CNBC.com's MacKenzie Sigalos brings you the day's top business news headlines. On today's show, CNBC.com's Melissa Repko explains why this year's holiday shopping deals started earlier than normal online, and what Black Friday will look like while Covid-19 still poses a threat to Americans. Plus, CNBC's Seema Mody dives into the "cold-chain" technology and superfreezers needed to distribute a Covid-19 vaccine across the country.
On Thanksgiving Day, eager bargain hunters usually head to the store and shoulder their way through crowded aisles to get a jumpstart on their holiday shopping.
Not this year.
Many of those stores will stay shuttered, and even the word "doorbusters" has largely disappeared from circulars and ads.
Retailers including Walmart and Home Depot have swapped one-day store events for a drumbeat of holiday deals. Sales will last longer. More are online. And rushing to a crowded store on Black Friday may feel not only risky, but also obsolete, since many deep discounts are a click away and some popular items are available only online.
So-Low Environmental Equipment, a maker of ultra-cold freezers, is seeing a surge in demand for its products in anticipation of coronavirus vaccine distribution, leading to an inventory backlog despite its efforts to prepare.
"Right now, we are out of everything," Dan Hensler, vice president of the Cincinnati-based company, said Wednesday on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."
Only Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech have filed for emergency use authorization with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for their Covid-19 vaccine. But the potential for approval as soon as December has put the complex logistics of distributing a vaccine into sharp focus, with the U.S. government practicing trial runs of its delivery system in four states. Pfizer, which is handling the distribution of its vaccine, also has a pilot program underway.
Shares of embattled electric vehicle start-up Nikola Corp. fell by as much as 17.4% during trading Wednesday morning after CEO Mark Russell failed to reassure investors that the company's $2 billion deal with General Motors would still go through and that ousted founder Trevor Milton wouldn't suddenly sell off his shares.
During an interview Tuesday on CNBC's "Mad Money with Jim Cramer," Russell said discussions with GM about supplying fuel cell and battery technologies as well as an all-electric pickup are ongoing, but he wouldn't comment much further than that.
"Both of those things are interesting to us," he said regarding GM's technologies. "We continue to talk to them about those things." If a deal isn't finalized by Dec. 3, either side can walkaway.