Barnes & Noble Reports Fiscal 2018 Second Quarter Financial Results

Total sales for the second quarter were $791.1 million, declining 7.9% as compared to the prior year. Comparable store sales decreased 6.3%, with approximately half of this decline attributable to last year's release of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child. The balance of the decline was primarily due to non-book categories. "Comparable sales improved throughout the second quarter and into November," said Demos Parneros, Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble, Inc. "Book sales continued to strengthen, and we saw improved traffic and conversion trends. As a result of the improving trends, we will continue to place a greater emphasis on books, while further narrowing our non-book assortment. We expect these improvements to continue as we head into the holiday season which, coupled with cost reductions, will enable us to achieve EBITDA of $180 million." Click Read More below for additional information.
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Rethinking classroom technology

Following recent findings by research psychologists Pam A. Mueller of Princeton University and Daniel M. Oppenheimer of the University of California, Los Angeles, which showed that students who took handwritten notes did better than those who took notes on their computers, new research indicates still further that too much technology in the classrooms harms students’ ability to learn. As millions of dollars are spent on increased investment in classroom technology, including students’ use of iPads and e-textbooks, it’s assumed that the learning environment in the classroom should reflect the high-tech realities of the digital culture in which students and their parents live. Working on this presumption, the state of California passed a law in 2009 requiring that all college textbooks be available in electronic form by 2020. Following suit, the state of Florida passed legislation in 2011 requiring public schools to convert their textbooks to digital versions. “Given this trend,” write Patricia Alexander and Lauren Singer of the University of Maryland, “teachers, students, parents and policymakers might assume that students’ familiarity and preference for technology translates into better learning outcomes. But we’ve found that’s not necessarily true.” Click Read More below for additional information.
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Two Sides and National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers Announce Strategic Partnership

The National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers (NAPIM) Board of Directors has announced its increased support of Two Sides North America, the non-profit organization that promotes and encourages the responsible production, use and sustainability of print and paper. NAPIM Executive Director, John Copeland and Director Regulatory Affairs and Technology, George Fuchs will be joining Two Sides’ Anti-Greenwash Task Force to ensure that the views of NAPIM members are considered in Two Sides campaign activities. Membership discussions are also underway with specific companies in the ink manufacturing sector to ensure representation within the Two Sides network of companies and governance. Click Read More below for additional information.
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L Brands Reports November 2017 Sales

L Brands, Inc. reported net sales of $1.267 billion for the four weeks ended Nov. 25, 2017, an increase of 2 percent, compared to net sales of $1.246 billion for the four weeks ended Nov. 26, 2016. Comparable sales decreased 1 percent for the four weeks ended Nov. 25, 2017. For November, the exit of the swim and apparel categories had a negative impact of about 1 percentage point for both total company and Victoria’s Secret comparable sales. The company reported net sales of $9.077 billion for the 43 weeks ended Nov. 25, 2017, a decrease of 3 percent compared to net sales of $9.331 billion for the 43 weeks ended Nov. 26, 2016. Comparable sales decreased 6 percent for the 43 weeks ended Nov. 25, 2017. For the 43 weeks ended Nov. 25, 2017, the exit of the swim and apparel categories had a negative impact of about 4 percentage points and 6 percentage points to total company and Victoria’s Secret comparable sales, respectively.
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AF&PA Disappointed in Passage of Bag Provision

American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Donna Harman issued the following statement regarding the passage of the Boston City Council ordinance regarding the reduction of plastic bags in Boston (Docket #0132). The proposed ordinance would place a five-cent fee on recycled paper bags. “Dozens of communities in Massachusetts have enacted plastic bag bans in recent years, and until today, only one taxed paper bags. This undermines an environmentally responsible option for carryout shopping bags. Paper is the most-recycled material in the United States today. Last year, two-thirds of all paper consumed in the U.S. was recovered for recycling. Paper is part of the environmental solution, but Boston is treating it like the problem.”
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Oil Holds Near $64 as OPEC Is Said to Agree Nine-Month Extension

Futures rose 1.6 percent in London. The curbs will last to the end of 2018, according to delegates at a ministerial meeting in Vienna. Talks have now moved on to the mechanism that will be used to review the agreement in the middle of next year, they said. Ministers also need to get Russia, their largest non-OPEC ally, on board at a meeting with other partner countries later on Thursday. Futures rose 1.6 percent in London. The curbs will last to the end of 2018, according to delegates at a ministerial meeting in Vienna. Talks have now moved on to the mechanism that will be used to review the agreement in the middle of next year, they said. Ministers also need to get Russia, their largest non-OPEC ally, on board at a meeting with other partner countries later on Thursday. Click Read More below for additional information.
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Costco Wholesale Corporation Reports November Sales Results

Costco Wholesale Corporation reported net sales of $11.26 billion for the month of November, the four weeks ended November 26, 2017, an increase of 13.2 percent from $9.95 billion during the similar period last year. For the twelve-week first quarter of fiscal year 2018 ended November 26, 2017, the Company reported net sales of $31.13 billion, an increase of 13.3 percent from $27.47 billion reported in the twelve-week first quarter of fiscal 2017. While this year’s twelve-week first quarter included one less sales day than the first quarter last year (due to the shift of the Thanksgiving closure this year), pre-Thanksgiving and Black Friday/holiday weekend sales fell into the first quarter this year compared to the second quarter last year. Combined, these factors produced an estimated net benefit of approximately 1.5% in the U.S., and slightly less worldwide.
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Flint Group opens new facility in Turkey for its Packaging Division

Flint Group continues its leadership position in the Packaging Inks segment with the opening of its new facility in the cosmopolitan district of Beylikduzu, in Istanbul, Turkey. This new 3800 square meter manufacturing and distribution facility is conveniently located only 13 kilometers from the main container terminal on the European side of Turkey and is well positioned for exports to surrounding markets in the Middle East. Kim Melander, VP Sales EMEA & Global Strategy Paper & Board, says this, “Flint Group’s Paper & Board business has been a local supplier in Turkey and the neighbouring regions since 2008 and our team has been satisfying customers’ requirements with state-of-the-art manufacturing capabilities and expert local service for nearly 10 years. This additional investment not only solidifies Flint Group’s dedication to the Turkish market, but also confirms our promise to grow together with its customers in this key emerging market.” Click Read More below for additional information.
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Holmen sells forest properties

Holmen has signed an agreement to sell forest properties in north-west Jämtland, Sweden, for SEK 100 million. The sale is expected to be completed in January 2018. The Group’s earnings will be positively impacted by just over SEK 70 million in the first quarter of 2018 since the sale price exceeds the carrying amount according to IAS 41. With holdings of over 1 million hectares of productive forest land, Holmen is one of Sweden’s largest forest owners. “This forest land is located far from our production facilities and has significant other values than forestry. We intend to reinvest the sales proceeds in forest located closer to our own production facilities,” says Henrik Sjölund, President and CEO of Holmen. Click Read More below for additional information.
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BuzzFeed Hits Brakes: Announces Layoffs, Ad Restructuring

BuzzFeed, long the darling of native digital publishing models, is hitting its brakes following a weakening of advertising demand. The company said it is laying off about 100 employees in the U.S. -- less than 10% of its global workforce -- and restructuring its advertising sales organization “amid a tough digital media market.” In an email to the company's staff, CEO Jonah Peretti announced Greg Coleman is stepping down as BuzzFeed’s president and would take on an advisory role. BuzzFeed News Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith said cuts will not affect BuzzFeed’s U.S. news team directly. Click Read More below for additional information.
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