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Ad Insider: Our Weekly News Recap From Top National Advertisers.


Here’s what large national advertisers are up to this week:


Ford Motor reported a 10.5% rise in U.S. sales for February, helped by sustained demand for family crossover SUVs, pickup trucks and hybrid vehicles. Sales of Ford’s hybrid vehicles, which include electrified variants of its popular Maverick compact truck and Escape crossover, rose 32% to 12,045 units from a year ago. Sales of its SUVs were up about 22% to 76,403 units... Audi, coming off a record year for U.S. sales, is teaming up with retail giant Costco to help drive sales as the spring selling season gets underway. Costco Auto Program’s newest round of limited-time vehicle specials is highest on some of the German luxury brand’s electric vehicles and sedans. To get the incentives — $1,500, $2,000 or $3,000 off a vehicle — Costco members (as of Feb. 29) have to register for a certificate from March 1 to April 30.


Operators such as Jack in the Box, Portillo’s and Wienerschnitzel are adding small-footprint locations with drive-through lanes and limited indoor seating to minimize real estate and staffing costs, according to company executives. The designs also maximize the food preparation area with fewer steps needed and multi-use equipment... Whole Foods Market is going small with a new concept for dense metro areas. The natural and organic foods grocer is launching a “quick-shop” store format that’s designed to provide customers in urban neighborhoods a quick and convenient shopping experience. Dubbed Whole Foods Market Daily Shop, the stores will be 7,000 to 14,000 sq. ft., about a quarter to half the footprint of an average 40,000 sq. ft. Whole Foods location… Casey’s General Stores is launching an all-new sandwich lineup featuring three debut options — Crispy Chicken, Spicy Crispy Chicken and a Quarter Pound Angus Beef Burger — plus the Breaded Pork Sandwich, an upgrade to a fan-favorite selection. The sandwiches are prepared fresh daily in Casey’s convenience stores, the company said.


Joann may be looking to restructure. The fabric and craft supplies retailer is reportedly considering a bankruptcy filing, with it coming as soon as this week, Bloomberg News reports… GoTo Foods, formerly Focus Brands, said McAlister’s Deli has become the first brand in the company’s portfolio to reach $1 billion in revenue, according to its Q4 2023 financials. The Oxford, Miss.-founded deli brand known for its sandwiches and sweet tea has grown to more than 550 locations over the past 35 years and has made the jump from regional brand to national.


Whirlpool, a name often associated with washing machines and refrigerators, is looking to cut costs and focus on selling blenders and coffee makers. The company behind its namesake brand as well as KitchenAid and Maytag products is going small, pinning its hopes on its popular stand mixers, espresso machines and other high-margin small kitchen appliances, after recently navigating dramatic swings in demand for high-ticket refrigerators and other home appliances.

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