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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:

Kroger has released the locations of the assets they plan to offload to C&S Wholesale Grocers as they look to allay antitrust concerns over their proposed $24.6 billion merger with Albertsons Cos. The assets include 579 Kroger- and Albertsons-owned stores across 18 states and Washington, D.C., including 124 locations in the state of Washington, 101 in Arizona, 91 in Colorado and 63 in California… HBC, the Canadian parent company of Saks Fifth Avenue and Hudson’s Bay, is adding another legendary retailer to its portfolio. In a move that would create a luxury powerhouse, HBC has entered into a $2.65 billion agreement to buy Dallas-based retailer Neiman Marcus Group in a deal valued at $2.65 billion. Amazon is among the investors in the deal. Neiman Marcus operates 36 department stores, two Bergdorf Goodman stores and five Last Call off-price outlets. There are 39 Saks Fifth Avenue stores and 95 Saks Off 5th locations, as well as online business… Leading nonalcoholic brewer Athletic Brewing Company raised an additional $50 million in equity financing in a round led by General Atlantic. The brewer plans to use the latest investment to increase production capacity and expand its offerings at global retailers to meet rising consumer demand for nonalcoholic beer. Athletic holds over 19% market share within non-alcoholic beer and is driving 32% of total non-alcoholic beer category growth, according to NielsenIQ dataTarget will soon stop accepting personal checks as a form of payment at checkout. In a statement to NBC News, the retail giant said it was committed to creating an easy and convenient checkout experience — but that due to “extremely low volumes,” it would no longer take personal checks starting July 15. It said it has taken several measures to notify guests in advance of the move. It will still accept cash, digital wallet payments like Apple Pay, SNAP/EBT, buy now, pay later services, and credit and debit cards. Rival Walmart will still accept personal checks… Starbucks is joining more than 30 restaurant brands — including Dunkin’, Peet’s Coffee, Burger King and Yum Brands — in a returnable beverage cup pilot program in partnership with NextGen Consortium in Petaluma, Calif. The test, which starts Aug. 5 and ends Oct. 28, will allow customers to “borrow” a cup when they order a Starbucks beverage, and then return the cup when they are finished to one of 60 return bins across the city… Applebee’s has generated a steady cadence of value offerings to keep consumers’ attention even as they tighten their spending. Those offerings have included 50-cent boneless wings, half-price late-night appetizers and now, 50-cent mozzarella sticks. The casual dining chain announced that the mozzarella sticks promotion — at 50 cents each — is available through July 28 for dine-in and to-go guests. Online orders are available in increments of four sticks with a maximum basket count of 10 orders, or 40 sticks. The sticks are served with a side of marinara sauce.

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