Worzalla Breaks Ground on $12.5 Million Expansion

Worzalla yesterday broke ground on its modernization and expansion plan. This week’s groundbreaking ceremony launched the construction phase for the addition of 50,000 sq. ft. to Worzalla’s manufacturing headquarters, an increase of 20%. The new space will house work-in-process, along with paper storage and additional bindery equipment. The other components of the manufacturing plan include the addition of a new Heidelberg 106 press and Kolbus perfect binder. Worzalla expects to create 50 jobs through this investment.
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Gap Inc. Reports Third Quarter Results

•Net sales were $4.0 billion, a decrease of 2% compared with last year. ◦The translation of foreign currencies into U.S. dollars negatively impacted the company’s net sales for the third quarter of fiscal year 2019 by about $12 million.1 ◦Third quarter net sales details appear in the tables at the end of this press release. •Gross profit was $1.56 billion, a decrease of 4% compared with last year. •Gross margin was 39.0%, a decrease of 70 basis points compared with last year. The company’s third quarter fiscal year 2019 comparable sales were down 4% versus flat last year. Comparable sales by global brand for the third quarter were as follows: •Old Navy Global: negative 4% versus positive 4% last year •Gap Global: negative 7% versus negative 7% last year •Banana Republic Global: negative 3% versus positive 2% last year
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Nordstrom Reports Third Quarter 2019 Earnings

•Third quarter net earnings were $126 million compared with $67 million during the same period in fiscal 2018. Prior year results included an after-tax estimated non-recurring credit-related charge of $49 million. Excluding this charge, earnings grew 9 percent over last year. •In Full-Price, net sales decreased 4.1 percent compared with the same period in fiscal 2018. Off-Price net sales increased 1.2 percent. Total company digital sales grew 7 percent and represented 34 percent of the business. •Gross profit, as a percentage of net sales, of 34.3 percent increased 100 basis points compared with the same period in fiscal 2018, primarily due to fewer markdowns from continued inventory discipline in Off-Price and higher sell-through of Anniversary product in Full-Price. Ending inventory decreased 2.7 percent from last year, maintaining a positive spread between inventory and sales for the third consecutive quarter.
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AF&PA Supports EPA’s Final Risk Management Plan Rule

American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Heidi Brock issued the following statement in support of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final Risk Management Plan rule. “Our manufacturers are committed to providing a safe workplace for employees and the communities around their facilities as demonstrated by AF&PA’s Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 sustainability initiative. We thank the EPA for supporting our industry’s ability to further this work by taking steps to improve manufacturing efficiency, reduce environmental impact and enhance safety – all of which will go a long way toward protecting our workers and safeguarding the public.”
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Oil Pares Third Weekly Gain Amid Mixed Signals on Trade Deal (bloomberg.com)

Oil pared its third weekly advance amid mixed signals on a trade agreement between the U.S. and China, which would end an impasse that has weighed on the global economy and fuel demand. Futures slipped 0.4% in New York, yet remained on track for a weekly increase. China’s vice premier invited U.S. trade negotiators to Beijing for further talks. However, expectations that President Donald Trump will sign a bill supporting Hong Kong protesters could disrupt those talks.
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Forest Stewardship Council Recognizes Forest Champions on its 25th Anniversary

Forest Stewardship Council, the world’s most trusted forest certification system, announced its 2019 FSC Leadership Awards in a celebration held in conjunction with Greenbuild 2019. Recognizing enduring commitment to forest conservation, the Awards highlight uncommon excellence that advances responsible forest management. “From biodiversity and carbon storage to a sustainable supply of wood and fiber, people are waking up to the importance of responsibly managed forests to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges,” said Corey Brinkema, president of the Forest Stewardship Council U.S. “This year’s FSC Leadership Award winners demonstrate that we can conserve forests, fight climate change and protect wildlife habitat, even as we use forest products every day,” he added. FSC Leadership Awards celebrate forest owners, builders, architects, retailers, paper mills, manufacturers, environmental organizations and many others who contribute to the movement toward responsible sourcing and forest management.
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Amazon Book Orders on the Rise (publishersweekly.com)

Publishers are breathing a sigh of relief after a weeks-long stretch of receiving low orders from Amazon came to an end this week, with several publishers telling PW that new orders far surpassed orders from the previous few weeks. “I am glad to report that we received a massive order the other night that makes up for the shortfall in November and then some,” said the CEO of an independent publisher. Last week, a number of companies reported that since late October, orders from the e-tailer were running well below the comparable period in 2018, with one publisher saying orders were down by 75% two weeks in a row. The reason for the decline was not entirely clear. Some companies had been told the lower orders were made to ease congestion at the company’s distribution centers.
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REI Co-op to open new store in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee in spring 2020

REI Co-op will open a new store in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee in spring 2020, bringing quality outdoor gear, rentals, expertise and experiences to the region. Designed to be a gateway to outdoor adventures in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the new 21,500 square-foot store will offer numerous ways for people of all skill levels to get outside. Located in The Tower Shops at The Mountain Mile shopping center, REI Pigeon Forge is designed to both serve the nearly 250,000 lifetime co-op members in Tennessee and the millions of visitors that adventure in the region every year. “When exploring the Great Smoky Mountains, one of the best places to start is Pigeon Forge,” said Gail Kirkland, REI regional director for the south. “From hiking to backpacking to mountain biking, our goal is to connect our members to the activities they love and the ones they are eager to try.”
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