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Walmart to expand online grocery delivery to 100-plus cities

Walmart said Wednesday that it plans to expand its online grocery delivery option to more than 100 metro areas, up from its current six markets.

>> Read more trending news 

The giant retailer’s announcement will mean it is joining a fierce battle for customers in the growing market for grocery delivery, as the industry continues to be reshaped by e-commerce.

>> On 5 ways grocery stores will change in the next 4 years

The news comes days after Kroger shared that it was also dramatically expanding grocery delivery by working with a third-party delivery service, and Amazon said in February that it’s planning to bring two-hour delivery to Whole Foods across the U.S. this year.

Walmart said after it expands its online grocery delivery option that more than 40 percent of U.S. households will be able to buy groceries through the service.

>> On After Amazon’s Whole Foods purchase, grocery industry braces for change

“Ninety percent of Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart store, and we serve more than 150 million customers a week, which gives us a unique opportunity to make every day a little easier for busy families,” said Tom Ward, Walmart’s U.S. vice president of digital operations.

Walmart is already growing its grocery pickup option where the order is brought to the customer’s car, which is another trend in the industry also being used by its competitors. The option is in 1,200 stores with 1,000 more to be added this year.

Dairy Queen's ‘Free Cone Day’ promotion returns for first day of spring

After a brutal winter across many parts of the country, many will welcome the first day of spring March 20.

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Dairy Queen is once again marking the season change with its fourth annual Free Cone Day. Participating Dairy Queen locations will offer customers a free small vanilla soft-serve cone, while supplies last. 

In addition to free ice cream, Dairy Queen locations will be collecting donations for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Last year, Dairy Queen raised more than $300,000 in a single day, according to a company news release.

Report: Claire’s preparing to file for bankruptcy

Claire’s Stores Inc., a fashion accessories chain, will reportedly file for bankruptcy in the coming weeks.

>> Read more trending news 

A deal would pass control from Apollo Global Management to lenders including Monarch Alternative Capital and Elliott Capital Management, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. The move could help with Claire’s $2 billion debt load, Dayton Daily News reported.

Apollo paid more than $3 billion to acquire Claire’s from Rowland Schaefer, and began expanding the business, adding about 350 stores between 2010 and 2013, Dayton Daily News reported.

Walmart to expand new meal kit service

Last fall, Walmart started offering meal kits from third-party brands. Now it’s ready to take the trend into its own hands.

The major retailer announced Monday that it will be selling its own affordable preportioned meal kits with recipes developed by its Culinary and Innovation Center.

The meal kits, which will be available in more than 2,000 of its stores over the course of this year, work the same way as the pricier Blue Apron, HelloFresh and other meal subscription services.

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Walmart’s kits, which include meals such as steak dijon, basil garlic chicken, sweet chili chicken stir fry and pork Florentine, are designed to serve two and only cost $8-$15, according to the company.

Also up for grabs at Walmart stores: An assorted selection of meals, including chicken Alfredo, curry chicken and other entrees, ready to be heated up and on the table in less than 15 minutes. 

“Customers are busier than ever and we know getting a delicious dinner on the table can be a chore. We’re here to help,” Tyler Lehr, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of Walmart’s deli services, said in the news release. “These delicious meals give the best or worst of cooks a fresh, easy option for dinner tonight, or later this week.”

According to the release, also offers an assortment of meal delivery kits and other specialty food items, such as snack boxes and farm-fresh crates.

Oreo is giving away a million bars for National Oreo Day

Fans of Oreos can snag a free treat Tuesday, which is National Oreo Day.

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Oreo is giving away a million free Oreo chocolate candy bars. The first million to register on Oreo's website will receive a coupon for a free candy bar. The giveaway ends Monday, or after a million participants have been registered.

NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal is celebrating his birthday by promoting the Oreo giveaway.

The famous cookie was created by the National Biscuit Co. in 1912.

Lacoste temporarily replaces crocodile logo with endangered species

Fashion brand Lacoste’s iconic crocodile was replaced with rare reptiles, birds and mammals for a limited run of shirts to raise awareness of endangered species.

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During Paris Fashion Week, the French clothier teamed up with the International Union for Conservation of Nature for the “Save Our Species” collection. The line of 1,775 shirts was made up of Lacoste’s signature polos, each with one of 10 endangered animals taking the place of the brand’s crocodile.

The shirts have since sold out, CNN reported.

The polos featured the Gulf of California porpoise, the Burmese roofed turtle, the northern sportive lemur, the Javan rhino, the Cao-vit Gibbon, the kakapo, the California condor, the Saola, the Sumatran Tiger and the Anegada ground iguana in place of Lacoste’s crocodile.

The number of polos made with each endangered species on it corresponds to the number of animals still living in the wild, according to Lacoste. The Gulf of California porpoise, considered the most endangered marine mammal species still on Earth, was on 30 of the shirts. The Anegada ground iguana got the most polos, with a run of 450 shirts.

Best Buy to close all 257 mobile stores

In 2006, Best Buy began opening small “Best Buy Mobile” stores across the country, typically in shopping malls. A year later, the iPhone made its debut.

These stores specialized in the sale and service of cell phones and other small devices. At one time, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Best Buy operated more than 400 of these stores.

But now the Richfield, Minnesota-based retailer is closing all 257 of its remaining mobile stores. A memo was sent to employees Feb. 28, and the company notified the federal Securities and Exchange Commission.

>> Read more trending news

The company will close all of the mobile stores by May 31.

The company’s CEO Hubert Joly said on an earnings call that the stores were closing due to “changing economics in the mobile industry,” Dayton Daily News reported.

“Back then the mobile phone business was in a period of rapid growth and margins were high,” Joly said, according to the Dayton Daily News. “Fast forward to 2018 and the mobile phone business has matured, margins have compressed and the cost of operations in our stand-alone stores is higher than our big-box stores.”

All of the company’s “Best Buy Mobile” stores are in shopping malls and measure about 1,400 square feet. A regular Best Buy store covers about 40,000 square feet.

According to the Star Tribune, employees who work at the mobile stores will be offered severance. Joly also said the company will work to transfer as many employees as possible to nearby stores or to other roles.

Amazon considers offering checking account

Officials with e-commerce giant Amazon are in talks with big banks to build a checking account-like product, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

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The newspaper reported Monday that the Seattle-based company is working on a product that would appeal to younger customers and those without bank accounts. Among the companies Amazon officials are speaking with is JP Morgan Chase & Co., according to the newspaper.

People familiar with the matter, who were not identified, told The Wall Street Journal that the effort is still in its early stages and may not come to fruition.

Whatever its final form, the initiative wouldn't involve Amazon becoming a bank, the people added.

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Company working on bulletproof doors in wake of school shootings

A South Carolina company is trying a new way to protect against deadly school shootings.

>> Watch the news report here

R2P Innovations has been working on bulletproof doors for the past four years.

>> Walmart raising age to buy guns to 21 after Florida high school shooting

The doors are capable of withstanding assault rifles and high-power, military-grade weapons.

Tony Deering, the company's CEO, said the door would be a lasting contribution to school security.

>> Read more trending news 

“Some instances, the shooter was actually outside of the classroom shooting into the classrooms through the door,” Deering said about the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida. "That would have never occurred in an instance where a particular door solution was employed."

Each door costs roughly $4,000 and weighs 285 pounds.

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