Meredith Corporation's Southern Living reports that its December issue ad revenue is up 51% from last year, its monthly year-to-date audience across digital, print and online has averaged 25.5 million, up 2% from 2019 (AAM, Sept. 2020) and its website experienced its highest trafficked November in its history with nearly 19 million visits, up 23% year over year. The December issue, on newsstands now, marks the 25th year of the brand's popular annual holiday white cake cover and feature story. Continuing to advance the brand's momentum, Southern Living will introduce enhanced paper stock, along with a refreshed design, beginning with the January/February 2021 issue. A new front-of-book section called "In Season" will debut to reflect readers' passionate interest in seasonal moments, experiences and celebrations, and a range of new columns will roll out in various issues throughout the year covering topics ranging from home and cooking to travel and beauty. Doug Olson, President of Meredith Magazines, said, "Southern Living's success underscores the brand's resonance with people across the South and beyond. The brand's rich heritage coupled with its modern take on the Southern lifestyle continues to appeal to marketers seeking the right environment to reach engaged consumers across the country. With our investment in improved paper, we're excited to provide an even better reader experience."
For the Third Quarter of Fiscal 2020 *Net sales decreased 7.8% to $1.6 billion compared to $1.7 billion in the third quarter of fiscal 2019 due to the impact of COVID-19. *Comparable sales (sales for stores open at least 14 months, including stores temporarily closed due to COVID-19, and e-commerce sales) decreased 8.9% compared to an increase of 3.2% in the third quarter of fiscal 2019. In the third quarter of fiscal 2020, transactions declined 15.4% and average ticket increased 7.6%. *Gross profit decreased 12.5% to $545.5 million compared to $623.4 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2019. *Tax rate increased to 25.1% compared to 23.1% in the third quarter of fiscal 2019. The higher effective tax rate is primarily due to less investment tax credits received. *Net income was $74.8 million compared to $129.7 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2019. Adjusted net income was $92.5 million compared to $128.6 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2019. For the First Nine Months of Fiscal 2020 *Net sales decreased 22.4% to $4.0 billion compared to $5.1 billion in first nine months of fiscal 2019 due to the impact of COVID-19.*Comparable sales decreased 23.8% compared to an increase of 5.4% in the first nine months of fiscal 2019. During the first nine months of fiscal 2020, transactions declined 30.1% and average ticket increased 9.0%. *Gross profit decreased to $1.2 billion compared to $1.9 billion in the first nine months of fiscal 2019. *Net income was $4.3 million compared to $483.2 million in the first nine months of fiscal 2019.
*Total net sales were $140.3 million, a decrease of $14.5 million or 9.4%, compared to $154.8 million last year. -Net sales from physical stores were $104.6 million, a decrease of $27.5 million or 20.8%, compared to $132.1 million last year. -Net sales from e-commerce were $35.7 million, an increase of $13.0 million or 57.3% compared to approximately $22.7 million last year. *Gross profit was $40.7 million, or 29.0% of net sales, compared to $47.2 million, or 30.5% of net sales last year. *Net income was $2.1 million, or $0.07 per diluted share, compared to $6.4 million, or $0.21 per diluted share, last year.
Urban Outfitters, Inc. announced the promotion of Melanie Marein-Efron, the Company’s Executive Director of Corporate Development and Finance, to Chief Financial Officer, effective December 2, 2020. “I am pleased to announce Melanie’s promotion to be our new Chief Financial Officer, and I welcome her to our Executive Leadership Team,” said Richard A. Hayne, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “I am confident Melanie will approach her new role with the same energy, dedication and thoroughness she has displayed since joining URBN eight years ago,” finished Mr. Hayne.
Stora Enso is investing EUR 14 million to build a granulation and packing plant for lignin, allowing easier packing and handling of lignin compared to powder and wet form. According to Stora Enso’s strategy, lignin is one of the key innovation areas for delivering growth on new applications, such as energy storage, binders and carbon fiber. The granulation plant will be located at Stora Enso’s Sunila Mill in Finland. Lignin is one of the main building blocks of a tree. Today, the lignin produced at Sunila Mill, Lineo™ by Stora Enso, is delivered as a dusty powder or as wet lignin. It is used, for example, as a phenol replacement in adhesives, as a bio-based natural binder replacing bitumen in asphalt, and in bioplastics. In the future, it can be used as a source of biocarbon in energy storage systems such as batteries for electric vehicles, as bio-based binders in plywood and as material for carbon fiber.
Corrugated board is traditionally used for packaging to protect berries and fruit throughout the production chain. However, the added value it can give to sales recognition and branding goes even further. Metsä Board, part of Metsä Group, and DS Smith have implemented a modern and top-quality berry box together with their partner network. The packaging is printed using process colour and Full HD technology, which has reduced ink consumption while enabling exceptionally high image quality and bright colours.“The design of the packaging did not use vector graphics commonly used in berry boxes, instead a photo-based multicolour print was printed on the corrugated board. This process was extremely demanding, and required a high-quality coated white kraftliner,” says Ville Laiho from DS Smith, the packaging producer. The EB-flute corrugated board packaging was made using MetsäBoard Pro WKL 175 g/m² as topliner. The berry box is safe for direct contact with food thanks to material made of fresh fibres. In addition, a package made of fresh fibres withstands humid conditions better than a package made of recycled fibres. On the way from the field to the consumer, the moisture conditions can vary considerably, the packaging must therefore protect the product throughout the chain. After use, the corrugated box is also easy to recycle.
FedEx Corp. announced that it has agreed to acquire ShopRunner, the e-commerce platform that directly connects brands and merchants with online shoppers. ShopRunner’s capabilities will complement and expand the FedEx e-commerce portfolio and are expected to create increased value for brands, merchants, and consumers. The parties anticipate the acquisition to close by the end of the calendar year, and it is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval. ShopRunner connects more than 100 brands and merchants to millions of consumers and offers a seamless shopping experience from inspiration through delivery. Members enjoy benefits including free two-day shipping, free returns, member-exclusive discounts, and seamless checkout. ShopRunner’s data-driven marketing and omnichannel enablement capabilities also help brands and merchants acquire high-value customers and accelerate their digital innovation by using ShopRunner’s e-commerce platform.
The all-important post-Thanksgiving holiday sales period got off to a subdued start at bookstores around the country this year. As expected, foot traffic was light. The National Retail Federation reported the number of in-store shoppers fell 37% on Black Friday compared with last year while the number of customers who shopped only online through the weekend and on Cyber Monday rose by 44% over 2019. Bookshop.org sold some approximately $2.3 million in books over the period from Friday through Monday, according to Andy Hunter, CEO of Bookshop.org. Unsurprisingly, Amazon.com reported it had its best period ever in the company’s history and noted on a blog post that among its bestselling items were several books, including Barack Obama’s A Promised Land (Crown) and The Deep End (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #15) by Jeff Kinney (Abrams/Amulet); both titles were also cited by nearly all the bookstores surveyed by PW. Other bestsellers at Amazon included Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey (Crown), A Time for Mercy by John Grisham (Doubleday), The Sentinel by Lee Child (Delacorte), and Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson (Tor), among adult books, as well as Grime and Punishment (Dog Man #9) by Dav Pilkey (Scholastic/Grafix) in the children’s category.
The holidays are here and e-commerce marketers are mapping out how to cope with the increased demand and competition this year will bring. To compound the seasonal rush, e-commerce continues to accelerate, and businesses are trying to plan ahead to jump-start their 2021 e-commerce sales. As they do, retailers are looking toward omnichannel strategies for targeted, personalized marketing to increase sales. But which channels and messages are proving to be the most engaging and effective sales drivers? Omnisend, an e-commerce marketing automation platform, recently released its Q3 stats report, highlighting the latest trends in marketing automation and channels like email, SMS and web push messages. From the report, one thing is clear: e-commerce businesses that can attract the right customers at the right time with the right message will thrive.
Amcor has developed a new hot-fill polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle for Colombia’s Nutrea/Frudelca’s breakthrough Frupro protein juice. The new beverage is the latest in a growing category that blends the benefits of natural juice with protein to appeal to health-conscious consumers. “We relied on Amcor as an important partner to deliver an innovative packaging solution that meets the performance test of this new functional beverage,” said Alejandor Gaviria, General Manager of Frudelca. Nutrea/Frudelca is a joint venture between Frudelca, a leading juice supplier, and Nutrea, a food and beverage company. Amcor is a pioneer in the development of PET heat-set technology, which allows beverages to be filled at temperatures up to 185°F (85°C) to ensure product quality and extended shelf life.