Finnish food and beverage company Paulig is testing UPM BioVerno naphtha, made from tall oil, as a raw material for its packaging. The first test batch with Paulig Café New York has been successfully packed and released to market. UPM BioVerno is produced from tall oil, a residue of pulp making, in the UPM Lappeenranta Biorefinery. In the new laminate tested over the half of the material used in the Paulig coffee packs is tall oil-based. “We are committed to replacing fossil-based raw materials with renewable ones. Paulig’s initiative to use our wood-based UPM BioVerno as a raw material in the laminates of their coffee packs is a further step towards creating more circular and sustainable packaging,” says Panu Routasalo, Vice President of UPM Biofuels.
J. C. Penney Company, Inc. announced that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas has confirmed the Company’s Plan of Reorganization to create separate property holding companies comprising 160 of the Company’s real estate assets and all of its owned distribution centers, which will be owned and operated by JCPenney’s DIP and First Lien Lenders. The PropCos are expected to complete the Court-supervised restructuring process and emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the first half of 2021. The Plan is pursuant to the Company’s asset purchase agreement with Simon Property Group and Brookfield Asset Management, Inc. and the Company’s DIP and First Lien Lenders, supported by the Unsecured Creditors Committee. The APA also provides that Simon and Brookfield are acquiring JCPenney’s retail and operating assets. The PropCos and OpCo will enter into master leases with respect to the properties and distribution centers moved into the PropCos.
German media giant Bertelsmann said Wednesday that its Penguin Random House division is buying rival Simon & Schuster in a megadeal that would reshape the U.S. publishing industry. Penguin Random House, already the largest American publisher, will buy the New York-based Simon & Schuster, whose authors include Stephen King, Hillary Clinton and John Irving, from TV and film company ViacomCBS for $2.17 billion in cash. “Simon & Schuster strengthens Bertelsmann’s footprint globally, and (particularly) in the U.S., its second-largest market,” the Guetersloh, Germany-based company said in a statement. The purchase of Simon & Schuster would reduce the so-called Big Five of American publishing — which also includes HarperCollins, Hachette Book Group and Macmillan — to four.
Cascades Inc. announced that its Laval plant in Québec, specializing in the manufacture of napkins for the away-from-home market, will be closing on June 30, 2021. The Laval plant has an annual converting capacity of 1.4 million cases. This volume will be moved to other Cascades plants and filled by additional capacity. The plant currently employs 54 workers. Until the plant is closed, Cascades will work closely with its employees to reduce the impact of this announcement. Among other things, it will offer to relocate as many employees as possible to its many other business units in Québec. Employees who are not able, or do not wish to relocate to other plants will be offered support in their search for other employment.
Globally accredited sustainability ratings provider EcoVadis has scored Sappi Southern Africa Platinum Medal status in its assessment of how well the company has integrated sustainability principles into its business and management system. EcoVadis is the world’s largest and most trusted provider of business sustainability ratings, creating a global network of more than 65,000 rated companies. Sappi Southern Africa scored 79 out of 100 in its assessment, affording it Platinum Medal status and placing it in the top one percent of companies assessed by EcoVadis worldwide.
The ACMA jointly filed comments with MPA - The Association of Magazine Media, and PostCom supporting the US Postal Service's proposal for estimating the volume variability of labor costs associated with the automated distribution of letters and flats. In the comments, the groups contend that it's time "to abandon the assumption that most mail processing activities are nearly 100-percent volume variable. That assumption lacks empirical support." Calling for the Postal Regulatory Commission to approve the USPS's costing proposal, the groups also urge the Commission to look beyond it and to hold the Postal Service accountable for rightsizing its flats sorting operations in response to volume declines.
Rolland President Philip Rundle speaks with Ivy Life & Style Media, whose niche publications and properties serve Virginia’s Charlottesville-Albemarle region and the nearby wine country. Jennifer Bryerton, co-publisher of Ivy and editor-in-chief of its Wine & Country Life magazine, talks about publishing in a local market, contributing to a sustainable community, and creating a cookbook that will feed businesses, farmers and people in a time of need. Ivy Life & Style Media is a lively small busines • Located in Ivy, Virginia, near Charlottesville, with a team of employees who create print and digital publications, provide media services, and run a boutique. • Publisher of community-oriented magazines and books under three popular brands: CharlottesvilleFamily, Charlottesville Welcome Book and Wine & Country. • Wine & Country Life, a 150-page magazine published twice a year, covers the lifestyle and culture in Virginia’s beautiful wine country. • Ivy Life & Style Media is a Virginia certified SWAM (small women-owned and minority-owned) business as well as a Certified Virginia Green Travel Partner.
Nordstrom, Inc. reported third quarter results, which reflected sequential improvement in sales and earnings relative to the prior quarter. The Company generated earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of more than $100 million, supported by improved merchandise margin trends and benefits from resetting its cost structure. Earnings per diluted share of $0.34 included an income tax benefit of $0.12 related to the CARES Act. For the third quarter ended October 31, 2020, net sales decreased 16 percent from last year and included a positive impact of approximately 10-percentage points due to the shift of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale from the second quarter to the third quarter this year. Digital sales of $1.6 billion accounted for 54 percent of Nordstrom's business.
Net sales were flat year-over-year, reflecting a 61% increase in online sales, offset by a 20% decline in store sales. Notably, 40% of the company’s sales were online in the third quarter. As noted during the company’s Investor Meeting, held in October 2020, the company aspires to achieve 50% of its sales from online by the end of 2023. Third quarter fiscal year 2020 comparable sales were up 5%, driven by the strength of Gap Inc.’s scaled ecommerce business, which added over 3.4 million new customers during the quarter. The comparable sales calculation reflects online sales and comparable sales days in stores that were open. Gross margin was 40.6%, a 160 basis point improvement versus last year. This improvement is consistent with the strategic focus outlined in last month’s Power Plan 2023 discussion of opening highly-profitable Old Navy and Athleta stores, while also closing select unprofitable Gap and Banana Republic stores, yielding significant rent and occupancy savings. In addition, a lower level of promotions contributed to higher product margins in the quarter. The benefits of lower rent and occupancy and higher product margin were partially offset by higher shipping expenses associated with the company’s growth in online sales. Operating income was $175 million or 4.4% of net sales.
Kohl’s is proud to have been named to the 2020 Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) North America by S&P Global. This marks the third year in a row the company has received the designation for its sustainability performance and environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitments. “The DJSI’s continued recognition of Kohl’s serves as a reliable indicator of the strength of our ESG stewardship initiatives,” said Steve Thomas, Chief Risk and Compliance Officer for Kohl’s. “We believe that incorporating sustainable solutions into the way Kohl’s conducts business will help to build better futures for our customers, our associates, and their families and we are pleased to be acknowledged for these efforts.”