With the help of our trusted non-profit partners, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Good360 and others, Gap Inc.’s portfolio of purpose-led lifestyle brands are sending 3.5 million masks and face coverings to non-profit community organizations serving those with the greatest needs across the U.S. Last month, Old Navy donated 1 million masks to Boys & Girls Clubs of America, one of the brand’s longtime nonprofit partners, to support local Clubs as they continue to provide safe spaces for kids and teens. Old Navy is committed to serving American families in need and will now provide an additional 1 million masks to Baby2Baby, local This Way ONward partners, and Boys & Girls Clubs of America to further reach underserved communities. Through The Imagine Mission, Old Navy is working to create a better future for future generations.
Unit sales of print books rose 10.9% in the week ended Feb. 20, 2021, over the comparable week in 2020, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. The adult fiction category had a solid week, with unit sales up 20.5% over the week ended Feb. 22, 2020. A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas was the top title, selling nearly 95,000 copies in its first week. In second and third place on the adult fiction list were two Kristin Hannah titles: The Four Winds, which sold more than 46,000 copies, and Firefly Lane, which sold more than 20,000 copies. YA fiction print unit sales jumped 47.7% over 2020, as E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars remained #1 on the category list, selling more than 15,000 copies. Adam Silvera’s They Both Die at the End was second, selling just over 11,000 copies. Stamped by Jason Reynolds continued to lead the YA nonfiction list as the category posted a 55.4% increase over 2020.
The recovery in the UK printing and printed packaging industry suffered a setback in Q4 and is now expected to see a decline on the volume of orders and output in Q1. The Covid-19 outbreak hit at the end of Q1, Q2 bore the brunt of the impact and whilst Q3 exhibited a recovery, of sorts, Q4 experienced a halt on that recovery path. Unfortunately forecasts for Q1 suggests that the Covid-19 resurgence and resulting mix of lockdown measures and post-Brexit disruption will be a drag on recovery for many businesses. The latest Printing Outlook survey reveals that 29% of printers managed to increase their output levels in the final quarter of 2020. One-third (33%) were able to hold output steady, whilst 38% were adversely affected by a decline in output. The resulting balance (the difference between the ups and the downs) was -9, only just below the -8 reported in Q3 and just much in-line with the Q4 forecast (-7). Output has yet to return to the positive zone.
Metsä Group’s innovation company Metsä Spring Ltd has made an equity investment in Montinutra Ltd, a startup converting forest industry side streams into high-value bioactive products. The financing round totals approximately EUR 1 million, and Metsä Spring is participating in the round with current and new private investors. Montinutra intends to produce valuable ingredients for the cosmetics, food and beverage, and pharmaceutical industries using forest industry side streams as its raw material. Metsä Group has two spruce sawmills in Finland, which may provide sawdust for the production. The company focus is first set clearly on SprucegumTM, an extract obtained from spruce sawdust. Sprucegum™ has potential for personal care, cosmetics and foodstuffs as an emulsifying and stabilising ingredient, for example. In addition, health beneficial Qusitol® obtained from sawdust, too, has shown potential for the treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS).
KP Tissue Inc. and Kruger Products L.P. announced the completion of construction and successful start-up of their state-of-the-art Sherbrooke manufacturing facility featuring Canada’s largest and most modern through-air-dry (TAD) tissue machine. The new facility also comprises three converting lines which have been successfully commissioned. Kruger Products also announced a further investment of $240M to expand the Sherbrooke operation with new production lines as well as the construction of a new tissue manufacturing facility over the next three years. This investment is part of the Company’s broader focus on expanding its business and continuing to offer high quality tissue products to customers across North America. The investment announced today is supported by the Government of Québec through Investissement Québec (“IQ”) which is investing $165M in loans.
Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson announced the appointment of members of the federal government’s Net-Zero Advisory Board. We have the unique opportunity to go beyond net-zero and can do this by: *Sequestering carbon and reducing land-based emissions through climate smart forestry and sustainably managing forests in the face of worsening pest, drought, and catastrophic fire risks; *Locking carbon into long-lived wood products and innovative wood building construction; *Building on our successful track record of reducing greenhouse gas emissions at our mills. Carbon emissions at Canadian forest product mills have been reduced by nearly 70% since the early 1990s and we can do more. *Using what would otherwise be wood waste to further green our operations and providing lower-carbon materials and biofuels to help other industries decarbonize.
Packaging Corporation of America announced that it has discontinued production of uncoated freesheet (UFS) grades on the No. 3 paper machine at its Jackson, AL mill and will begin preparing for the permanent conversion of the machine to linerboard. As previously disclosed, in order to meet strong packaging demand and maintain appropriate inventory levels, the machine temporarily began producing linerboard in the fourth quarter of 2020 and continued producing linerboard in the first quarter of 2021. The mill will now begin preparations to permanently convert the 365,000 ton-per-year No. 3 UFS paper machine to a 700,000 ton-per-year high-performance, virgin kraft linerboard machine, in a phased approach, over the next 36 months. Plans are for the machine to run at its current containerboard production rate for the next 12 to 15 months until the scheduled first phase outage is taken in the second quarter of 2022.
Dear Industry Member: The Postal Service is conducting a survey on the potential use of a larger size First Class Mail postcard and has asked ACMA and others to pass it on to our industries. The USPS says your feedback “will provide great insights for us to consider during the decision-making process.” SURVEY LINK: https://uspsci.allegiancetech.com/cgi-bin/qwebcorporate.dll?idx=F38Y58 The survey began February 24th and will remain open until Wednesday, March 10th.
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today released its StatShot report for December 2020 reflecting reported revenue for all tracked categories, including Trade (Consumer Books), K-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, Professional Publishing, and University Presses. Total revenues across all categories for December 2020 were down 8.5% as compared to December 2019, coming in at $1.1 billion. Year-to-date sales were flat, with an increase of 0.1% as compared to calendar 2019, with a total of $14.8 billion. Trade (Consumer Books) sales were up 9.5% in December, coming in at $796.1 million. For January-December 2020 Trade sales were up 9.7% as compared to the same period last year, coming in at $8.6 billion. In terms of physical paper format revenues during the month of December, in the Trade (Consumer Books) category, Hardback revenues were up 14.2%, coming in at $312.5 million; Paperbacks were up 2.4%, with $248.1 million in revenue; Mass Market was down 1.6% to $25.9 million; and Board Books were up 6.2%, with $16.7 million in revenue.
In a result no one in publishing would have predicted last spring when Covid-19 first hit the U.S., book publishing sales finished 2020 flat with 2019 based on year-end figures supplied by 1,354 publishers to AAP’s StatShot program. The two major trade categories, adult books and children/young adult, had gains of 12% and 6.4%, respectively, while the two big educational segments saw declines. With many public schools teaching remotely for long stretches of last year, sales of K-12 instructional materials fell 19.6% in 2020 compared to 2019. Sales of higher educational course materials declined 4.3% last year as many colleges and university turned to hybrid instruction, which changed buying habits by students.