Want some holiday shopping advice? Stay in your car with curbside Pickup at Sam’s Club

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Remember the days of wandering the mall and snacking on a huge pretzel from the food court while you casually browsed for gifts? Fast forward to 2020 and the goal for holiday shopping this season is to be safely tucked away, not touching things.  

So, why should you do curbside Pickup instead of Prime delivery or (gasp) your usual in-store shopping? Let us count the ways. 

Next time your roomie is gabbing your ear off, grab your phone and tackle your list on the Sam’s Club app. You can also buy just one thing, like a new pair of noise-canceling earbuds. You’ll still get free Pickup. 

Fill your virtual cart with a new for nana, a for your pops, and a for dinner, choose a pickup time, and then park it while the pros load the trunk.

Get in on a for $100 a year and curbside Pickup is always free. Even Basic members, who pay just $45 a year, can get free Pickup right now for a limited time. 

Pickup is from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day, but one of the perks of being a Plus member is that you get special curbside service starting at 7 a.m. Monday through Saturday. Early bird gets it every time. 

If you’re tethered to your desk all day, do your shopping while waiting for that video meeting to start. Then take your desk on the go as you fire off some emails while parked in the Sam’s Club Pickup spot. Ah, multitasking. 

If you’re used to two-day delivery schedules, then Sam’s Club Pickup will feel like warp speed. Some orders of 10 items or less can be picked up in a measly four hours.

If you’re still waiting for that hot pot you ordered weeks ago, Pickup delivers the goods straight to your car. Nothing’s lost in transit or ripe for package thieves. 

Want some holiday shopping advice? Stay in your car with curbside Pickup at Sam’s Club

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F-150 Pickup Sales Drop 46% as Ford Begins Launch of All-New Model

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) said that its U.S. sales fell 21% in November from a year ago, as F-150 pickup sales fell by nearly half amid tight supplies of the popular truck.

Ford said that its dealers’ inventories of the F-150 were low in November because of the lingering effects of coronavirus-related factory closures earlier in 2020 and because F-150 production was disrupted more recently as it retooled its factories to build the all-new 2021 F-150. 

A 2021 Ford F-150 pickup truck, shown towing a boat trailer.

Ford’s all-new 2021 F-150 looks similar to the outgoing model, but there are many changes under the skin. Image source: Ford Motor Company.

The first of those all-new F-150s began shipping to U.S. dealers in late November, Ford said. Sales of Ford’s larger Super Duty pickups, which are built in a separate factory, were up 7.5% in November from a year ago.

Ford’s sales were also dented by the discontinuation of most of its car models. U.S. Ford dealers have sold down most of their remaining sedan inventories, while supplies of the popular crossovers intended to replace them — the EcoSport, Escape, and Edge — remain tight due to high demand and the aforementioned factory shutdowns earlier in the year. 

As of the end of November, Ford had about 19,000 Fusion sedans remaining on U.S. dealer lots. Dealer supplies of the Fiesta, Focus, C-Max, and Taurus, all once stalwarts of the U.S. market, are now close to zero. 

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Podcast: Tesla Model S/X refresh rumors, TSLA to the moon, new electric pickup, and more

This week on the Electrek Podcast, we discuss the most popular news in the world of sustainable transport and energy, including new rumors of a Tesla Model S and Model X refresh, TSLA stock is going to the moon, a possible new electric pickup, and more.

Sponsored by Electrify America: Discover all the new and innovative ways that Electrify America is providing freedom for electric vehicle drivers at ElectrifyAmerica.com.

The Electrek Podcast is me, Fred Lambert, editor-in-chief of Electrek, and Seth Weintraub, founder and publisher of Electrek and the 9to5 network, discussing all our top stories of the week while taking questions from our readers and highlighting the most insightful comments on the site.

The show is back live every Friday at 4 p.m. ET on Electrek’s YouTube channel. As a reminder, we’ll have an accompanying post, like this one, on the site with an embedded link to the live stream. Head to the YouTube channel to get your questions and comments in.

After the show ends at around 5 p.m. ET, the video will be archived on YouTube and the audio on all your favorite podcast apps:

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Here are a few of the articles that we will discuss during the podcast today:

Here’s the live stream for today’s episode starting at 4 p.m. ET (or the video after 5 p.m. ET):

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Black Friday stores safety rules to keep shoppers safe: curbside pickup, masks

  • Several stores have added additional safety precautions ahead of the Black Friday shopping frenzy to protect both customers and employees.
  • We spoke to three experts to find out which precautions will actually help.
  • The experts agree that enforcing mask-wearing and social distancing are good, but mandates like reducing store hours may be unhelpful or detrimental.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Several big-name retail stores have added additional in-store safety precautions ahead of the

Black Friday
shopping frenzy, and we spoke to three experts to find out which precautions will actually help the most.

Major stores across the country have implemented a variety of safety mandates to keep shoppers and employees safe on the historically frenzied Black Friday shopping day as coronavirus cases continue to surge in the US. For example, some stores — including JCPenney and Lowe’s— are offering contactless curbside pick-up, and others —  such as Home Depot and  T.J. Maxx — are requiring face masks.

The three experts we spoke to all agree that contactless curbside pickup and mandating face mask-wearing — retail protocols that have become normalized since the beginning of the pandemic — are beneficial to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

“We have data that show that large congregations of people, especially indoors, will lead to an outbreak,” Dr. Jill Weatherhead, an assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine, told Business Insider in an interview. “These other strategies [besides mask wearing] are really coming off of the knowledge that if we reduce people being in close contact by doing these other extra steps, hopefully, we can reduce transmission if people choose to go into stores.”

Read more: REI gives its employees a paid day off on Black Friday, but hourly workers say that it’s a ‘marketing move’ and that the company has strayed from its co-op roots

Stephen Kissler, an infectious disease researcher at Harvard’s School of Public Health, thinks the most important action stores can do is limit the number of customers inside — a mandate Walmart recently reinstated — to decrease the chances of a superspreader event. Weatherhead notes that setting a cap on the number of in-store customers will be helpful as long as it doesn’t create crowds of people waiting in close contact outside the store.

Mitigating the possibility of overcrowded stores

Black Friday

Black Friday.

NurPhoto/Getty Images

Stores like Michaels and Nordstrom will also be limiting store hours. However, Dr. Stanley Perlman, a professor at the University of Iowa’s Carver College of Medicine, states this “may not be helpful if other rules are followed.”

Both Kissler and Weatherhead take this a step further by expressing their concern over the strategy, stating that it may instead “backfire,” according to Kissler. 

“If you have more limited store hours, will it then lead to more crowded stores when stores are open?” Weatherhead said. “It doesn’t seem like there would be a benefit to limiting store hours in terms of reducing viral transmission.”

Weatherhead and Kissler suggest that stores should instead take the opposite

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Small-business owners add curbside pickup, FaceTime virtual shopping, online sales to compete this holiday season

Watty Brooks Hall, owner of the Brooks Collection, plans to keep her iPhone charged and ready for more FaceTime calls this holiday season.

Her gift shop in Collierville, Tennessee, introduced virtual shopping for consumers who don’t feel comfortable coming inside but want to see the pottery, gifts and home goods up close. Hall plans to post more photos on Instagram and Facebook where engagement has been up since the pandemic.

Texas-based Stag Provisions is engaging more with shoppers on social media. It will stock more comfortable clothes such as T-shirts and sweatpants this holiday season as people spend a lot of time at home.

And Gibson’s Bookstore, New Hampshire’s oldest independent book shop, established in 1898, hopes to drive online sales with its new curbside pickup option.

Small retailers have had to get creative to keep the lights on after dealing with temporary closures and restrictions amid coronavirus. They’re preparing for a holiday shopping season unlike any they have ever experienced.

National retailers are amping up the pressure with earlier promotions to spread through the season, but small stores may benefit because of their size and ability to personalize the shopping experience.

“We deliver. We ship. We do curbside,” Hall said, adding her shop near Memphis doesn’t sell merchandise on its website. “It’s just trying to keep a small business alive is what it boils down to.”

Given concerns about social distancing, supply chain disruptions and other obstacles, getting ready for the crucial season poses new challenges — and perhaps opportunities — for business owners.

Michael Herrmann, who purchased Gibson’s 25 years ago, plans for lower in-store sales this season but higher online sales. In addition to curbside pickup, the store will hold events online.

Starting the holiday season early

Retailers — big and small — are kicking off holiday promotions earlier than ever, enticing shoppers to beat the rush and pushing more sales online. Federal health officials encourage more online shopping and discourage traditional holiday shopping known for crowds and long lines.

The conditions retailers have to deal with this season could lead more people to shop small, giving some of the businesses hit hardest in the pandemic a competitive edge. Many shoppers say they want to shop locally this holiday season. According to a Google survey, 66% of shoppers say they plan to shop more at small businesses.

It’s a sentiment Hall has heard multiple times at her 21-year-old store in a historic town square. Customers told her they wanted to show they care.

“It almost made me cry the first time I heard it,” Hall said, noting sales are almost stronger than last year’s.

Though some stores concentrate on people shopping early, Stag Provisions co-owner Don Weir said it’s possible some shoppers will come out closer to Christmas.

“I feel like it may be a late run on holiday if the COVID … restrictions continue to lift,” he said.

Ways small businesses prepare

Early in the pandemic, many small businesses made a bigger push to digital sales,

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