General Motors' pivot to become an all-electric vehicle company by 2035 is starting to take shape as the automaker prepares to release two Chevrolet Bolt models this summer ahead of a flagship $113,000 GMC Hummer EV pickup later in the year, CNBC reports. The all-electric Bolts - a redesigned hatchback and a new crossover - will both start at under $34,000.

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    The number of brands selling and advertising via Amazon has sharply risen since the outbreak of COVID-19, and other e-marketplaces are also growing. According to Brands, Amazon, and the Rise of E-Marketplaces, a new study of more than 1,000 brands from Feedvisor and Zogby Analytics, 78% of respondents are currently selling on Amazon, up from 55% in 2020.

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    Target will unveil an expanded selection of iPads, iPhones and other Apple devices in special sections in 17 stores starting this month, with plans to roll out the enhanced Apple-branded sections to more locations later on. The new experience has debuted on Target's e-commerce site and the in-store shops will be staffed by Apple-trained employees…

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    The Food and Drug Administration's staff endorsed Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, a critical step in bringing a third shot to the U.S. marketplace. The staff report released yesterday is meant to brief the FDA's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, which will meet tomorrow to review J&J's request for emergency use authorization.

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    The Cherokee Nation wants Jeep to find a new name for its best-selling Cherokee brand autos. "I think we're in a day and age in this country where it's time for both corporations and team sports to retire the use of Native American names, images and mascots from their products, team jerseys and sports in general," Chuck Hoskin Jr., principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, said in a statement.

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    Crafts retailer Joann said it has gained 8 million new customers during the pandemic and grew revenue 24.3% in the first three quarters of 2020, according to regulatory filings. The retailer's efforts to modernize and build a digital presence to court younger consumers began even before the outbreak, and they paid off last year as loyal customers shifted their shopping online and new patrons seeking fabric to make masks found other reasons to return...

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    Sonic Automotive's specialty pre-owned vehicle brand now stretches into the nation's most densely populated region - the Northeast. Last week the company announced the expansion of the EchoPark Automotive network with the addition of Used Car King in the New York markets of Cicero and Cortland. 

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    Walmart's Q4 earnings missed Wall Street's expectations as it tries to turn pandemic gains into sustained momentum and higher profitability. The big-box retailer's e-commerce sales in the U.S. grew by 69% and its same-store sales in the U.S. grew by 8.6%. CEO Doug McMillon said it will boost the wage of U.S. workers, raising the average for hourly employees to above $15 per hour…

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    Amazon has apparently changed its mind about selling multichannel services for small and medium businesses, an area it abandoned more than five years ago. The online retail giant has acquired Australian small-business platform Selz in an apparent effort to take on Shopify. Nothing will change for merchants using the Selz platform, or for their customers, Amazon says...

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    Walmart has temporarily shuttered 415 namesake and Sam's Club stores across Texas and in nine other states because of snowstorms and sub-freezing temperatures that have made travel dangerous. The retailer has created an interactive map to show shoppers which stores are up and running...

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    Jaguar Land Rover's luxury Jaguar brand will be entirely electric by 2025 and the carmaker will launch e-models of its entire lineup by 2030, it said yesterday, as it joined a global race to develop zero-emission vehicles. JLR, owned by India's Tata Motors, said its Land Rover brand will launch six pure electric models over the next five years, with the first one coming in 2024...

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    The Walmart+ paid membership program, launched five months ago, has already attracted between 7 and 8 million shoppers on Walmart.com, a study by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners shows. The report revealed that roughly a quarter of people who ordered groceries online at Walmart.com were members of the new program...

    General Motors yesterday reported fourth-quarter earnings that easily beat Wall Street expectations, but the company warned that a global semiconductor chip shortage could cut its earnings by $2 billion this year. Automakers and parts suppliers began warning of the shortage late last year after demand for vehicles rebounded more strongly than expected following a two-month shutdown of production plants due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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    The 56 Super Bowl LV advertisers generated 6.31 billion TV impressions, 26 million earned online views and 63.95 billion social impressions, according to Ad Age research conducted with iSpot.tv. Mountain Dew captured the largest “share of voice” (21.78%) with John Cena urging viewers to send tweets guessing the number of bottles shown in the ad, while Amazon Echo garnered (13.95%) for its humorous spot.

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    Target has another $1 billion brand in its All in Motion activewear line. All in Motion, which has gotten a boost as Target's customers have spent more time at home during the novel coronavirus pandemic, is the latest success in Target's exclusive brand strategy…

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    Nordstrom says it will phase out its HauteLook flash sales business and transfer that function to its off-price Nordstrom Rack business. The department store retailer also forecast sales growth of 25% over the next fiscal year compared to the current one. It expects to maintain low single digit annual growth thereafter...

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    Robinhood, the trading app at the center of the stock market frenzy around GameStop, will air its first Super Bowl commercial, even as it deals with the fallout surrounding the controversy. The company will use the Big Game to lean into its mission of democratizing trading, even as that is being called into question.

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    Daimler AG will split up into the world's largest makers of luxury cars and commercial vehicles, renaming itself Mercedes-Benz and listing its truck unit separately by year-end, Bloomberg reports. The plan to distribute a majority of Daimler Truck to shareholders is the German manufacturer's most significant shake-up since the sale of Chrysler almost 14 years ago...

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    Jeff Bezos is stepping down from the helm of the company he founded in 1994. Amazon announced that Bezos will transition from CEO to the role of executive chair in Q3. He will be succeeded by Andy Jassy, the CEO of Amazon Web Services, the company's fast-growing cloud computing business…

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    A second grocery division of Ahold Delhaize USA is partnering with leading CPG provider Procter & Gamble (P&G) to aid consumers hosting at-home Super Bowl celebrations. Mid-Atlantic grocer Giant Food is following in the footsteps of sister Ahold Delhaize USA brand Stop & Shop in collaborating with P&G to launch a dedicated "homegating" page with exclusive recipes, shopping lists and videos on its e-commerce site.

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    Fantasy sports operator DraftKings will make its first foray into the Big Game. DraftKings will air two 15-second commercials in the second and third quarters of Super Bowl LV, offering viewers a chance to enter a free pool to make predictions on fourth-quarter action to give them a taste of the DraftKings experience, says Matt Kalish, co-founder and president of the company…

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    Walmart will spend $800 million to build two e-commerce facilities outside Dallas in Lancaster, Texas, that are expected to create more than 1,300 new positions, according to economic development documents. Walmart previously announced plans to create automated fulfillment centers for online grocery orders at stores in Lewisville and Plano, which are also in the Dallas-Fort Worth area…

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    UPS has sold UPS Freight, a trucking subsidiary that mostly hauls industrial cargo, to Canadian company TFI International for $800 million. Industry observers say UPS Freight never fit well with the company's core package shipping business.

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    For the first time in 37 years, Anheuser-Busch InBev will not advertise its iconic Budweiser brand during the Super Bowl, and said it will instead reallocate the money it would have spent on a commercial to the Ad Council's coronavirus vaccine public education campaign, Ad Age reports.

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    DoorDash is set to make its Super Bowl commercial debut on the biggest day for advertising - which also happens to be a major day for food delivery. The campaign, called "The Neighborhood," features actor Daveed Diggs, paired with Sesame Street's Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Grover and Rosita, in a fresh take on the children's TV show's "People in your Neighborhood" song, directed by Michel Gondry for The Martin Agency.

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    The merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA Group into Stellantis has brought struggling Alfa Romeo a new CEO and a promise that the new group will "find a way to help the brand grow." Alfa Romeo has failed to reach growth targets in a series of turnaround plans under Fiat and FCA. PSA veteran Jean-Philippe Imparato now takes over at Alfa Romeo after a successful run as head of the Peugeot brand…

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    Procter & Gamble sales surged in the most recent quarter, fueled in part by demand for high-end household products from pricey dish soap to a $300 electric toothbrush. Despite a tough economic picture and high unemployment, the maker of Gillette razors and Pampers diapers said consumers are increasingly willing to pay more for products.

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    Kroger has deployed "KroGO" smart shopping carts at a store near its Cincinnati headquarters. The equipment is equipped with a scanner and video screen to help customers check out their purchases without having to stand in a checkout line. The grocer is offering a 5% discount on its store brands for customers who shop using the smart cart technology...

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    Macy's has opened a second small format store in Texas. It is part of a new retail strategy that presents an edited assortment since stores are small and require careful curation. Stores in this smaller format are usually in strip-centers that have easy parking access...

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    Next week customers can convert their reservations into orders for Ford Motor's forthcoming, hotly-anticipated full-size Bronco. The automaker said yesterday that order banks for the 2021 model year Bronco - which returns a quarter-century after it was discontinued - will open Wednesday for reservation holders at their selected auto dealer.

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    As more people turned to gardening during the pandemic, Scotts Miracle-Gro is embracing the increased interest in lawn care with plans to air its first Super Bowl commercial. The mantra of the campaign is "keep growing," and the 30-second spot created with agency VaynerMedia will reflect on what the outdoors means for people during the pandemic, from grilling, to a space to work out, an area to work remotely or for kids to do virtual schooling…

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    General Motors shares jumped yesterday to their highest level since the company's post-bankruptcy IPO in 2010, as the automaker announced its entry into the growing electric delivery vehicle business. Chief Executive Mary Barra outlined plans for GM's first BrightDrop commercial vans to be delivered to FedEx later this year.

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    Disney is the No. 1 company to watch in the first quarter of 2021, according to a new report from MediaRadar that lists the top 10 companies poised to make a "big impact" based on investment and buying strategies. Disney, MediaRadar says, is projected to spend more than $700 million on TV for the year, including more than $452 million on cable and $250 million on broadcast.

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    Burger King introduced a new look last week, marking the fast-food franchise's first rebrand in more than 20 years. The quick-serve restaurant giant's updated aesthetic includes changes to its menu, décor and signage, social media assets and employee uniforms. The visuals are bolder and recall the retro designs of the 1970s and 1980s.

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    The pandemic has pushed auto manufacturers and dealers to rethink how customers shop, affirming the importance of virtual platforms like General Motors' new Chevy MyWay live vehicle tour, The Detroit News reports. The platform, launched this week in test mode, gives customers one-on-one access to live tours of the Chevrolet lineup with product specialists.

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    Walgreens Boots Alliance has agreed to sell its pharmaceutical wholesale business to AmerisourceBergen in a $6.5 billion cash and stock deal. Walgreens has said that it will use the proceeds to invest in its retail operations…

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    More than 650 General Motors temporary employees and nearly 400 Ford Motor employees will become permanent full-time employees this month, the automakers said. GM and Ford both have agreements with the United Auto Workers to convert temporary employees to permanent positions so they can reach top wages and benefits like others have on the line.

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    Ford Motor launched a campaign for its new F-150 during the college football playoff games this past weekend. Demand for the pickup truck is far exceeding supply, according to the Detroit Free Press. This new model is the first complete redesign of the F-150 since the 2015 model year. The creative from Wieden+Kennedy pivots from "truck category norms" of "pure truck brawn" to focus on the people behind the trucks, and how the F-150 is a one-size-fits-all model for many American lifestyles.

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    The 2021 Ford Bronco off-road-focused SUV's arrival is being delayed a few months due to coronavirus-related supplier delays, Ford tells Car and Driver. It was originally scheduled for a spring 2021 launch, but now the two- and four-door models won't arrive until the end of the summer, and the Sasquatch version with the manual transmission will be even later. Ford did not disclose which suppliers are experiencing COVID-19-related issues.

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    In a tough year for the car business, Hyundai Motor Group picked up momentum in 2020, aided by a slate of new sport-utility vehicles that have resonated with American buyers. The Wall Street Journal says the South Korean automaker expanded its U.S. market share more than any other major auto manufacturer through November and held retail sales steady during the period.

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    Target is selling a high-end skincare and beauty retailer it acquired in 2013 to a fast-growing UK e-commerce company. THG Holdings, also known as The Hut Group, has agreed to acquire Dermstore.com for $350 million in cash. In a release, THG described Dermstore as the No. 1 U.S. pure-play online retailer of prestige skincare and specialty beauty brands.

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    Ford needs to install seat belts and conduct software checks on early-production F-150 pickups parked in lots around the Kansas City Assembly Plant, as well as thousands in lots around metro Detroit, while some dealers await deliveries of America's best-selling truck, Ford confirmed to the Detroit Free Press yesterday.

    Target is offering same-day pickup and delivery of packages through tomorrow, Christmas Eve. The discount giant is enabling customers to place online orders for free contactless in-store pickup and drive-up service until 5 PM tomorrow. Customers can also have online orders purchased and delivered the same day by a professional shopper via Target's Shipt platform...

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    Rent-A-Center will purchase online rent-to-own financing platform Acima Holdings in an agreement valued at upwards of $1.6 billion. Rent-A-Center, based in Plano, Texas, has 1,950 corporate-owned locations and 460 franchise stores worldwide that offer lease-to-own agreements on furniture, electronics and appliances...

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    Volkswagen is bracing for a major production disruption from a shortage of semiconductors. The world's largest automaker will need to adjust its first-quarter manufacturing plans around the globe because of the bottleneck, said VW, which didn't give specific figures. The number of cars affected could be in the low six-digit range, sources tell Bloomberg...

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    According to a new Ipsos E-commerce Experience Report, Walmart is best overall in holiday curbside service. Features such as designated parking and clear pickup instructions help the retailer top the list. Target ranks No. 1 in speed, while Nordstrom is best in contactless handoffs, and Kohl's is tops in having items in-stock and available to be picked up...

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    Ford is conducting final quality checks on thousands of early-production F-150 pickups that are stockpiled in lots around Detroit Metro Airport as dealers clamor for deliveries of America's best-selling truck. Ford factory employees at the Dearborn Truck Plant have been working to meet an insatiable demand for the 2021 F-150. That meant Ford had to build trucks while the prototypes were still being driven as test models.

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    Walmart's autonomous trucks from technology startup Gatik will start delivering goods to a Neighborhood Market store in Bentonville, Ark., without a safety driver on board. The retailer launched a test of the trucks with a human on board in 2019 and the vehicles have racked up more than 70,000 miles since…

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    General Motors is investing $76 million in two plants that make engines for the automaker's full-sized pickups. GM will invest $70 million in its Tonawanda Engine Plant near Buffalo, N.Y., and another $6 million in Parma Metal Center near Cleveland. These investments support continued strong demand for the full-size Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups.

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    Athletic apparel seller Vuori is dipping its toes in a new advertising realm with its first-ever TV commercials - an opportunity to spotlight its high-in-demand product category, as many consumers are gravitating toward activewear amid the pandemic, eMarketer reports...

    Starbucks offered an optimistic forecast at its biennial investor day. The coffee giant reaffirmed its forecast of adjusted earnings per share of $2.70 to $2.90 for fiscal 2021. By fiscal 2022, which will start in October 2021, Starbucks predicts growth of more than 20%. With nearly 33,000 stores around the world, Starbucks expects to reach a store count of about 55,000 units worldwide by 2030...