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Business Beat: Ordering ahead, Marcus Lemonis, Walgreen Alliance Boots

Ordering ahead: Time-saver or time waster?

Retail consultant StellaService says in-store pickup of online orders saves shoppers, on average, 96 seconds. But traditional shoppers sometimes get in and out faster.

Lemonis invests in snack maker Betty Lou’s

Betty Lou’s sells organic, natural snacks and gluten-free crackers under its own name and makes products sold under other brand names. Chicago businessman Marcus Lemonis says the company needs to focus on selling more products under its own name.

Walgreen completes Alliance Boots deal

Walgreen completed its $16 billion purchase of European health and beauty retailer Alliance Boots. The Deerfield company now has more than 12,800 stores and 340 pharmaceutical distribution centers worldwide.

Uber prices to surge New Year’s Eve

Hotels make Internet free but tighten cancellation policies

Hasbro to replace penis-shaped Play-Doh toy

Boeing appears to top 787 Dreamliner delivery target for 2014

Stocks post sixth straight year of gains

Gino’s East Brewery in River North pouring its own suds [Chicago Eater]

Volkswagen recalls 38,000 cars because of fire risk

Applications for U.S. jobless aid rise, but growth looks solid

Girl Scouts get trendy with gluten-free, Greek yogurt cookies [Entrepreneur]

22-year-old raises $33,000 in fight with United, Orbitz [CNN Money]