have really played a critical role in families over the last few months especially with everyone being at home a lot more,” said Erin Fish, Walmart merchandising director for girls fashion dolls.

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    Target is adding 600 new items to its Good & Gather grocery private label line, including frozen wood-fire pizza, jalapeno avocado hummus, honey vanilla butter and meatless burgers. The retailer first launched the brand last year as part of its effort to grow its grocery business...

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    Consumers already appear to be gearing up to get outside this winter, with the coronavirus shutting gyms and severely limiting indoor activities. Sales of bikes and boats have been strong in the spring and summer, but now shoppers are stocking up on flannel, fleece and boots to keep warm when temperatures drop, L.L. Bean CEO Stephen Smith tells CNBC.

    Amazon yesterday received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to operate its fleet of Prime Air delivery drones. The approval will give Amazon broad privileges to “safely and efficiently deliver packages to customers,” the FAA said. Amazon joins UPS and Alphabet-owned Wing, which previously won FAA approval for its drone delivery operations...

    Abercrombie & Fitch reported a surprise profit last week as the apparel retailer slashed costs and benefited from a surge in online orders during the COVID-19 pandemic, sending its shares up as much as 17%. The company has been ramping up investments in its online platforms to cushion the hit from coronavirus-induced restrictions. 

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    The apparel maker Gap Inc. pivoted its supply chain early on in the coronavirus pandemic to make face masks. And it is, quite literally, paying off. The company said yesterday when it reported quarterly earnings that it brought in $130 million in sales during the period from its face masks. That includes sales to individuals and in bulk to businesses. The city of New York, the state of California and Kaiser Permanente are some of its clients, the company said...

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    Dick’s Sporting Goods reported a 20.7% increase in same-store sales as consumers looked to purchase fitness and outdoor products while being forced to stay at home due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The retailer’s online business jumped 194% and earnings per share were up 155%, both quarterly improvement records over the same period in 2019...

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    Best Buy reported a 242% surge in second-quarter online sales as pandemic-driven work- and learn-from-home trends spurred demand for computers and other electronics. The retailer booked comparable online sales of $4.85 billion in the quarter, beating a record set last holiday season, and same-store sales grew 5% despite appointment-only rules that were in place at most stores for about half of the three-month period…

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    Non-essential retailers face challenges getting shoppers through their store doors so many are moving online to generate new sources of revenue. Shopify, an online platform that hosts e-commerce sites, reported a 71% increase in new merchants coming aboard in Q2…

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    The coronavirus pandemic is upending the way U.S. consumers shop and the holidays will be no exception as major retailers and shippers roll out their earliest-ever shopping season. Target, Best Buy and Kohl’s have moved winter holiday promotions up to as early as October.

    Toys R Us has ended its e-commerce partnership with Target and items on the site will now be directed to Amazon. Since reorganizing, Toys R Us has made its website a resource featuring family activities and product reviews for parents. Meanwhile: Amazon has continued hiring during the pandemic and is making plans for staffers to return to their offices rather than work from home indefinitely. The e-commerce giant now employs more than 600,000 people in the U.S., and the company is adding new hires in both corporate and hourly positions… 

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    Target posted a 24.3% gain in same-store sales as digital comps skyrocketed 195% and physical locations posted a 10.9% gain. Sales of same-day services, including Shipt deliveries and in-store and drive-up pickup, grew 273%. “I think one of the biggest changes we saw from [Q1 to Q2] is the return to guest shopping in our physical stores and the exceptional growth we saw in in-store shopping in an environment where many Americans were turning to digital to fulfill their needs,” said CEO Brian Cornell

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    Home Depot said yesterday its quarterly sales soared 23% as consumers stuck in the house during the coronavirus pandemic built decks, painted their walls and tackled other repairs, handily beating investor expectations. The retailer also topped Wall Street’s forecasts for earnings per share and revenue.

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    Ford Motor is slashing prices on the 2021 Explorer crossover by more than $3,000 on certain trims and repackaging some content in a bid to bolster its frontrunner status in the large crossover segment. The base Explorer will cost $33,470 for the 2021 model year, including shipping, a $540 decrease from the 2020 model. The XLT will start at $35,245, a nearly $3,000 price cut.

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    Clothing subscription company Rent the Runway says it’s shutting down all of its stores for good. The company says it is making the decision to focus its investments on digital and adding more drop boxes for customers. Its New York City flagship will be turned into a permanent drop-off site, while stores in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. are shuttered.

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    Amazon’s percentage of shoppers’ dollars has grown compared with Walmart since the pandemic drove consumers away from brick-and-mortar retail to online shopping, according to Facteus. Shoppers on Amazon are also reportedly spending more time browsing the wide variety of products available on the site, including huge stuffed panthers and coffin-shaped shelves…

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    Circle K is opening what’s believed to be the world’s first convenience store retrofitted with AI technology for autonomous checkout in Tempe, Ariz., the company says. The chain is partnering with San Francisco-based Standard to equip the location with 80 to 100 ceiling cameras that record which products customers who sign in with the app take off the shelves...

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    According to the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Pharmacy Study, the expansion of pharmacy companies into the primary care realm has driven “significant increases in both satisfaction and consumer spending.” In recent years, pharmacy giants like CVS Health have aggressively expanded into the health delivery space as they pursued insurance partnerships.

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    Mall operator Simon Property Group is exploring having Amazon turn former department store anchor spaces into distribution hubs, according to sources. Specifically, Amazon is reportedly eyeing spaces used by J.C. Penney and Sears

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    A group of lenders steering J.C. Penney’s bankruptcy process is asking potential buyers of the retail chain to increase their bids after a round of offers in July was seen as too low, Bloomberg reports. The lenders are pushing for offers closer to the approximately $2.2 billion of J.C. Penney’s debt they hold, the people said, asking not to be named because the deals are private.

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    In August, Dick’s will open 11 new locations in various formats across nine states, according to a press release, adding to the sporting goods retailer’s 726 existing stores. Four will be Dick’s Sporting Goods stores, one a combination Dick’s and Golf Galaxy location, five will be Dick’s Sporting Goods Warehouse Sale stores and one will be in the Overtime by Dick’s Sporting Goods format…

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    The CEO of Clorox estimates that the company may not be able to fully meet demand for its wipes until sometime next year. The reason is perhaps not what you would expect. Apparently, the company is having trouble finding an adequate supply of the material it needs to make the wipes because it is also used in the manufacture of face masks, medical gowns and medical-grade wipes...

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    The Home Depot plans to open three new distribution centers within the next year and a half in metropolitan Atlanta, part of a five-year, $1.2 billion investment in supply chain facilities to meet rising demands from e-commerce. The home improvement retailer is striving to provide 90% of the U.S. population with same-day and next-day delivery, up from 50% currently...

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    J.C. Penney needs to reach a deal with a buyer or buyers within days to file court papers and comply with a directive from U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David Jones to speed up its restructuring plan, Reuters reports. The department store retailer, which had been losing money for years as it struggled to keep up with a crushing debt load, was forced to file for Chapter 11 protection when it temporarily closes all 846 of its stores due to the COVID-19 outbreak...

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    Amazon.com posted the biggest profits in its history as online sales jumped during the pandemic. The e-tailing and tech giant reported a 40% increase in year-over-year sales in Q2 and posted $5.2 billion in net income despite expecting to spend nearly $4 billion on COVID-19-related expenses.

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    Soda giant Coca-Cola is poised to enter the alcohol market in the U.S. with a new hard seltzer under its Topo Chico brand, which to this point has only been available as a non-alcoholic sparkling water. Topo Chico Hard Seltzer will debut in some Latin American cities this year and hit the U.S. in 2021, the company confirmed to Ad Age.

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    Employees at Walmart’s 5,000 stores across the U.S. can now use a voice assistant app dubbed “Ask Sam” to locate products, look up prices, receive real-time alerts and more. The app, which was developed by Sam’s Club last year, “was designed as an additional way to help associates find the answers they need to do their jobs more effectively and better serve customers,” Meng Chee, Walmart’s executive vice president and chief product officer, said in a statement…

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    Authentic Brands, along with Simon Property Group and Brookfield, are considering making a bid for Ascena Group, the parent company of Ann Taylor, Lane Bryant and other retailers. Sycamore Partners, a private equity firm that has invested in Aeropostale, Hot Topic, Staples and others, is also reportedly eyeing an acquisition of Ascena…

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    Target will follow Walmart in closing its doors on Thanksgiving Day, it announced yesterday. It said it would do so in order to make holiday shopping as safe and stress-free as possible amid the coronavirus pandemic. Target also announced it would start rolling out holiday deals in October to prevent the large crowds that typically mark the end-of-year shopping season. Holiday discounts will be available both online and in stores…

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    Neiman Marcus, which hailed its new stores in New York City’s Hudson Yards mall as the epitome of luxury experiential retailing, is abandoning the location after just over a year. The department store retailer is going through bankruptcy proceedings and listed the Manhattan property along with two in Florida and one in Washington state as casualties in its attempt to get its financial house in order…

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    Coca-Cola’s revenue plunged 28% to $7.2 billion in Q2 from a year earlier, but the beverage giant plans to ramp up marketing in the second half as the easing of pandemic lockdowns worldwide helps to boost out-of-home sales. The company will focus on increased marketing effectiveness and efficiency, including a “more robust, end-to-end digital strategy,” per its earnings presentation.

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    Amazon has begun testing its Scout delivery robot in two more U.S. markets after launching pilots in Irvine, Calif., and Snohomish County, Wash., last year. Robots deployed in Franklin, Tenn., and Atlanta will make deliveries on weekdays to select customers and will be accompanied by human employees...

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    Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen are warning that a swirling legal dispute between two South Korean battery suppliers could threaten their plans to start producing electric vehicles in the U.S. The dispute between SK Innovation Co. and LG Chem Ltd. could undermine Ford’s intention to make an electric version of the F-150 in Michigan from 2022 and VW’s efforts to build battery-powered cars in Tennessee the same year…

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    In what’s described as an “industry first,” consumers can now fill their online Walmart shopping cart directly from their email. Verizon Media has announced the launch of Groceries from Walmart, a program that allows Yahoo Mail users to browse, add to cart, and buy essential groceries from Walmart right within Yahoo Mail.

    Walgreens has teamed up with DoorDash to offer on-demand delivery in Chicago, Atlanta and Denver, with plans to expand the service to other markets soon. Through the service, customers can purchase more than 2,300 items, with more than 5,000 items to become available by the end of summer…

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    Amazon swept past Comcast to become top U.S. spender in the Ad Age Leading National Advertisers report and ranking, released this week — and the omnipotent, omnipresent retailer could displace Procter & Gamble as top global spender when Ad Age ranks the World’s Largest Advertisers later this year.

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    Best Buy is requiring shoppers to wear face masks if they wish to shop in its stores across the country, even in locations where governmental mandates are not in place. “Although the risk of infection cannot be completely eliminated as long as there is community spread of COVID-19, we’re grateful to our customers and employees for working together to do what we can to keep us all safe,” Best Buy said in a company blog post...

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    Amazon is testing its new Dash Cart, which uses computer vision technology, to track items shoppers place in their carts and enable them to pay while avoiding the regular checkout. The company plans to launch the technology at its new Amazon (not Whole Foods) store opening in Woodland Hills, Calif., later this year…

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    Walmart has moved its Open Call event to a virtual format this year because of continuing concerns about the pandemic. The seventh annual event, which gives entrepreneurs a chance to pitch their products to the retailer, will now feature virtual one-on-one meetings as well as other online events to help small businesses and find new suppliers…

    ALDI will bring a curbside pickup option to nearly 600 locations in 35 states after a successful trial program. “Our curbside grocery pickup pilot was quickly embraced by our customers and demand for this service has continued to increase,” said ALDI U.S. CEO Jason Hart

    Fresh Thyme Farmers Market has teamed up with Shipt to launch same-day grocery delivery in 30 metro areas across the Midwest, adding the service to the on-demand delivery already provided through Instacart. In Michigan, Shipt also will offer same-day delivery of beer and wine purchased from Fresh Thyme in Detroit, Lansing, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo…

    Uber plans to start grocery delivery services in the U.S., Canada and Latin America, leveraging its October purchase of the Chilean startup Cornershop. Uber, which also bought the food delivery service Postmates this week, said customers will soon be able to use the Uber and Uber Eats apps to order groceries, which will be delivered by Cornershop’s personal shoppers...