U.S. Postal Service Provides Recommendations for Successful 2020 Election Mail Season

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) released a letter that is being sent to local and state election officials and state party officials around the country. This letter highlights key aspects of Election Mail delivery processes — and ways to help educate the public on what to expect when using the mail to vote. The letter, signed by USPS General Counsel and Executive Vice President Thomas J. Marshall, is a continuation of an ongoing outreach effort aimed at educating all interested parties about the Postal Service’s mailing requirements and services in advance of the 2020 elections. “It is critical that the Postal Service’s delivery standards be kept in mind when informing voters how to successfully participate in an election using the mail,” says Marshall, noting the importance of this information “when state and local election officials are making decisions as to the establishment of deadlines and the means used to send a piece of Election Mail to voters.”
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How to Stand Out in the Mailbox: 4 Things to Consider (arandell.com)

Understanding how to stand out in the mailbox is more important than ever in 2020 and beyond, especially so because of today’s competition for consumer attention. In fact, a 2015 study said the average American is exposed to anywhere between 4,000 and 10,000 ads per day. That’s madness! With the large majority of these being digital ads, this provides a huge opportunity for direct mail and print marketing campaigns. Though the average person’s mailbox is much less crowded now than it has been in decades, this competition for consumer attention is more fierce than it has ever been. That’s why when it comes to your direct mail marketing campaign, you need to be very calculated in your approach; understanding cost, attribution, average ROI and the overall health of your house file are vital considerations that must occur with the launch of any successful direct mail program. Click Read More below for details
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Mercer International Inc. announces 30 days downtime at its Celgar mill

Mercer International Inc. reports that its Celgar mill, in addition to regularly planned maintenance downtime of five days, will be taking approximately 30 days of additional downtime (aggregate 52,000 ADMTs) in July 2020. The additional downtime largely results from reduced fiber availability in the mill’s procurement area as a result of Covid related sawmill curtailments in British Columbia, the imposition of sawlog equivalent stumpage charges on pulpwood and complex stumpage rules which result in a significant amount of pulp wood already harvested being left to burn in the forest.
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Ulta Beauty Announces First Quarter Fiscal 2020 Results

For the First Quarter of Fiscal 2020: *Net sales decreased 32.7% to $1,173.2 million compared to $1,743.0 million in the first 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 35.3% compared to an increase of 7.0% in the first quarter of fiscal 2019. The 35.3% comparable sales decrease was driven by a decline of 38.6% in transactions which was partially offset by a 3.3% increase in average ticket. *Gross profit decreased to $303.6 million compared to $644.8 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2019. As a percentage of net sales, gross profit decreased to 25.9% compared to 37.0% in the first quarter of fiscal 2019, primarily due to deleverage of fixed store costs, pressure from channel mix shifts, and deleverage of salon expenses due to lower sales. These pressures were partially offset by lower promotional activity. *Operating loss was $101.5 million, or 8.7% of net sales, compared to operating income of $237.5 million, or 13.6% of net sales, in the first quarter of fiscal 2019. *Net loss was $78.5 million compared to net income of $192.2 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2019.
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Nordstrom Reports First Quarter 2020 Earnings

First Quarter 2020 Summary: • First quarter net loss of $521 million, which included after-tax charges of $173 million related to COVID-19, decreased from net earnings of $37 million during the same period in fiscal 2019. These charges included asset impairments from store closures, premium pay and benefits, and restructuring charges, which were slightly offset by credits from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”). • In Full-Price, net sales decreased 36 percent and Off-Price net sales decreased 45 percent compared with the same period in fiscal 2019 due to temporary store closures beginning March 17. • Online demand, which reflects customer orders and therefore removes the timing impacts of shipments and returns, grew 9 percent, consistent with the second half of 2019. Total company digital sales grew 5 percent to reach $1.1 billion in the first quarter. While stores were temporarily closed, the Company’s e-commerce business experienced significant growth in new customers of more than 50 percent. • Gross profit, as a percentage of net sales, was 11 percent, decreasing from 34 percent for the same period in fiscal 2019 due to incremental markdowns to clear excess inventory and deleverage from lower sales volume. Ending inventory decreased 26 percent from last year resulting from the Company’s aggressive actions to reduce receipts and clear excess inventory through increased marketing and promotional activities.
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Costco Wholesale Corporation Reports Third Quarter and Year-To-Date Operating Results for Fiscal 2020

Net sales for the quarter increased 7.3 percent, to $36.45 billion from $33.96 billion last year. Net sales for the first 36 weeks increased 7.8 percent, to $110.94 billion from $102.90 billion last year. Reported net income for the third quarter was $838 million, or $1.89 per share, which was negatively impacted by $283 million pretax, or 47 cents per diluted share, from incremental wage and sanitation costs related to COVID-19. Last year's reported third quarter net income was $906 million, or $2.05 per diluted share, which included the benefit of a non-recurring tax item of $73 million, or 16 cents per share. Net income for the first 36 weeks was $2.61 billion, or $5.89 per diluted share, compared to $2.56 billion, or $5.79 per diluted share, last year.
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USA TODAY NETWORK Launches Ambitious “Rebuilding America” Initiative to Capture What Consumers and Communities Can Expect as the U.S. Economy Reopens

Gannett Co., Inc today launched “Rebuilding America,” an unprecedented national examination of how America’s economy is rebooting after nearly three months as states reopen for business. This ambitious project involving USA TODAY and Gannett’s 260 daily local news sites will give a coast-to-coast view of the country’s “new economic normal,” as told through the industries powering the national, regional and local economies. Stories will debut on Gannett-owned digital sites beginning today and appear in print editions on May 31 with a nationwide narrative of what consumers, companies and taxpayers can expect as the American economy begins to accelerate again. The project is a sweeping effort by the USA TODAY NETWORK, Gannett’s newsrooms across America, to empower its audience of more than 150 million readers. Gannett is leveraging its unique position as the nation’s largest local news publisher to chronicle the reopening and rebuilding of the nation’s economies – from Providence, Rhode Island, to Palm Springs, California. It’s a sophisticated examination of how communities, which endured shutdowns caused by the coronavirus health crisis, are aiming to recover and what consumers can expect. Journalists across the nation are examining the national and local trends related to a dozen key economic and lifestyle topics, including auto sales; travel/tourism; retail; insurance and financial services; grocery stores; education; sports; home services; medical services; restaurants; and local arts and entertainment. The project maximizes the USA TODAY NETWORK’s ability to thoroughly examine and explain these issues at both the broader national level and from a close-to-home perspective.
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Italy Reports Huge Decline in Book Sales (publishersweekly.com)

The Italian Publishers Association reported eight million fewer books sales, representing some 134 million euros in revenue, in the first four months of 2020, compared with last year. During the period of lockdown, between March 9 and April 12, bookstores saw an an average drop in sales between 70%-85%, depending on whether or not they were able to sell books online and/or offer home delivery of books, the IPA said. Overall, the association anticipates the industry will lose between 650 to 900 million euros worth of sales, representing between 20% to 30% of the overall market, for the year. In 2019, Italian publishers sold some 3.2 billion euros worth of books.
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The facts relating to Covid-19 transmission through paper/cardboard surfaces

Download the fact-sheet at: https://twosides.info/documents/factsheets/Coronavirus-(SARS-COV-2)-Surface-Stability.pdf . The world has altered very quickly over the past few months. Almost every aspect of daily life has been completely changed, from business and politics to culture and society, and it’s going to be a while until anything gets back to normal. At a time when there’s intense focus on the spread of Covid-19 and ways in which that spread can be reduced, there’s been a lot of attention on different surfaces and how those surfaces can retain and potentially spread the virus. Since paper and card are very physical mediums, they have come under the spotlight, with concerns expressed about whether people can catch coronavirus simply by touching. So we have researched the facts relating to Covid-19 transmission through paper/cardboard surfaces. click read more for additional insight
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Berry Global Announces Innovative Advanced Recycling Technology Project with Mondelēz International

Berry Global Group, Inc. announced its collaboration with longtime customer, Mondelēz International to supply packaging containing recycled plastic for Philadelphia, the world’s most popular cream cheese. The package contains plastic material recovered using advanced recycling technology from Berry’s partnership with SABIC, announced earlier this year. Berry prides itself on its ability to provide sustainable, value-added packaging for leading brands around the world and is proud to collaborate with Mondelēz International to improve the sustainability of their packaging. The announcement adds to Berry’s list of initiatives to advance towards a more sustainable future. These initiatives include investment in both mechanical and chemical recycling, the innovative use of recycled material in products, and global commitments to address plastic waste in the environment. Last year, Berry committed that 100 percent of its fast-moving consumer goods packaging would be reusable, recyclable, or compostable by the year 2025.
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