Costco Wholesale Corporation reported net sales of $20.14 billion for the retail month of November, the four weeks ended November 26, 2023, an increase of 5.1 percent from $19.17 billion last year. For the twelve weeks ended November 26, 2023, the Company reported net sales of $56.71 billion, an increase of 6.1 percent from $53.44 billion for the twelve weeks of fiscal year 2023 ended November 20, 2022. Net sales for the twelve weeks were benefitted by approximately one-half to one percent in the U.S. and worldwide from the shift of the fiscal calendar, as a result of the fifty-third week in fiscal year 2023.
A growing number of leading companies are investing in "nature-based solutions" which are actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural ecosystems that benefit both biodiversity and human well-being. These actions target major challenges like climate change, disaster risk reduction, food and water security, biodiversity loss and human health, and are critical to sustainable economic development. To date, print and paper buyers have significantly contributed to forest conservation, biodiversity and climate change mitigation via the Carbon Balanced Paper and Print program and its partnership with the World Land Trust. The program has funded the long-term protection and management of 71,000 acres of highly biodiverse and threatened habitats in Vietnam, Mexico, Ecuador and Guatemala. In total, over 380,000 metric tons of CO2 have been sequestered.
The DEAL Consortium and scholarly publisher Wiley today announced the signing of a new five-year agreement which will allow scientists from German academic institutions to publish their research open access (OA) within Wiley’s portfolio of scientific journals. The new agreement continues the successful collaboration that started in 2019 and through which by now over 38,000 articles have been published open access. It will provide authors at participating German institutions with open access publishing options across Wiley’s portfolio alongside read access to all Wiley journal content. The new agreement will also: *Support institutions in the transition to OA, honoring the immense value learned societies bring to the scholarly community. *Enhance infrastructure, including robust workflows to support authors, librarians and open access administrators. *Support participating institutions with bespoke training and continuing collaboration with the Wiley DEAL Advisory Board to monitor success.
FY24 first quarter service performance scores covering October 1 through November 17, included: *First-Class Mail: 87.7 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 3.3 percentage points from the fiscal fourth quarter. *Marketing Mail: 94.3 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal fourth quarter. *Periodicals: 84.5 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 1.5 percentage points from the fiscal fourth quarter.
Bauer Media, one of the world’s leading media groups, is now using the Love Paper logo to highlight the sustainability of its printed magazines. The initiative signifies the company’s proactive stance in promoting the sustainable aspects of their print production and its commitment to behaving in an environmentally responsible way. The Love Paper campaign aims to improve perceptions and raise awareness of the sustainability and attractiveness of print, paper, and paper-based packaging. The campaign echoes Bauer’s long-standing commitment to environmental stewardship as outlined in its most recent Sustainability Report, which stated a commitment to source paper from sustainable partners.
Total Company net sales for the three months ended October 31, 2023, increased 9.0% to a record $1.28 billion. Total Retail segment net sales increased 7.3%, with comparable Retail segment net sales increasing 5.6%. The increase in Retail segment comparable net sales was driven by high single-digit positive growth in digital channel sales and mid single-digit positive growth in retail store sales. Comparable Retail segment net sales increased 22.5% at Free People and 13.2% at Anthropologie and decreased 14.2% at Urban Outfitters. Wholesale segment net sales decreased 3.6% driven by a 3.5% decrease in Free People wholesale sales due to a decrease in sales to department stores and close out account partners. Nuuly segment net sales increased by $30.2 million primarily driven by a 68% increase in our subscribers versus the end of the prior year’s comparable quarter.
For the third quarter ended October 28, 2023, net sales decreased 6.8 percent versus the same period in fiscal 2022. Gross merchandise value ("GMV") decreased 7.1 percent. Third quarter net sales include a 270 basis point negative impact from the wind-down of Canadian operations. Anniversary Sale timing, with one week shifting from the second quarter to the third quarter, had a positive impact of approximately 200 basis points on net sales compared with 2022. Excluding the impacts of the Canadian wind-down and Anniversary Sale timing shift, net sales would have been down approximately 6 percent. During the quarter, Nordstrom banner net sales decreased 9.4 percent and GMV decreased 9.8 percent. Net sales for Nordstrom Rack decreased 1.8 percent. During the third quarter, active grew by double-digits, and beauty and accessories were up by low single-digits, versus 2022.
“Our commitment is unwavering, and our preparation is thorough. We have been strategically planning early and leveraging significant investments in our people, infrastructure, delivery network, and technology,” said Postmaster General and CEO Louis DeJoy. “Thanks to the Delivering for America plan, we will be the most affordable way to ship and mail holiday cheer this year.” USPS is built for the holidays with affordable, reliable shipping services to help its customers send more joy this season. The ongoing transformation of the Postal Service includes efficient new facilities and a modernized delivery network to better serve its customers this holiday season, and year-round. To help customers experience seamless shipping and mailing during the holidays and beyond, USPS offers the following tips:
Comparisons refer to the 13-week period ended October 28, 2023 versus the 13-week period ended October 29, 2022 * Net sales decreased 5.2% year-over-year, to $3.8 billion, with comparable sales down 5.5%. *Gross margin as a percentage of net sales was 38.9%, an increase of 158 basis points. *Operating income was $157 million *Net income was $59 million *Inventory was $4.2 billion, a decrease of 13% year-over-year. *Operating cash flow was $151 million.
Are you interested in sending children and families some holiday magic this season? You can now adopt a letter written to Santa by going to USPSOperationSanta.com. In response to customer requests, this is the first time the U.S. Postal Service has opened the program before Black Friday. USPS Operation Santa turns 111 years old this year. The program relies solely on random acts of kindness and the generosity of strangers. It allows people to help children and families have a magical holiday when they otherwise might not — safely and securely. USPS Operation Santa is not a guaranteed gift-giving program. Since Sept. 18, the Postal Service has received letters from across the country and has been delivering them to Santa’s U.S. workshop at 123 Elf Road, North Pole 88888. Letters sent with First-Class Mail postage and complete, accurate and legible return addresses have been opened, reviewed and posted on USPSOperationSanta.com. People can begin reading and adopting letters today.
With oral arguments set for November 29, some 17 organizations and individuals have teamed up to file six separate amicus briefs urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to uphold a lower court decision striking key provisions of HB 900, Texas’s controversial book rating law. Among the briefs and arguments filed on November 17: The Freedom to Read Foundation and the American Association of School Librarians: "Appellants argue that HB 900 is simply an innocuous mechanism to protect school children from 'sexually explicit materials.' The Association of University Presses; Barnes & Noble; the Educational Book and Media Association; Freedom to Learn Advocates; Half Price Books, Records, Magazines; the Independent Book Publishers Association; Penguin Random House; and Sourcebooks: "First, the mandatory ratings are classic 'compelled speech' in violation of the First Amendment. As the District Court held, [HB 900] impermissibly compels Amici to 'create speech that [we do] not wish to make, and in addition, in which [we do] not agree with,' in violation of the First Amendment.
Holiday spending is expected to increase as much as 4 percent this year. That may not sound like much, but Americans are on track to spend a record $960 billion celebrating the December holidays. For retailers and consumers alike, printed receipts can help make the season brighter. Traditionally, Black Friday heralds the start of the holiday season, but for many, holiday spending is already in full swing, and it won’t stop until January, after the last gifts have been opened and any returns have been made. And despite what some anti-receipt advocates say, consumers overwhelmingly prefer to receive printed receipts with their purchases instead of digital receipts. “In our recent consumer survey, we found that 76 percent of folks want some form of a printed receipt, or at least the option to choose a printed receipt,” says Andrea Forehand, Domtar’s director of sales for thermal POS. “Skip the Slip legislation has come up twice in California, and we’ve been successful in lobbying to prevent that legislation from becoming law because people do want the choice.”
FY24 first quarter service performance scores covering October 1 through November 10, included: *First-Class Mail: 87.8 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 3.3 percentage points from the fiscal fourth quarter. *Marketing Mail: 94.5 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal fourth quarter. *Periodicals: 85.4 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal fourth quarter.
The Guardian Long Read Magazine will collect some of the publication’s best long stories into a print product that is sold on UK newsstands, NiemanLab reports. The first issue appeared on Nov. 11. It wasn’t known at deadline if the format will be extended to the U.S. The first issue’s cover headlines include: *A funeral for fish and chips shops *The war on knotweed *Three abandoned kids, 40 years on *My lament for a lost Khartoum
Saveur magazine is back—in print. It will appear again in March 2024, and pre-orders are being taken right now, writes Kat Craddock, editor and CEO of Saveur. There will be two issues per year to start. The title’s previous owners stopped publishing print issues during the pandemic. Craddock says the loss was heartbreaking. The March drop will be “just in time for Saveur’s 30th anniversary,” Craddock adds.
Gannett Co., Inc. announced it will repurchase $14.0 million of 6.00% first lien notes due November 1, 2026 for approximately $12.0 million, representing a discount to par value. The transaction is expected to close on November 17, 2023. In connection with the repurchase of the 2026 Senior Notes, the Company will receive a waiver from certain lenders under its five-year senior secured term loan facility that will reduce the scheduled amortization payment for the fiscal quarter ending December 31, 2023 payable to those lenders by the amount spent by the Company to repurchase the 2026 Senior Notes. "We continue to opportunistically take out additional senior notes below par value by working with our lenders, and this repurchase mirrors the executed agreement announced in mid-September," said Michael Reed, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "With the closing of this transaction, and subsequent to the third quarter, we will have repaid $20.2 million of debt, which will bring our year-to-date total to approximately $138.0 million, which exceeds our initial projections outlined at the beginning of the year.
BMI has launched its new member community, BMI Connect. You can see a brief overview by watching the video below. Besides a member's only group, there is an open forum for publishers and others to engage with BMI Members. Feel free to share the community with everyone. Learn more at: https://www.bmibook.com/news/bmi-launches-member-community
Keep US Posted — a nonprofit advocacy group of consumers, nonprofits, newspapers, greeting card publishers, magazines, catalogs, and small businesses — warned that postage rate hikes are contributing to the U.S. Postal Service’s mounting losses, after the USPS announced a loss of $6.5 billion for the fiscal year 2023 — the same year it was projected to break even under Postmaster General DeJoy’s Delivering for America plan. During yesterday’s open session, the USPS Board of Governors announced the staggering $6.5 billion loss for the year, driven by mail volume declines of more than 9 percent and an over 2 percent drop in package volumes. The Board of Governors also announced that it anticipates a $6.3 billion loss next year, and noted that the 10-year Delivering for America plan—which depended on package growth that has not materialized — could face changes.
The U.S. Postal Service filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) today of price changes for Shipping Services to take effect Jan. 21, 2024. These proposed prices were approved by the Postal Service governors earlier this week. USPS Ground Advantage prices would increase by 5.4 percent, Priority Mail service prices would increase by 5.7 percent, and Priority Mail Express service prices would increase by 5.9 percent. The Postal Service is also seeking price adjustments for Special Services products including Post Office Box rental fees and some international mail services that includes Registered Mail and International Mail insurance. The PRC will review the prices before they are scheduled to take effect.
*Net sales of $5 billion, down 7% versus the third quarter of 2022. Brick-and-mortar sales decreased 7% versus the third quarter of 2022. Digital sales decreased 7% versus the third quarter of 2022. *Comparable sales down 7.0% on an owned basis and down 6.3% on an owned-plus-licensed basis. - Macy’s comparable sales were down 7.6% on an owned basis and down 6.7% on an owned-plus-licensed basis. - Bloomingdale’s comparable sales on an owned basis were down 3.2% and on an owned-plus-licensed basis were down 4.4%. - Bluemercury comparable sales were up 2.5% on an owned basis. * Gross margin rate for the quarter was 40.3%, up from 38.7% in the third quarter of 2022.
*Strong revenue growth of 5.2% with strength across segments *eCommerce up 15% globally *GAAP EPS of $0.17; Adjusted EPS of $1.531 *Consolidated revenue of $160.8 billion, up 5.2%, or 4.3% in constant currency1. *Consolidated operating income was up $3.5 billion, or 130.1%, adjusted operating income up 3.0%1.
The U.S. Postal Service today announced its financial results for the 2023 fiscal year ended September 30. The net loss totaled $6.5 billion, compared to net income of $56.0 billion for the prior year. The net income last year was due primarily to the one-time non-cash impact of the Postal Service Reform Act (PSRA) in April 2022 and the results this year were significantly affected by the impact of inflation on operating expenses. Results under GAAP include retiree benefits expense for the amortization of underfunded Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) plans, and workers’ compensation expenses caused by actuarial revaluation and discount rate changes, as well as the impact of the PSRA for the same period last year. The Postal Service reports its adjusted results excluding these costs. Total operating revenue was $78.2 billion for the year, a decrease of $321 million, or 0.4 percent, compared to the same period last year, as package revenue increases were offset by mail revenue declines. Revenue for the overall Shipping and Packages category increased $324 million, or 1.0 percent, on a volume decline of 175 million pieces, or 2.4 percent, compared to the same period last year. Marketing Mail revenue decreased $920 million, or 5.8 percent, on a volume decline of 7.7 billion pieces, or 11.4 percent, compared to the same period last year. Total operating expenses were $85.4 billion for the year, an increase of $5.8 billion, or 7.3 percent, compared to the same period last year.
"As our CFO Joe Corbett will explain later in our financial presentation, the Postal Service finished the fiscal year 2023 with a $6.5 billion dollar net loss. When looking back to our DFA projections published in March of 2021, we forecasted that we would break even this year. Our efforts to grow revenue and reduce labor and transportation costs were simply not enough to overcome our costs to stabilize our organization, the historical inflationary environment we encountered, and our inability to obtain the CSRS reform we sought, none of which were accounted for in our forecasts. While we are not happy with this result, we cannot lose sight of the downward trajectory the Postal Service faced in the fall of 2020 after years of neglect and willful indifference by its stakeholders and custodians prior, and of the substantial progress we have made in correcting our condition and our trajectory."
Academic Partnerships (“AP”), a company that assists primarily regional public universities in expanding access and impact by supporting their online programs, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Wiley University Services, a line of business owned by Wiley (NYSE: WLY). The combined company will support over 125 colleges and universities in 40 U.S. states and internationally. AP primarily assists regional public universities with launching and maintaining their online programs. It is committed to expanding access to high-quality, high-return on investment, affordable, and workforce-relevant online education, especially for working and adult students. Wiley University Services works with institutions to deliver career-connected education programs aimed at helping students achieve their goals. Following the closing of the transaction, the combined company will provide universities with a best-in-class partner to support them in delivering programs online so more students can access affordable education, improve their careers, and meet employer and community needs.
FY24 first quarter service performance scores covering October 1 through November 3, included: *First-Class Mail: 88.0 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 3.0 percentage points from the fiscal fourth quarter. *Marketing Mail: 94.6 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal fourth quarter. *Periodicals: 85.7 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal fourth quarter.
Monday a broad coalition including Texas bookstores, national booksellers, authors and publishers filed an appellate brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, requesting that it affirm the preliminary injunction of the “Reader Act” (formerly HB 900) granted by Judge Alan D. Albright of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division. The Reader Act would require independent bookstores, national chain bookstores, large online book retailers, book publishers and other vendors to review and rate millions of books and other library materials according to sexual content if those books are sold to school libraries, and to do so according to vague labels dictated by the state without any process for judicial review. On September 18th of this year, Judge Albright issued a written opinion granting a preliminary injunction, ruling that the Act “likely violates the First Amendment by containing an unconstitutional prior restraint, compelled speech, and unconstitutional vagueness.” The State defendants filed an appeal later that day. Oral argument is scheduled for Wednesday, November 29th.
The Book Manufacturers’ Institute (BMI) has announced recipients of Signature Award, as well as four new members to the Cased-in Club. The honors, which were presented Monday evening November 6th at the Awards Banquet at the Fall Annual Conference in Palm Beach Gardnes, Florida, recognize BMI members who not only contribute to the success of their organization, but also to the continued success of the book manufacturing industry.
Google is discontinuing support for magazine content in Google News starting on Dec. 18, the company announced on Monday. On behalf of the Google News team, Ashwarya tells readers that if “you previously purchased or subscribed to magazines, access from Google News apps or news.google.com to your library of magazines will be removed.”
*First quarter revenues were $2.50 billion, a 1% increase compared to $2.48 billion in the prior year, driven by growth at the Book Publishing and Dow Jones segments *Net income in the quarter was $58 million, compared to net income of $66 million in the prior year *First quarter Total Segment EBITDA was $364 million, compared to $350 million in the prior year *In the quarter, reported EPS were $0.05 as compared to $0.07 in the prior year. *Within the Dow Jones segment, professional information business revenues rose 14% and helped to underpin 10% Segment EBITDA growth and the highest first quarter profit margins since News Corp’s acquisition in 2007 *REA Group posted strong revenue growth driven by the residential business, which benefited from a double digit yield increase and improving listing volumes in Australia *Book Publishing revenues grew 8%, while Segment EBITDA increased 67%, driven by higher book sales combined with improved returns
Sales were flat at $433.6 million compared to the same period last year. Sales and adjusted sales for the third quarter of 2023 include $6.3 million of sales related to gift card redemptions in connection with recall remedies. Our 2023 results have been materially adversely impacted by the stop sale of the soft coolers included in the recalls initiated during the first quarter of 2023. Gross profit increased 13% to $251.3 million, or 58.0% of sales, compared to $222.4 million, or 51.3% of sales, in the third quarter of 2022. Gross profit included a $0.8 million, or 20 basis points, favorable impact related to lower than anticipated recall-related costs. The increase in gross margin was primarily due to lower inbound freight costs and lower product costs. Operating income decreased 10% to $61.9 million, or 14.3% of sales, compared to $68.5 million, or 15.8% of sales during the prior year quarter. Net income decreased 6% to $42.7 million, or 9.8% of sales, compared to $45.5 million, or 10.5% of sales in the prior year quarter; Net income per diluted share decreased 6% to $0.49, compared to $0.52 in the prior year quarter.
• The Company added approximately 210,000 net digital-only subscribers compared with the end of the second quarter of 2023, fueled by bundle and multi-product subscriber additions, bringing the Company’s total subscribers over the 10 million mark • Total digital-only average revenue per user (“ARPU”) grew quarter-over-quarter for the fifth consecutive quarter to $9.28 as a result of subscribers graduating from promotional to higher prices and from price increases on tenured non-bundle subscribers • Higher digital subscribers and ARPU drove strong year-over-year growth in subscription revenues from digital products of 15.7 percent • Advertising revenues increased 6.0 percent year-over-year, driven by digital advertising revenues, which grew 6.7 percent year-over-year due to continued strength in core premium display advertising products • Operating costs increased 7.7 percent year-over-year and adjusted operating costs (defined below) increased 6.2 percent, largely as a result of continued investments into journalism and product development, which are core growth drivers of the business • Operating profit of $63.6 million, a 24.6 percent increase year-over-year, with adjusted operating profit (defined below) of $89.8 million, a 30.1 percent increase year-over-year, driven by revenue growth as well as cost management
The Wall Street Journal will no longer publish weekly book bestseller lists. The paper will not renew its contract with Circana BookScan, which powered the listings, according to Publishers Weekly. The last listings, including six fiction and nonfiction lists and a hardcover business list, appeared in last weekend’s edition, PR continues.
The Envelope Manufacturers Association (EMA) Foundation’s Institute for Postal Studies is releasing its 2023 U.S. Mailing Industry Economic Job Study, which reveals overall industry impact remains strong thanks to growth in e-commerce driven parcel delivery. In 2022, the industry accounted for approximately 7.9 million jobs and $1.9 trillion in sales revenue. This includes employment at the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), private delivery companies, printers, publishers, packaging manufacturers, and paper manufacturers that rely on the Postal Service as a supply chain partner.
FY24 first quarter service performance scores covering October 1 through October 27, included: *First-Class Mail: 88.1 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 2.9 percentage points from the fiscal fourth quarter. *Marketing Mail: 94.5 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal fourth quarter. *Periodicals: 85.6 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal fourth quarter.
• Reported revenue increased 8%; Adjusted revenue, excluding Engineering Solutions (ES), increased 11%. • GAAP diluted EPS increased 27%, and adjusted diluted EPS increased 10% year over year. • Revenue from Sustainability and Energy Transition products accelerated to 36% year-over-year growth excluding ES. Vitality revenue, which is revenue from new or enhanced products, increased 22% (ex-ES) and contributed 12% of reported revenue in Q3. • Previously announced $500 million ASR has been completed and an additional $1.3 billion ASR to be launched in the coming weeks.
Costco Wholesale Corporation reported net sales of $18.53 billion for the retail month of October, the four weeks ended October 29, 2023, an increase of 4.5 percent from $17.73 billion last year. For the first eight weeks of the fiscal year ended October 29, 2023, the Company reported net sales of $36.57 billion, an increase of 5.3 percent from $34.74 billion for the first eight weeks of fiscal year 2023 ended October 23, 2022.
• Operating Income of $34.9 million; Net Loss Attributable to Gannett of $2.6 million • Cash Provided by Operating Activities of $20.6 million; Free Cash Flow(1) of $7.4 million • Repaid $65.3 million in Debt; First Lien Net Leverage Below 2.0x
Two Northern Rhode Island dailies, The Call of Woonsocket and The Times of Pawtucket, are merging into a single paper. The new paper will be published six days a week, including a weekend edition on Saturdays, The Public’s Radio, NPR’s Rhode Island member network, reported. The Sunday edition of The Call is being shuttered. The combined staffs include two news reporters, two sports reporters and one photographer. Seth Bromley is editor of both, The Public’s Radio continues.
Time has debuted “Time CO2 Futures,” a program of news reporting in response to global warming, wildfires and extreme weather events. It was launched in partnership with Time’s climate action platform, Time CO2. "Time CO2 Futures" will feature reporting on how a variety of business sectors approach sustainability, including: fashion, apparel, and beauty; mobility and manufacturing; healthcare and diagnostics; food and farming.
Two Sides North America (TSNA) President Kathi Rowzie announced that Jules Van Sant and Jill Crossley have joined the TSNA leadership team as Executive Director and Director of Operations, respectively. “I am thrilled to welcome these two outstanding professionals to help lead Two Sides North America into the future,” Rowzie said. “As we continue to grow, Jules and Jill bring a wealth of sustainability knowledge and industry experience that will add value to everything we do for our members and will make us even more effective in eliminating anti-paper greenwashing and telling the great sustainability story of print, paper and paper-based packaging.”
Investment firm KKR has completed its $1.62.billion acquisition of publisher Simon & Schuster from Paramount Global. KKR is supporting Simon & Schuster’s employee ownership program. KKR has awarded billions of dollars of total equity value to over 60,000 non-senior management employees since 2011.
Given the ubiquitous nature of digital devices and digital service promotion, some businesses may be tempted to transition to paperless record keeping systems based on preconceived notions that going digital is somehow more sustainable. That assumption could not be further from the truth. Paper continues to play a significant role in the digital era, especially when it comes to sustainability, accessibility, and security for businesses. Businesses must recognize the enduring value and broad benefits of paper documents. Even with advancements in electronic files, paper remains a critical component for organizations of all types. First, let's address the sustainability of paper. Trees are one of our most abundant renewable resources in America, and a healthy paper industry is critical to maintaining healthy forests. More than a billion trees are planted in the U.S. each year, and almost all the wood used to produce paper products is sourced from private, sustainably managed forests. Sustainable practices are the root of the paper industry, and we continue to advance sustainability through investment and innovation.
FY24 first quarter service performance scores covering October 1 through October 20, included: *First-Class Mail: 89.1 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 2.0 percentage points from the fiscal fourth quarter. *Marketing Mail: 94.3 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal fourth quarter. *Periodicals: 84.6 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 1.4 percentage points from the fiscal fourth quarter.
UPS announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Happy Returns from PayPal. Happy Returns is a U.S.-based software and reverse logistics company that enables frictionless, no-box, no-label returns for merchants and consumers. “We know that returns have long frustrated shoppers and retailers looking for quick and easy solutions,” UPS CEO Carol B. Tomé said. “By combining Happy Returns’ easy digital experience and established drop-off points with UPS’s small package network and footprint of close to 5,200 The UPS Store locations, box-free, label-free returns will soon be available at more than 12,000 convenient locations in the U.S.” “Joining the UPS team is a win for both our employees and our customers,” said Happy Returns CEO and co-founder David Sobie, who will continue to lead the business for UPS after the deal closes. “In recent years, the growth of Happy Returns has accelerated, and we’ve built an enterprise-grade solution. This new chapter is a natural next step for Happy Returns and allows us to harness the power of the UPS network to transform the returns industry.”
*Net sales increased 13% to $143.1 billion in the third quarter, compared with $127.1 billion in third quarter 2022. Excluding the $1.4 billion favorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, net sales increased 11% compared with third quarter 2022. *Operating income increased to $11.2 billion in the third quarter, compared with $2.5 billion in third quarter 2022. *Net income increased to $9.9 billion in the third quarter, or $0.94 per diluted share, compared with $2.9 billion, or $0.28 per diluted share, in third quarter 2022.
The U.S Postal Service (USPS) and U.S. Postal Inspection Service (Inspection Service) provided an update on their Project Safe Delivery campaign to crack down on postal crimes, including attacks against postal employees. Announced in May 2023, Project Safe Delivery is a USPS initiative to combat the recent rise in threats and attacks on letter carriers and mail theft incidents by protecting Postal employees and the security of the nation’s mail and packages. Multiple departments within USPS, including the Inspection Service, the Office of the Chief Information Officer, and the Office of the Chief Retail and Delivery Officer are working together to support the ongoing campaign. To help strengthen this effort, the Inspection Service has also significantly increased monetary rewards for information leading to the arrest or conviction of a perpetrator of postal crimes. “As our nation continues to address a sustained crime wave, our targeted focus to crack down on postal crime is progressing,” said Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Louis DeJoy. “The safety of our letter carriers — and all postal employees — is our top priority. We will continue to work steadfastly with our law enforcement partners to increase the safety of our employees and protect the sanctity of the nation’s mail.”
Savvas Learning Company, a next-generation K-12 learning solutions leader, announced today that it is partnering with Brainingcamp to provide easy-to-use digital manipulatives that make math learning even more visual and interactive, enabling students to build deep understanding of mathematical concepts. Savvas will offer Brainingcamp’s high-quality, digital math manipulatives with its newest K-8 math programs: the award-winning enVision Mathematics © 2024 and the brand-new, student-centered Experience Math © 2025. Manipulatives, traditionally physical objects used in classrooms, provide an active, hands-on approach to learning that have been proven to help promote students’ engagement and increase their conceptual understanding of math. Complementing physical manipulatives, digital manipulatives make use of expanding technology in classrooms, allowing students to explore concepts more deeply through additional functionality and animation as well as more readily collaborate through screen sharing, onscreen writing, and text tools.
*Delivered sales of $4.2 billion, up 6.7%, or 8.7% on a daily, constant currency basis *Generated operating earnings of $667 million, up 10.7%, with operating margin of 15.9%, up 60 basis points *Achieved diluted EPS of $9.43, an increase of 14.1% *Produced $523 million in operating cash flow and returned $287 million to Grainger shareholders through dividends and share repurchases *Narrowing full-year 2023 total Company guidance, including an updated outlook for daily sales growth between 8.5% to 9.5% and diluted EPS of $36.00 to $36.60
Bonnier USA has sold its marine media division to Craig Fuller’s Flying Media Group. The transaction was announced at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show. Bonnier’s media division publishes the nation’s leading portfolio of iconic marine brands with Yachting, Boating, Sailing World, Cruising World, and Salt Water Sportsman, produces the award-winning SFTV television series, and hosts the Sailing World Regatta Series. “The sale of our marine media division marks our fifth transaction in shaping a group with full focus on experiential outdoor adventure,” said Jens Mueffelmann, Executive Chairman of Bonnier LLC. “Craig Fuller has vigorously transformed aviation media. He is the perfect new owner of our marine media division.”
A number of iconic magazines, catalogues and even local newspapers are reviving their print versions to reach their audiences in more relevant and exciting ways. Whether it’s global fashion titles, luxury retail catalogues or community-driven newspapers, people are rediscovering the power of print to make a deep connection with people. Elle Magazine - Four years after it was last printed, the global fashion media brand has made a return to print in Australia, following a resurgence in print magazine sales and associated advertising revenue. NME Magazine - After halting its print version five years ago in favour of an online-only approach, legendary music publication, the NME has returned to print. Neiman Marcus Catalogue - Following the news that Boden has admitted that reducing the scale of their catalogue contributed to a downturn in the company’s fortunes and that they would bring back the widely loved publication, a number of other retail brands are rethinking their attitude to catalogues. Local Newspapers - Print is also making a return at a local level, with publishers and readers rediscovering its ability to forge solid bonds with local communities and feature content that’s highly relevant to its readership.
Resale ticket prices are predictably high for the Hawks’ home opener Saturday against the Golden Knights, but they also look healthy for future home games. That’s because brokers are no longer dumping tickets, which should help season-ticket members recoup more value. This season, those physical, printed tickets will finally be available again. After any game they attended, fans can order physical tickets for $10 each. On the front, the ticket looks like an old-school ticket with matchup and seat info, but on the back, there will be stats from the game.
FY24 first quarter service performance scores covering October 1 through October 13, included: *First-Class Mail: 90.4 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal fourth quarter. *Marketing Mail: 94.3 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal fourth quarter. *Periodicals: 86.0 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal fourth quarter.
Outdoor retailer REI Co-op is closing on Thanksgiving and Black Friday again this year as part of its annual Opt Outside tradition. Rather than focusing on profits and sales, the co-op is paying its 16,000 employees to spend the day outside, while calling on the broader community to join and help others to do the same. Today, over 100 million people in the U.S. lack access to quality outdoor space. To help close this gap, REI launched its Outside in 5 initiative earlier this year—bringing together its 23-million member community to partner with nonprofits and support legislation to help everyone in America get outside in five minutes, no matter where they live.
Wiley announced its intent to enter a new five-year agreement with the DEAL Consortium, a countrywide consortium representative of more than 1,000 academic institutions in Germany, commencing January 2024. Wiley and DEAL are creating a blueprint for the next phase of open access publishing to better meet the evolving needs of the scholarly community. Their new agreement will continue to provide authors at German institutions with open access publishing options across Wiley’s portfolio. This includes read access to all Wiley journal content. Importantly, the new agreement will deliver ever-more benefits for the German research system by: *Supporting institutions in the transition to OA and honoring the immense value learned societies bring to the scholarly community. *Recognizing the unique investment needs of journals that deliver multiple forms of impact to their researcher communities. *Enhancing infrastructure, including robust workflows to support authors, readers, and librarians, as well as approval and oversight for administrators for OA articles. *Supporting participating institutions with bespoke training and deepening collaboration with the well-established Wiley DEAL Advisory Board to monitor success.
Bereft of reporters who want to do the job, Vermont’s White River Valley Herald is using ChatGPT to cover local meetings. Editor and Publisher Tim Calabro asked ChatGPT to create a summary of a local selectboard meeting, according the Vermont site Seven Days, and compared the result against a transcript of the event. His verdict: “It wasn’t awful.”
Costco Wholesale Corporation announced that Craig Jelinek has confirmed his intention to step down as Chief Executive Officer, effective January 1, 2024. The Board of Directors has elected Ron Vachris, President and Chief Operating Officer since February 2022, as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective January 1, 2024. Craig and Ron have worked hand in hand over the last twenty-one months in Ron's role as president and for many years before that. This is the culmination of the long-standing succession plan that Craig has discussed with the Board. Ron is a Costco veteran, with over forty years of service to the Company, starting as a forklift driver, and subsequently serving in every major role related to Costco's business operations and merchandising activities. "Costco has a very strong culture and a deep bench of management talent," said Craig Jelinek. "I have total confidence in Ron and feel that we are fortunate as a Company to have an executive of his caliber to succeed me."
Total revenues across all categories for August 2023 were up 8.5% as compared to August 2022, coming in at $1.5 billion. Year-to-date revenues were up 0.6%, at $8.0 billion for the first eight months of the year. Trade (Consumer Books) revenues were up 8.9% in August, coming in at $785.0 million. In terms of physical paper format revenues during the month of August, in the Trade (Consumer Books) category, Hardback revenues were up 17.4%, coming in at $277.8 million; Paperbacks were up 8.9%, with $295.1 million in revenue; Mass Market was down 19.1% to $12.2 million; and Special Bindings were up 15.0%, with $19.6 million in revenue. eBook revenues were down 3.7% for the month as compared to August 2022 for a total of $87.1 million, and the Digital Audio format remained up at 5.7% for August, coming in at $68.2 million in revenue. Physical Audio was up 21.1% coming in at $1.3 million.
With a recent poll concluding that the majority of Americans would prefer to return to pre-internet days, are we just seeing a nostalgic yearning for simpler times or is there something deeper and more complex going on? The poll1 revealed that the desire to return to an unplugged era is surprisingly strong among the younger generation and is not strikingly different from those who are old enough to remember not having smartphones and easy internet access. While 77% of Americans aged 35 to 54 said they would prefer a return to their analog roots – the highest of any group in the survey – an eyebrow-raising 63% of 18- to 34-year-olds also agreed with this sentiment. The survey also revealed that 57% of people under 35 agreed with the statement that “technology is more likely to divide people than unite them”– an indication that the social media generation may be growing weary – and wary – of the world of feuding tech billionaires, Chat GPT and Deepfake.
Amazon, Booking.com, Expedia Group, Glassdoor, Tripadvisor, and Trustpilot announced they have teamed up to launch the global Coalition for Trusted Reviews, a cross-industry collaboration committed to protecting access to trustworthy consumer reviews worldwide. Together, members will define best practices for hosting online reviews and sharing methods of fake review detection, aiming to stop fake reviews at the source. Companies met in October 2022 in San Francisco at the first ever Fake Reviews Conference, organized by Tripadvisor. Attendees heard from experts in government, academia and the industry at large on common challenges and potential mitigation approaches related to the issue of fake reviews. This resulted in the establishment of a formal coalition to collaborate on public education and ongoing information sharing between members, in an effort to decrease review fraud.
Amazon is making a key tool in its fight against counterfeit products more readily usable by brands selling on its platform. The e-tail giant is making Amazon Transparency, its product serialization solution designed to prevent counterfeits from being sold on its site, interoperable with brands’ own product serialization systems. Interoperability will enable brands that already have their own product serialization on their products or packaging to have access to Transparency’s protections without requiring any changes to their existing manufacturing and packaging processes.
Ski publication Powder magazine is back in print with its Powder 23/24 Photo Annual. Powder provides daily online content, but “one question was seemingly on the mind of nearly every skier: 'When is Powder coming back to print?' writes Matt Lorelli, the lead trending news writer for Powder, on the magazine’s site. The Powder team is “ecstatic to say that Powder, The Skier’s Magazine since 1972, is officially back and ready to be enjoyed once again as founders Jake and Dave Moe intended -- in print,” Lorelli adds.
FY24 first quarter service performance scores covering Sept. 30 through October 6, included: *First-Class Mail: 91.0 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal fourth quarter. *Marketing Mail: 95.8 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal fourth quarter. *Periodicals: 85.7 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal fourth quarter.
Amazon Prime members saved more than $1 billion across millions of deals during Prime Big Deal Days on October 10 and 11. For the second year, Amazon kicked off the holiday shopping season with a two-day exclusive shopping event for Prime members, helping members get everything they want and need, quickly and reliably across hundreds of millions of items worldwide. “Prime Big Deal Days was a strong start to the holiday shopping season, offering Prime members an exclusive early opportunity to save and surpassing our expectations. This event outpaced last year’s holiday kick-off event, with more Prime members shopping this year,” said Doug Herrington, CEO of Worldwide Amazon Stores. “Millions of Prime packages in the U.S. have already been delivered, and we’ll continue to offer fast, free delivery across our wide selection throughout the holidays. Thank you to our employees and selling partners around the world for their continued commitment to our customers as we head into this busy shopping season.”
An increase of U.S. tariffs on Chinese made goods could have a major impact on American consumers’ spending power. That's according to the National Retail Federation’s latest study, “Estimated Impacts of Changes to China’s Tariff Status,” which finds that consumers could lose $31 billion in spending power if U.S. tariffs are raised on common household products like microwaves, t-shirts, toys, footwear and more imported from China. This figure comes out to $240 per household in higher prices for widely-used items. “Many elected officials and others have expressed a growing interest in a number of trade policy and practice changes that would affect U.S. trade with China,” said NRF. “Chief among them is a proposal to terminate China’s ‘permanent normal trade relations’ (PNTR) trade status, subjecting imports from China to ‘Column 2’ tariff rates, which can be much higher than ‘normal trade relations’ rates. Some have even suggested raising the rates higher than ‘Column 2’ rates.”
Thomas G. Day was officially sworn in as a commissioner of the Postal Regulatory Commission and named vice chairman of the agency by a unanimous vote of commissioners; while Commissioner Robert G. Taub begins his third term with the agency after being confirmed by the United States Senate on September 28, 2023. PRC Chairman Michael Kubayanda said “I am pleased to continue serving alongside Commissioner Taub and to serve with Commissioner Day. They are experienced and highly skilled public servants who have contributed significantly to the nation and our postal system, and will continue to do so.”
A host of new titles and a solid performance by the adult segments led to a 4.7% increase in unit sales of print books last week over the week ended October 8, 2022 at outlets that report to Circana BookScan. Adult fiction returned to its winning ways with sales up 7.1%. There was no single blockbuster driving sales, but five new releases were among the category’s top 10 bestsellers. Hannah Grace’s Wildfire took the #1 spot, selling nearly 60,000 copies. Tatsuki Fujimoto’s Chainsaw Man, Vol. 12 was in third place, selling over 33,000 copies, followed by Judgment Prey by John Sandford, which sold more than 28,000 copies.
Walmart is committed to delivering high-quality milk to meet the growing demand of our customers. Today, we’re excited to share we are furthering that commitment with the opening of an owned and operated milk processing facility in Valdosta, Georgia. The new facility, which will break ground later this year and create nearly 400 Walmart jobs in the Valdosta community, has innovation at its core. It will bolster our capacity to meet the demand for high-quality milk, while making our supply chain more resilient, and building even more transparency around sourcing. Using ingredients sourced from local farmers, the new facility will process and bottle a variety of milk options including gallon, half gallon, whole, 2%, 1%, skim and 1% chocolate milk for Walmart’s Great Value and Sam’s Club’s Member’s Mark brands. The products from the facility will serve more than 750 Walmart stores and Sam’s Clubs in the Southeast.
Learning technology company HMH today announced that its leadership consulting organization, the Center for Model Schools, and AASA, The School Superintendents Association, are partnering to support superintendents and school system leaders as they work to transform their communities, improve teaching and learning and advance equity. The Center and AASA will provide opportunities for ongoing leadership collaboration throughout the year to deepen connections and support student success. Through the new Superintendents Teaching and Learning Network supported by both organizations, district leaders will engage in a multi-year effort to develop and refine their transformation strategies with experts and peers and apply their learning within their communities. Additionally, the Center’s Model Schools Conference, which brings together 5,000 educators annually, will become a milestone event for AASA’s educational leadership initiative, AASA Learning 2025.
Savvas Learning Company, a next-generation K-12 learning solutions leader, is proud to introduce Experience Math, a brand-new, K-8 student-centered program that engages students through exploration and a hands-on learning approach while also supporting teachers with high-value, in-the-moment professional learning to create collaborative classrooms. Developed by Marian Small, Ed.D., an internationally renowned mathematics educator and author, Experience Math provides teachers with resources for intentional teaching and informed decision-making to help them become better practitioners. The new program also focuses on deepening students’ understanding of math concepts by encouraging them to be active mathematical thinkers and problem-solvers.
WBA fourth quarter sales increased 9.2 percent from the year-ago quarter to $35.4 billion, an increase of 8.3 percent on a constant currency basis, reflecting sales growth in the U.S. Retail Pharmacy and International segments, and sales contribution from the U.S. Healthcare segment. Fourth quarter operating loss was $450 million compared to an operating loss of $822 million in the year-ago quarter. Net loss in the fourth quarter was $180 million compared to a net loss of $415 million in the year-ago quarter, primarily driven by a lower operating loss.
To assist customers with their preparations for the upcoming busy holiday shopping and shipping season, the U.S. Postal Service is providing 2023 holiday shipping and mailing deadlines. The information below covers domestic, international and military shipping destinations to allow for the timely delivery of cards, letters and packages by Dec. 25th. The Postal Service has announced it will not have a peak, or demand, surcharge this holiday season, offering increased predictability in pricing for customers. As always, the Postal Service offers simple, upfront pricing year-round with no additional fees for residential area delivery, for Saturday delivery, no fuel surcharges and no volume minimums. The Postal Service continues to be the most affordable way to mail and ship this holiday season.
Wiley announced the departure of Brian Napack as President and Chief Executive Officer and the appointment of Matthew Kissner as Interim CEO, effective immediately. Mr. Kissner previously served as Wiley’s Group Executive and Board Chair, as well as Interim CEO from May to December 2017. Wiley will be rescheduling its planned October 12 Investor Day for a later date to be determined. In June, Mr. Napack and Wiley’s executive leadership announced a value creation plan that includes intensifying focus on Wiley’s strongest and most profitable businesses, divesting non-core assets, and rightsizing and streamlining the Company. Mr. Kissner will leverage his in-depth knowledge of Wiley’s operations and his professional experience to execute this plan and ensure a smooth transition. As previously disclosed, Fiscal 2024 is a transition year for the Company with the benefits of the value creation plan expected to be realized in fiscal year 2025 and 2026.
The United States Postal Service filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) of mailing services price changes to take effect Jan. 21, 2024. The new rates include a 2-cent increase in the price of a First-Class Mail Forever stamp, from 66 cents to 68 cents. The proposed adjustments, approved by the governors of the Postal Service, would raise mailing services product prices approximately 2 percent. As inflationary pressures on operating expenses continue and the effects of a previously defective pricing model are still being felt, these price adjustments are needed to provide the Postal Service with much needed revenue to achieve the financial stability sought by its Delivering for America 10-year plan. The prices of the Postal Service remain among the most affordable in the world.
Unit sales of print books fell 4.1% in the first nine months of 2023, compared to the same period in 2022, at outlets that report to Circana BookScan. A weak third quarter, in which sales dropped 6.7%, accelerated the decline; for the first half of 2023, sales were down 2.7%. Sales in every major category fell, with the most notable development being the third-quarter swoon in adult fiction, where sales dropped 7.6%, leaving it 0.2% below the first nine months of 2022. (To be fair, adult fiction sales in last year’s third quarter had jumped 38.5% over the third quarter of 2021.) Graphic novels, which posted huge gains in 2021 and 2022, continued to see sales slide in 2023, with units down 24.3% in the nine-month period. Even with the big decline, graphic novels was the third-biggest adult fiction subcategory, trailing only general fiction and romance. Despite cooling in the summer, the romance genre was up 16.5% over the first nine months of 2022.
FY23 fourth quarter service performance scores covering July 1 through September 29, included: *First-Class Mail: 91.5 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 1.1 percentage points from the fiscal third quarter. *Marketing Mail: 95.2 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal third quarter. *Periodicals: 86.3 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 2.6 percentage points from the fiscal third quarter.
Adobe released its online shopping forecast for the 2023 holiday season, covering the period from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31, 2023. Based on Adobe Analytics data, the analysis provides the most comprehensive view into U.S. e-commerce by analyzing commerce transactions online, covering over 1 trillion visits to U.S. retail sites, 100 million SKUs and 18 product categories. Adobe Analytics is part of Adobe Experience Cloud, relied upon by over 85% of the top 100 internet retailers in the U.S.* to deliver, measure and personalize shopping experiences online. Adobe expects U.S. online holiday sales to hit $221.8 billion this holiday shopping season (Nov. 1 to Dec. 31), representing 4.8% growth year-over-year (YoY). In the 2022 season, shoppers spent $211.7 billion online, and saw 3.5% YoY growth.
Costco Wholesale Corporation reported net sales of $22.75 billion for the retail month of September, the five weeks ended October 1, 2023, an increase of 6.0 percent from $21.46 billion last year. The five-week period this year included the last week of the 53-week fiscal year 2023 ended September 3, 2023.
The economy is top of mind for most people right now, with new numbers flashing in front of our eyes every day, with differing opinions on what they mean and how they will impact us. Even more important — how will these numbers impact your printing business, specifically? It’s not enough to look at the broad economic picture, you need to know how it affects our industry. According to the PRINTING United Alliance annual State of the Industry Report, sponsored by Canon U.S.A. Inc., published in June 2023, the picture isn’t fantastic, but it’s not quite as bad an outlook at it could be.
Learning technology company HMH today announced its successful achievement of ISO 27001 certification for its Information Security Management System (ISMS). This certification underscores HMH’s unwavering commitment to maintaining the highest standards of information security and safeguarding the confidential data of its customers and stakeholders. ISO 27001 is an internationally recognized standard that sets forth requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continually improving an ISMS within the context of an organization's overall business risks. This certification demonstrates HMH’s dedication to mitigating risks and protecting sensitive information.
Macy's, Inc. announced an accelerated expansion of its small-format store strategy, potentially tripling the total number of its small-format stores through fall 2025. Beginning in 2024, up to 30 new Macy’s small-format locations will open across the country. This expansion is in addition to the nearly 15 small-format Macy’s and Bloomie’s locations that Macy’s, Inc. currently operates. Paired with a premier digital experience, these small-format stores enhance the company’s store portfolio with a mix of the best on- and off-mall locations, to deliver a seamless shopping experience across channels.
Faced a growing number of different state privacy laws, the Association of National Advertisers and 4A's on Monday launched a new initiative that aims to persuade federal lawmakers to pass a national data law that would override state laws. “We have spent years waiting for the federal government to do something,” Marla Kaplowitz, president and CEO of the 4A’s told MediaPost Monday. “We worry that that if we don't get to federal data privacy legislation, we're in big trouble,” she added. The new Responsible Privacy in Advertising Initiative expects to also update an industry self-regulatory code by the first quarter of 2024. The ad groups plan to then seek widespread compliance with the new code, and will likely argue to Congress that a federal privacy law should allow advertisers to harness data in ways permitted by the updated code.
FY23 fourth quarter service performance scores covering July 1 through September 22, included: *First-Class Mail: 91.4 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 1.2 percentage points from the fiscal third quarter. *Marketing Mail: 95.2 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal third quarter. *Periodicals: 86.2 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 2.7 percentage points from the fiscal third quarter.
Remember when Banned Books Week used to be billed as a “celebration” of the freedom to read? This year, Banned Books Week (running October 1–7) will once again be more like a call to arms, as new surveys and reports show that a well-organized political movement is continuing to drive record numbers of book bans across the nation. For more than 40 years, the ALA’s Banned Books Week has spotlighted attempts to censor books in libraries and schools, uniting librarians, booksellers, publishers, and readers in support of free expression. Reading advocate, writer, and actor LeVar Burton is leading this year’s Banned Books Week as honorary chair.
Costco Wholesale Corporation announced its operating results for the 17-week fourth quarter and the 53-week fiscal year ended September 3, 2023. Net sales for the 17-week fourth quarter were $77.43 billion, an increase of 9.4 percent from $70.76 billion in the 16-week fourth quarter last year. Net sales for the 53-week fiscal year were $237.71 billion, an increase of 6.7 percent from $222.73 billion in the 52-week fiscal year of 2022. Net income for the 17-week fourth quarter was $2.160 billion, $4.86 per diluted share, compared to $1.868 billion, $4.20 per diluted share, in the 16-week fourth quarter last year. Net income for the 53-week fiscal year was $6.292 billion, $14.16 per diluted share, compared to $5.844 billion, $13.14 per diluted share, in the 52-week prior year.
The Federal Trade Commission, supported by 17 state attorneys general, finally filed its long-awaited antitrust lawsuit against Amazon yesterday. In a 172-page complaint, the government alleged that the e-tailer “uses a set of interlocking anticompetitive and unfair strategies to illegally maintain its monopoly power.” The use of that power, the government continued, allows Amazon “to stop rivals and sellers from lowering prices, degrade quality for shoppers, overcharge sellers, stifle innovation, and prevent rivals from fairly competing against Amazon.” The immediate industry reaction to the news of the suit was uniform: “What took so long?” Or, in the words of Melville House publisher Dennis Johnson, that it was “about fucking time.” An industry lawyer, who wished to remain anonymous, gave a more nuanced view in wondering why it took the government so long to act, pointing to the infamous buy button case in 2010, when Amazon pulled Macmillan’s buy buttons in a dispute over e-book terms.
FY23 fourth quarter service performance scores covering July 1 through September 15, included: *First-Class Mail: 91.4 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 1.1 percentage points from the fiscal third quarter. *Marketing Mail: 95.2 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal third quarter. *Periodicals: 86.2 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 2.7 percentage points from the fiscal third quarter.
A new report from Wiley (NYSE: WLY) suggests that generative artificial intelligence (AI) is already being used in the majority of college classrooms—and that number could climb quickly. The majority (58%) of college instructors who responded to Wiley’s recent survey say they or their students are already using generative AI in their classrooms, according to the company’s new report, Higher Ed’s Next Chapter, 2023-2024. And another third of those who aren’t say they’d consider using it in the future. More than 60% of instructors are somewhat or very familiar with generative AI tools. “The whirlwind that is generative AI has swept across our college campuses with remarkable speed, and there’s no going back,” said Smita Bakshi, senior vice president of academic learning at Wiley. “It’s important for college instructors to educate themselves and their students on effective and appropriate use of this new technology in the classroom.”
In a new report released this week, PEN America found 3,362 instances of books banned in public schools in the 2022-23 school year, marking a 33% increase over last year. And in an eyeopening finding, PEN officials found more than 40% percent of all book bans tracked by PEN America occurred in school districts in Florida—1,406 across 33 school districts across the state—with Texas a distant second (625), followed by Missouri (333), Utah (281), and Pennsylvania (186). "Amid a growing climate of censorship, school book bans continue to spread through coordinated campaigns by a vocal minority of groups and individual actors and, increasingly, as a result of pressure from state legislation," the report, Banned in the USA: The Mounting Pressure to Censor, finds.
The Book Manufacturers’ Institute (BMI) hosted its industry event, Book Manufacturing Mastered, on Thursday September 14, 2023 at the Penguin Random House offices in New York City. The 2022 version was held in Chicago, with the first iteration being held in February 2020 in New York City just prior to the pandemic. Book Manufacturing Mastered 2023 was the largest yet, with over 155 registrants, almost half being publishers. The day was kicked off with an industry overview given by Marco Boer of I.T. Strategies. The morning also featured two panels, one of publishers and one of book manufacturers, that each gave their perspectives on what has changed in the industry of late, and what still needs to change for everyone to be successful. After a networking lunch, attendees participated in roundtable discussions about what their biggest challenges currently are, while brainstorming possible solutions. The day was wrapped up with a keynote by Jaime Marco of Evolve the Business and a closing reception featuring tabletop displays by BMI member printers and suppliers.
"Our 2022 peak season was a tremendous success," said Postmaster General and CEO Louis DeJoy. “We are ready to deliver for the holidays in a superior and routine manner. We have been planning early and leveraging investments in our people, infrastructure, transportation and technology made possible by the Delivering for America plan. And with no holiday surcharges, we are strongly positioned to be America’s most affordable delivery provider this holiday season.” In 2022, the Postal Service processed more than 11.7 billion mailpieces and packages during the holiday season. On average, it took just 2.5 days to deliver a mailpiece or package to its intended destination. The Postal Service also announced it will not levy any additional surcharges for customers this holiday season, offering increased predictability in pricing for customers.
Total revenues across all categories for July 2023 were down 10.9% as compared to July 2022, coming in at $902.6 million. Year-to-date revenues were down 0.9%, at $6.5 billion for the first seven months of the year. Trade (Consumer Books) revenues were down 5.9% in July, coming in at $599.1 million. In terms of physical paper format revenues during the month of July, in the Trade (Consumer Books) category, Hardback revenues were down 1.6%, coming in at $165.8 million; Paperbacks were down 11.9%, with $232.1 million in revenue; Mass Market was down 31.3% to $10.2 million; and Special Bindings were down 3.5%, with $16.0 million in revenue.
Judge Alan D. Albright of the US District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division, issued a written order granting a Preliminary Injunction barring the implementation of a vast and burdensome book ratings regime known as the “Reader Act,” ruling “that this law violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.” The law would have required independent bookstores, national chain bookstores, large online book retailers, book publishers and other vendors to review and rate millions of books and other library materials according to sexual content if those books are sold to school libraries, and to do so according to vague labels dictated by the state without any process for judicial review.
Duluth Trading Company has implemented the Manhattan Active Warehouse Management platform at its new distribution and fulfillment facility in Adairsville, Ga. Officially open as of Monday Sept. 18, 2023, the retailer plans to use this automated supply chain hub to serve its 65 retail stores and e-commerce business. The retailer invested $53 million to build the facility and selected Manhattan Active Warehouse Management to drive, optimize and modernize its distribution operations. Duluth Trading Company seeks to enhance the efficiency of its fulfillment operations and handle increased order volumes while reducing turnaround times.
Dear Industry Member: It's not too late to sign up and take part in ACMA's upcoming series of legislative meetings with Members of Congress on Capitol Hill on Oct. 4-5, 2023. Our industry is facing multiple threats across postal, tax, consumer privacy, and trade policy matters. ACMA has an aggressive plan to push back on this but it requires companies to engage with Congressional offices to educate and build support for our positions. Otherwise, the excessive cost and regulatory burdens will only continue. Given the current appetite for bill passage in Congress and in light of an election year on the horizon, our goal is to get these voted out of committee with a large number of cosponsors, then for several large pieces of moving legislation to serve as vehicles to secure passage. Specifically, from now through the end of the year, Congress will be working on such must-pass legislation, including bills to provide government funding, appropriations, and most likely a tax-extenders package. Pulling together a sizable group to meet with Members of Congress in early October will impact the outcome for our collective advantage. Your time out of the office will be minimal. Non-member companies are welcome and encouraged to participate. Click read more below for the agenda and more.
The Paper Receipts Converting Association (PRCA) is pleased to announce that California Bill AB 1347, which proposed stringent regulations on the use of paper receipts in the state, failed to move past Senate Appropriations last week. A victory for consumers and industry alike, the bill will not move forward in the state’s 2023-24 legislative session. Upon AB 1347’s introduction earlier this year, PRCA quickly began to communicate the value of paper receipts to lawmakers in California, working closely with other groups such as the American Forest and Paper Association, the California Chamber of Commerce, the California Retail Council, and local community groups like the Imperial Valley Food Bank and Long Beach’s Su Casa. As the bill aimed to limit the use of paper receipts in the state, PRCA championed not only the consumers who prefer tangible paper records, but also those who depend on them.
FY23 fourth quarter service performance scores covering July 1 through September 8, included: *First-Class Mail: 91.5 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 1.1 percentage points from the fiscal third quarter. *Marketing Mail: 95.2 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal third quarter. *Periodicals: 86.4 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 2.5 percentage points from the fiscal third quarter.
Third Quarter Fiscal Year 2023 Financial Highlights *Adobe achieved revenue of $4.89 billion in its third quarter of fiscal year 2023, which represents 10 percent year-over-year growth or 13 percent in constant currency. *GAAP operating income in the third quarter was $1.70 billion. GAAP net income was $1.40 billion. *Cash flows from operations were $1.87 billion. *Remaining Performance Obligations (“RPO”) exiting the quarter were $15.72 billion. *Adobe repurchased approximately 2.1 million shares during the quarter.
HarperCollins Publishers announced several executive-level personnel changes. Suzanne Murphy, President and Publisher of HarperCollins Children’s Books, will be leaving the company to pursue other interests. Liate Stehlik has been promoted to President and Publisher, Morrow Group and HarperCollins Children’s Books, adding the Children’s division to her purview. Dan Schwartz has been promoted to EVP, CFO and Head of North American Operations. Matt Bennett, Global Chief Information Officer, has been appointed to the company’s global executive committee, now reporting to Schwartz. Zandra Magariño, SVP, Chief People Officer, will expand her role to include oversight of real estate, as well as employee health, safety, and security. Brian Murray, President and CEO, HarperCollins Publishers, said, “Earlier this year, we launched a transformation effort to identify new ways to work smarter and more efficiently across North America and globally. To that end, we are clarifying and consolidating our executive leadership team. This new structure will allow us to implement key publishing, systems, and operational changes to confront current challenges and seize existing opportunities in our rapidly evolving industry.”
I appreciate the Governors’ approval of a budget but am disappointed that they declined to fund the Commission’s modest request of $22.6 million, less than .03 percent of Postal Service revenues. Most importantly, this process raised red flags about potential risks to the Commission’s independence. The Governors did acknowledge that the Commission’s total FY 2024 costs are $27.2 million. I thank the Governors for recognizing this, as it is important for the Commission’s trajectory. While the $27.2 million cited by the Governors is $1.5 million less than the Commission’s projected costs, this amount must serve as a baseline for FY 2025 and longer-term budgets funded by the Postal Service to avoid degrading the Commission’s capacity, eliminating positions in the understaffed agency, and stopping long overdue technology upgrades.
Savvas Learning Company is excited to announce new and enhanced math and reading solutions that engage and inspire students to learn, while giving educators the evidence-based instructional resources they need to accelerate learning and help all students achieve. “At Savvas, we are committed to empowering educators with the highest-quality instructional materials and effective teaching strategies to increase student achievement,” said Bethlam Forsa, CEO of Savvas Learning Company. “Long committed to developing evidence-based, student-centered learning solutions, Savvas this year is delivering new math and reading programs that continue to give educators what they need to help all students succeed.” Savvas solutions focus on putting the student at the center of learning. The company’s award-winning blended programs — delivered digitally on its innovative Savvas Realize platform and visually through engaging print resources — feature real-world learning experiences designed to increase student engagement along with high-quality instructional materials to accelerate academic outcomes.
The United States Postal Service Board of Governors today announced its unanimous approval of an adjusted Fiscal Year 2024 budget for the Postal Regulatory Commission. The approved budget of $21.124 million, when combined with the PRC’s other resources, results in a spending plan for FY 2024 totaling $27.202 million. While less than PRC’s FY 2024 budget request, the approved spending plan is a 28.2 percent increase over the PRC’s estimated spending in FY2023, and a 47.4 percent increase over the PRC’s actual expenses in FY 2022. “The Governors of the United States Postal Service recognize and respect that Congress has created the PRC as an independent entity with specific regulatory responsibilities over the Postal Service, and that it needs to have the resources to effectively perform those responsibilities,” said Roman Martinez IV, Chair of the Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service.
Adobe announced the latest online inflation data from the Adobe Digital Price Index (DPI), powered by Adobe Analytics. Online prices in August 2023 fell 3.2% year-over-year (YoY), hitting a 40-month low—and marking a full year (12 consecutive months) of YoY price decreases. Online prices fell for over half of Adobe’s tracked categories (11 of 18) on an annual basis. On a month-over-month (MoM) basis, online prices rose 0.4% in August following the Prime Day event in July, now an industrywide e-commerce moment with heavy discounting across different retailers. August’s YoY price decline was driven by notable drops in categories such as sporting goods (down 7% YoY, down 1.4% MoM), appliances (down 7.3% YoY, up 1.3% MoM) and home/garden (down 6.8% YoY, up 0.2% MoM). Electronics saw a steeper decline, falling 11.6% YoY (down 0.8% MoM), as well as computers which fell 14.2% YoY (down 1% MoM).
FY23 fourth quarter service performance scores covering July 1 through September 1, included: *First-Class Mail: 91.5 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 1.1 percentage points from the fiscal third quarter. *Marketing Mail: 95.4 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal third quarter. *Periodicals: 86.3 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 2.6 percentage points from the fiscal third quarter.
Country Media, Inc., an Oregon-based publisher, has acquired three Oregon properties from News Media Corp., of Rochelle, Illinois: the Newport News Times, the Cottage Grove Sentinel and the Siuslaw News, along with their websites, digital products, and specialty publications, The Cottage Grove Sentinel reports. The sale, terms of which were not disclosed, was effective Sept. 1. News Media Corp. is the family run publishing company founded by John C. Tompkins in 1975. It has owned up to 75 newspapers and digital companies in nine states, The Cottage Grove Sentinel adds.
Schools minister Lotta Edholm moves students off digital devices and on to books and handwriting, with teachers and experts debating the pros and cons. Since young children went back to school across Sweden recently, many of their teachers have been putting a new emphasis on printed books, quiet reading time and handwriting practice, and devoting less time to tablets, independent online research and keyboarding skills. The return to more traditional ways of learning is a response to politicians and experts questioning whether Sweden’s hyper-digitalised approach to education, including the introduction of tablets in nursery schools, had led to a decline in basic skills.
Times Media Group has continued on its acquisition track, taking over Acorn Newspapers, a publisher of five brands serving more than 340,000 readers in Western Los Angeles and Eastern Ventura Counties. Terms were not disclosed. Included in the purchase are the weeklies The Acorn serving Agoura Hills, Moorpark Acorn, Simi Valley Acorn, Camarillo Acorn and Thousand Oaks Acorn, along with companion publications and websites. Last month, Times Media Group acquired Picket Fence Media, publisher of San Clemente Times and other Southern California titles. The company has more than 40 publications in Arizona and Southern California.
*GAAP Results: Revenue of $451 million (-7%), Operating loss of -$16 million (+4%), and EPS loss of -$1.67 (-$1.35). GAAP earnings impacted by impairment charges totalling $103 million, including non-cash goodwill and assets held-for-sale impairment and loss on sale of a business. “Our Q1 performance was as expected as we continue to execute on our plans and position Wiley for the future,” said Brian Napack, President and CEO. “While Research was down due to an unusual publishing pause in the second half of last year, we are seeing underlying strength and momentum returning, including growing article volumes, higher journal impact scores, and new partner signings. We are making steady progress on our transition and recently streamlined Wiley into one focused, market-facing team to better leverage our collective strength and drive operating leverage.”
Books-A-Million is introducing same- and next-day delivery across its 231 locations nationwide. Leveraging the Walmart white-label GoLocal “delivery-as-a-service” platform, Books-A-Million will roll out same- and next-day delivery in the coming weeks across its 231 locations nationwide, starting with its Southeast and Midwest markets. The retailer already offers buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS) and free curbside pickup options. Customers will place an order online at booksamillion.com and select the "same-day delivery" option during checkout. The order will then be picked up by a delivery driver and dropped off at the customer's desired location. Orders placed before 3 p.m. will be delivered same-day.
The Commission released its Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Justification submitted earlier to the Postal Service Board of Governors in accordance with Title 39, United States Code, Section 205. Last week, the Commission submitted a revised budget request of $22.613 million for FY 2024 to the Postal Service Governors. The Commission submitted this revised request in response to correspondence and discussions with the Governors regarding the initial budget request of $23.399 million. The initial request sought to fund increases to fixed costs, including inflationary adjustments to wages and benefits, lease payments, and the addition of 5 full-time equivalent employees. The revised request only covers increases to the Commission’s fixed costs for FY 2024 and does not fund increased capacity in FY 2024.
FY23 fourth quarter service performance scores covering July 1 through August 25, included: *First-Class Mail: 91.5 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 1.1 percentage points from the fiscal third quarter. *Marketing Mail: 95.3 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal third quarter. *Periodicals: 86.2 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 2.7 percentage points from the fiscal third quarter.
Simon & Schuster was the only one of the country’s four largest trade publishers to show an improved profit margin in the first half of 2023 compared to last year. In reporting Penguin Random House’s first-half results last week, where sales rose 9.5% but profits were up less than 1%, interim global CEO Nihar Malaviya told employees the small earnings increase “should come as no surprise, as industry inflationary cost pressures and increased costs across our businesses have continued to impact us.” HarperCollins CEO Brian Murray noted earlier that in addition to higher manufacturing, freight, and distribution costs, the industry has faced macroeconomic headwinds that he hasn’t seen since the Great Recession of 2008. Profits fell 19.7% at Lagardère Publishing despite a 2.5% increase in six-month sales. In addition to inflationary pressures, Lagardère cited increased costs incurred on “transformation projects in France” as the reason for the earnings decline.
Costco Wholesale Corporation reported net sales of $18.42 billion for the retail month of August, the four weeks ended August 27, 2023, an increase of 5.0 percent from $17.55 billion last year. For the first 52 weeks of its 53-week fiscal year ended August 27, 2023, the Company reported net sales of $232.95 billion, an increase of 4.6 percent from $222.70 billion during the similar period last year.
The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled today in favor of Valancourt Books, a small Virginia publisher and AAP member company, in an important copyright case that rejects the Government’s argument that depositing books with the Library of Congress without compensation and under threat of substantial penalties is a condition of copyright protection. In reversing the lower court, the Appeals Court also rejected the Government’s position that abandoning one’s copyrights within the current legal framework is a viable alternative to avoiding the deposit requirement. The opinion found “mandatory deposit” (section 407 of the Copyright Act) unconstitutional as applied to physical books. In the case, the Library made repeated demands for copies of Valancourt titles under the pain of fines despite Valancourt’s objections that they would be costly to provide. The Court did not address the publisher’s First Amendment claim because it was unnecessary to do so. AAP’s amicus curiae brief in support of Valancourt was cited in the opinion.
Savvas Learning Company, a K-12 next-generation learning solutions leader, is excited to announce that its myPerspectives English Language Arts program has received the highest rating of “All-Green” from EdReports. myPerspectives is a student-centered, standards-aligned English Language Arts (ELA) program for grades 6-12 that values the perspective of the learner and prepares students to become lifelong readers and writers. “Savvas understands that high-quality ELA instruction should support and challenge students to become critical thinkers,” said Bethlam Forsa, CEO of Savvas Learning Company. “With a diverse collection of literary selections and meaningful learning opportunities to expand and show knowledge, myPerspectives engages students with dynamic reading and writing experiences that help them develop strong literacy skills. We appreciate EdReports for recognizing myPerspectives for its highly successful, evidence-based approach that both inspires students and improves learning outcomes.”
There are many times that a flat design element causes a mailing to go at a higher rate of postage. This can be frustrating as well as expensive. In order to help you stay away from potential issues here are some things to keep in mind as you are preparing a flat size direct mail campaign. USPS Flats: 1. Flat sized mail is between 126 x 11.51 to 12 x 15. 2. Paper stock must be a minimum of .009 thick. The maximum thickness is ¾ inch for the whole mailer. 3. No aspect ratio requirement. 4. Flats are required to have address blocks in the upper half of the short edge. 5. The fold or binding must be to the right of the mail panel. 6. No tabs are required. 7. If you use a poly bag/envelope the maximum extra space you can have inside the bag from the edge of the piece to the edge of the bag is 0.5.
Publishers who still mail print editions to subscribers are facing challenges on at least a couple of fronts. For one, new statistics released by the U.S Postal Service show that 86.1% of Periodicals were delivered on time against the USPS service standard in Q4, a decrease of 2.8% from the prior quarter. In contrast, 91.4% of first class mail was delivered on time, a 1.2% decrease, and marketing mail held steady with a 95.2% on-time delivery rate. This may or may not have any real impact. But in a related development, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) is speaking out against recent postal policy changes that she says are hurting local and rural newspapers.
FY23 fourth quarter service performance scores covering July 1 through August 18, included: *First-Class Mail: 91.4 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 1.2 percentage points from the fiscal third quarter. *Marketing Mail: 95.2 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal third quarter. *Periodicals: 86.1 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 2.8 percentage points from the fiscal third quarter.
*Net sales of $3.55 billion, down 8% compared to last year, inclusive of an estimated 1-point foreign exchange headwind and 2 percentage points of negative impact from the sale of Gap China. - Comparable sales were down 6%. *Gross margin of 37.6% increased 310 basis points versus last year's reported gross margin and increased 160 basis points versus last year's adjusted gross margin which excluded $58 million in inventory impairment charges. *Reported operating income was $106 million; reported operating margin of 3.0%. *The effective tax rate was negative 8.3%. During the quarter, the company recorded a tax benefit as a result of a transfer pricing settlement related to its sourcing activities. *Reported net income of $117 million; reported diluted earnings per share of $0.32.
*Net sales increased 10.1% to $2.5 billion compared to $2.3 billion in the second quarter of fiscal 2022 primarily due to increased comparable sales, strong new store performance, and growth in other revenue. *Comparable sales (sales for stores open at least 14 months and e-commerce sales) increased 8.0% compared to an increase of 14.4% in the second quarter of fiscal 2022, driven by a 9.0% increase in transactions and a 1.0% decrease in average ticket. *Gross profit increased 7.1% to $993.6 million compared to $928.2 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2022. As a percentage of net sales, gross profit decreased to 39.3% compared to 40.4% in the second quarter of fiscal 2022, primarily due to lower merchandise margin, higher inventory shrink, and higher supply chain costs, partially offset by strong growth in other revenue and leverage of store fixed costs. *Operating income increased to $391.6 million, or 15.5% of net sales, compared to $391.4 million, or 17.0% of net sales. *Net income increased to $300.1 million compared to $295.7 million.
For the second quarter ended July 29, 2023, net sales decreased 8.3 percent versus the same period in fiscal 2022, compared to a decrease of 11.6 percent in the first quarter, reflecting sequential improvement in sales at both Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack. Gross merchandise value ("GMV") decreased 8.5 percent. Second quarter net sales include a 275 basis point negative impact from the wind-down of Canadian operations. Anniversary Sale timing, with one week shifting from the second quarter to the third quarter, had a negative impact of approximately 200 basis points on net sales compared with 2022. Excluding the impacts of the Canadian wind-down and Anniversary Sale timing shift, net sales would have been down approximately 4 percent. During the quarter, Nordstrom banner net sales decreased 10.1 percent and GMV decreased 10.4 percent. Net sales for Nordstrom Rack decreased 4.1 percent.
Following its acquisition of NWEA earlier this year, learning technology company HMH today announced an important first step for the combined organization. NWEA’s flagship assessment MAP Growth will now be used for automatic placement into HMH’s best-in-class connected solutions Read 180, Math 180 and Waggle to further enhance personalized learning. Customers using NWEA MAP Growth with HMH Waggle will benefit from placement into Waggle’s CODiE-award winning gamified personalized learning. The Read 180 and Math 180 student applications, trusted and effective intervention programs built on decades of research, will use MAP Growth data to place students into Tier 2 and Tier 3 intervention. This offers educators a powerful new option to deepen student learning through more targeted placement based on refined data.
Total Company net sales for the three months ended July 31, 2023, increased 7.5% to a record $1.27 billion. Total Retail segment net sales increased 5.9%, with comparable Retail segment net sales increasing 4.9%. The increase in Retail segment comparable net sales was driven by mid-single-digit positive growth in both retail store sales and digital channel sales. By brand, comparable Retail segment net sales increased 26.9% at the Free People Group and 10.6% at the Anthropologie Group and decreased 14.1% at Urban Outfitters. Wholesale segment net sales decreased 5.2% driven by a 6.5% decrease in Free People Group wholesale sales due to a decrease in sales to department stores, while Urban Outfitters wholesale sales increased by $0.5 million. Nuuly segment net sales increased by $27.0 million driven by an 85% increase in our subscribers versus the end of the prior year’s comparable quarter.
Second Quarter 2023 Results *Net sales decreased 4.8% year-over-year, to $3.7 billion, with comparable sales down 5.0%. *Gross margin as a percentage of net sales was 39.0%, a decrease of 61 basis points. *Selling, general & administrative (SG&A) expenses increased 1.6% year-over-year, to $1.3 billion. *Operating income was $163 million compared to $266 million in the prior year. *Net income was $58 million. This compares to net income of $143 million. *Inventory was $3.5 billion, a decrease of 14% year-over-year. *Operating cash flow was $430 million.
Total revenues across all categories for June 2023 were down 1.3% as compared to June 2022, coming in at $890.0 million. Year-to-date revenues were up 1.2%, at $5.6 billion for the first half of the year. Trade (Consumer Books) revenues were down 0.9% in June, coming in at $633.5 million. In terms of physical paper format revenues during the month of June, in the Trade (Consumer Books) category, Hardback revenues were up 5.8%, coming in at $191.2 million; Paperbacks were down 3.0%, with $246.0 million in revenue; Mass Market was down 39.1% to $13.0 million; and Special Bindings were up 2.5%, with $11.1 million in revenue.
As part of its human-centered approach to AI in K-12 education, learning technology company HMH today announced new OpenAI-powered integrations within Writable, its award-winning writing practice and assessment solution for grades 3-12. Within HMH’s connected literacy solution, Writable’s new GenAI capabilities increase the impact teachers can have by engaging more students with targeted feedback and motivating better writing in the moment. This approach to AI is teacher-guided, allowing teachers to incorporate AI-suggested feedback and scores into their instruction. This saves valuable time teachers can use to invest in student connections. “At HMH, we believe technology should be applied with purpose to deepen the human connections that accelerate learning outcomes,” says Jack Lynch, CEO at HMH. “Today’s announcement represents a thoughtful step forward in the transformative journey of using generative AI to enhance student learning and give teachers time back to do what only they can do, which is really connect with their students on a human level.”
Macy's announced the locations of four new small-format stores scheduled to open in fall 2023. These openings mark the first expansion of its small-format locations into the Northeast and Western regions of the United States, with openings in Boston, Las Vegas and San Diego. With small store opening momentum growing in the Midwest, the expansion also sees its third location in the region with the recent opening in Highland, Indiana. The eight previous locations continue to be known as Market by Macy's, whereas the upcoming small-format stores will bear just the iconic Macy's nameplate. Macy’s small format stores are designed to deliver a seamless experience with well-known market brands, Macy’s private brands, convenient services, local events and the latest trends, all within an easy-to-shop environment.
FY23 fourth quarter service performance scores covering July 1 through August 11, included: *First-Class Mail: 91.3 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 1.3 percentage points from the fiscal third quarter. *Marketing Mail: 95.2 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal third quarter. *Periodicals: 85.6 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 3.3 percentage points from the fiscal third quarter.
Learning technology company HMH today announced the establishment of the Center for Model Schools. Building on the legacy and work of the International Center for Leadership in Education, the Center for Model Schools provides K-12 school systems with ongoing leadership support through its namesake Model Schools Conference, leadership cohorts and shoulder-to-shoulder consulting. “Now more than ever, every student must be part of a school community that enables them to thrive in an increasingly complex world,” said Dr. Joshua P. Starr, Managing Partner, the Center for Model Schools. “I am thrilled to introduce the Center for Model Schools as a place where districts can deepen the skills needed to transform insight into action and create environments where all learners succeed. Every child deserves a Model School, and leaders make that happen.”
Second Quarter Highlights • Consolidated revenue of $161.6 billion, up 5.7%, or 5.4% in constant currency (“cc”)1 • Consolidated gross margin rate up 50bps on lapping elevated markdowns and supply chain costs, partially offset by ongoing mix pressure in grocery and health & wellness • Consolidated operating expenses as a percentage of net sales grew 33bps • Consolidated operating income up $0.5 billion, or 6.7%, adjusted operating income up 8.1%
The following is a comment from Maria A. Pallante, President and CEO, Association of American Publishers: “We are extremely pleased that the district court has approved the proposed consent judgment. As we have stated before, it is an appropriately serious bookend to a decisive finding that so called “controlled digital lending” is nothing more than copyright infringement.”
In an attempt to reduce costs, many banks, utilities, insurers and other service providers are switching consumers from paper to electronic bills and statements, often without their consent, and some are now charging fees to receive paper statements. Others are urging their customers to switch from paper to digital communication because it’s “green” or “better for the environment.” But a recent survey commissioned by Two Sides North America and conducted by international research firm Toluna found that consumers want the freedom to choose how they receive important communications from the companies they do business with. The Two Sides survey showed that 81% of U.S. consumers believe they should have the right to choose how they receive important communications from their service providers, on paper or electronically, and 73% believe they should not be charged more for choosing a paper bill or statement. These percentages increased from 2021 by 78% and 67%, respectively. While using the internet can be a quick and convenient way to transact business, companies that default customers to electronic communication put at risk many Americans who do not have broadband access, cannot afford it or have difficulty using the internet.
Did you know MIDLAND has been a proud supporter of the American Catalog Mailers Association (ACMA) for well over a decade, as both a member and an active sponsor? With how much of our customers’ catalog budget goes towards paper and postage, we firmly believe it’s the right thing to do. We wanted to provide an update on what the ACMA is currently focusing on and a call to action of how you can choose to help. For those not already familiar with the ACMA, they are a non-profit organization founded in 2007. The ACMA is the only industry association advocating specifically for catalog, online, direct mail, and other remote-selling merchants, as well as their suppliers. In recent years, the ACMA has had successes for the entire industry in postal enhancements, consumer privacy, and remote sales tax. Let’s look at some of the numbers. Our industry has seen five postage rate increases in the past 2.5 years. This is an average compounded increase of 39.6% for catalogs.
News Corp’s fiscal 2023 marked the first year that more than half of its revenue came from digital platforms — marking a “profound transformation” over the last decade, CEO Robert Thomson said in the company’s fiscal Q4 earnings call on Friday. Thomson attributed its current digital momentum to initiatives based in generative AI, which represents “a remarkable opportunity to create a new stream of revenues, while allowing us to reduce costs across the business” through “exponential” efficiencies, he said. A News Corp Australia executive recently revealed that the division has been using generative AI to produce about 3,000 local news items per week, covering topics including weather, traffic and fuel prices.
The New York Times has changed its terms of service to forbid the scraping of its content for use in AI training, reports state. In this update of the terms, the Times prohibits use of “robots, spiders, scripts, service, software or any manual or automatic device, tool, or process designed to data mine or scrape” its content. In general, the Times warns that engaging in a prohibited use of its services may result in “civil, criminal, and/or administrative penalties, fines, or sanctions against the user and those assisting the user.”
For a CEO who saw sales drop 10% and profits fall 45% in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2023, HarperCollins’ Brian Murray sound remarkably calm in an interview with PW looking back over the past 12 months. “It was a challenging year,” Murray acknowledged. “The numbers don’t paint a rosy picture.” But he said he is heartened by the fact he thinks the worst is over. "I'm feeling better about things," he said. For the fiscal year ended in June, revenue dropped to $2.0 billion from $2.19 in fiscal 2022 and EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) fell to $167 million from $306 million a year ago.
The U.S. Postal Service filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) requesting approval to make certain Mail Classification Schedule (MCS) changes to establish two Mail Growth Incentives - a First-Class Mail Growth Incentive and a Marketing Mail Growth Incentive. If approved, the incentives will run from Jan. 1, 2024 through Dec. 31, 2024. The First-Class Mail and Marketing Mail Growth Incentives are being offered to mail owners to promote volume growth in 2024 and into the future. These two incentives will drive mail owners to increase the volume of First-Class and Marketing mail entering the network while providing them lower overall postage costs on incremental growth — allowing mail owners to maximize total return on investment, by providing additional cost-savings and strengthening the value of mail.
FY23 fourth quarter service performance scores covering July 1 through August 4, included: *First-Class Mail: 91.4 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal third quarter. *Marketing Mail: 95.1 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal third quarter. *Periodicals: 85.7 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 2.9 percentage points from the fiscal third quarter.
*Fourth quarter revenues were $2.43 billion, compared to $2.67 billion in the prior year, reflecting the absence of the extra week in the prior year and the negative impact from foreign currency fluctuations *Net loss in the quarter was $(32) million, inclusive of $166 million related to higher non-cash write- downs and restructuring charges, compared to net income of $127 million in the prior year, which included a $149 million tax benefit *Fourth quarter Total Segment EBITDA was $341 million, compared to $315 million in the prior year *Digital revenues accounted for over 50% of total revenues for the full year, marking a key inflection point in the transformation of the Company
A group of 10 organizations, including The Associated Press and Gannett, is calling for a legal framework to protect journalism from unregulated AI use. In an open letter titled, “Preserving public trust in media through unified AI regulation and practices,” the signees advocate regulatory and industry action to ensure: *Transparency about the makeup of training sets used to create AI models. *Consent of intellectual property rights holders on copying of their content in training data. *Ability of media companies to collectively negotiate with AI model developers about use of their intellectual property. *Requiring that generative AI models identify AI-generated content. *Mandating that generative AI model providers eliminate bias and misinformation.
Sales decreased 4% to $402.6 million, compared to $420.0 million during the same period last year. Sales were unfavorably impacted by $24.5 million due to a recall reserve adjustment. Sales and adjusted sales for the second quarter of 2023 include $12.5 million of sales related to gift card redemptions in connection with recall remedies. Our 2023 results have also been materially adversely impacted by the stop sale of the soft coolers included in the recalls initiated during the first quarter of 2023. Gross profit decreased 2% to $214.8 million, or 53.4% of sales, compared to $219.1 million, or 52.2% of sales, in the second quarter of 2022. Gross profit included a $19.4 million, or 150 basis points, unfavorable impact related to the recall reserve adjustment. Operating income decreased 26% to $50.3 million, or 12.5% of sales, compared to $68.3 million, or 16.3% of sales during the prior year quarter, and includes an $8.7 million unfavorable impact primarily from the recall reserve adjustment. Net income, which includes the unfavorable impact from the recall reserve adjustment, decreased 18% to $38.1 million, or 9.5% of sales, compared to $46.3 million, or 11.0% of sales in the prior year quarter.
Total operating revenue was $18.6 billion for the quarter, a decrease of $168 million, or 0.9 percent, compared to the same quarter last year. First-Class Mail revenue increased $221 million, or 4.0 percent, on a volume decline of 678 million pieces, or 5.9 percent, compared to the same quarter last year. Shipping and Packages revenue remained relatively flat while volume declined 41 million pieces, or 2.4 percent, compared to the same quarter last year. Marketing Mail revenue decreased $333 million, or 8.8 percent, on a volume decline of 2.6 billion pieces, or 16.0 percent, compared to the same quarter last year. The Marketing Mail decreases were driven by the continued decline in advertising spending due to economic pressures experienced throughout most of the fiscal year, a higher inflationary environment affecting print media production costs, and lower political and election mail revenue and volume, compared to the same quarter last year, due to the timing of elections. Total operating expenses were $20.5 billion for the quarter, an increase of $1.8 billion, or 9.6 percent, compared to the same quarter last year. On a non-GAAP basis, adjusted operating expenses increased by $382 million, or 2.0 percent, compared to the same quarter last year.
Adobe announced the latest online inflation data from the Adobe Digital Price Index (DPI), powered by Adobe Analytics. Online prices in July 2023 fell 1.6% year-over-year (YoY), marking the eleventh consecutive month of YoY price decreases, with the majority of categories (11 of 18) tracked by Adobe seeing falling prices on an annual basis. On a month-over-month (MoM) basis, online prices fell 0.9% in July. July’s YoY price decline was driven by notable drops in categories such as appliances, which fell 8% YoY (down 0.3% MoM), as well as furniture/bedding which fell 3.5% YoY (down 0.7% MoM). Steeper YoY declines were observed in electronics, which fell 11.7% YoY (down 0.7% MoM) as well as computers, which fell 15.4% YoY (down 1.5% MoM).
UPS announced second-quarter 2023 consolidated revenues of $22.1 billion, a 10.9% decrease from the second quarter of 2022. Consolidated operating profit was $2.8 billion, down 21.4% compared to the second quarter of 2022, and down 18.4% on an adjusted basis. Diluted earnings per share were $2.42 for the quarter; adjusted diluted earnings per share of $2.54 were 22.8% below the same period in 2022. For the second quarter of 2023, GAAP results included after-tax transformation and other charges of $106 million, or $0.12 per diluted share.
The New York Times Company announced second quarter 2023 diluted earnings per share of $.28 compared with $.37 in the same period of 2022. Operating profit increased to $55.8 million in the second quarter of 2023 from $51.7 million in the same period of 2022, and adjusted operating profit (defined below) increased to $92.2 million from $76.2 million. In each case, the increase was due to higher digital subscription and other revenues, partially offset by higher operating costs.
In a move that some in the industry will welcome as putting at least a temporary stop to industry consolidation, the private investment firm KKR has reached an agreement with Paramount Global to acquire Simon & Schuster for $1.62 billion in an all cash transaction. Though below the $2.175 billion that Penguin Random House had previously agreed to pay for the country’s third largest trade publisher, $1.62 billion is a healthy price since most trade publishers sell for not much better than 1.5 times sales, and S&S’s 2022 revenue was $1.18 billion.
FY23 third quarter service performance scores covering July 1 through July 28, included: *First-Class Mail: 91.4 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal third quarter. *Marketing Mail: 95.0 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal third quarter. *Periodicals: 85.9 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 2.6 percentage points from the fiscal third quarter.
Workers express little interest in seeing learning and development (L&D) activities taken over by artificial intelligence (AI), according to new survey data from Wiley. Nearly six in ten respondents (59%) in the latest Wiley Workplace Intelligence report, Artificial Intelligence in Learning and Development: Five Surprising Facts You Need to Know, say they prefer to see an instructor—in-person or virtual—direct their workforce development learning, while only 7% prefer AI-directed learning. In addition, the vast majority (87%) of respondents say they want the L&D content to be developed by a subject matter expert as opposed to AI technology (12%). “When it comes to learning and development, employees crave a human connection,” said Dr. Mark Scullard, senior director of product innovation at Wiley. “They want a person to create and lead their instruction, even if it’s in an online setting.”
*Net sales increased 11% to $134.4 billion in the second quarter, compared with $121.2 billion in second quarter 2022. Excluding the $0.3 billion unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, net sales increased 11% compared with second quarter 2022. *Operating income increased to $7.7 billion in the second quarter, compared with $3.3 billion in second quarter 2022. *Net income was $6.7 billion in the second quarter, or $0.65 per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $2.0 billion, or $0.20 per diluted share, in second quarter 2022. *Operating cash flow increased 74% to $61.8 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $35.6 billion for the trailing twelve months ended June 30, 2022.
The National Trust for Local News has concluded its deal to purchase 22 Maine newspapers, including five dailies and 17 weeklies. The nonprofit group purchased the papers, including The Portland Press Herald and The Sun Journal of Lewiston, from Masthead Maine. Masthead Media will be rebranded as Maine Trust for Local News, according to The Bangor Daily News, which says it is the only independently owned daily left in Maine.
Costco Wholesale Corporation reported net sales of $17.60 billion for the retail month of July, the four weeks ended July 30, 2023, an increase of 4.5 percent from $16.85 billion last year. For the forty-eight weeks ended July 30, 2023, the Company reported net sales of $214.53 billion, an increase of 4.6 percent from $205.19 billion during the similar period last year.
Second Quarter 2023 Highlights: • Total revenues of $672.4 million decreased 10.2% compared to the second quarter of 2022 ◦ Same store revenues(1) decreased 8.6% compared to the second quarter of 2022, reflecting a sequential improvement of 70 basis points compared to the first quarter of 2023 • Total digital revenues were $262.1 million, or 39.0% of total revenues, up 0.8% over the same period in the prior year on a same store(1) basis • Net loss attributable to Gannett of $12.7 million improved by $41.0 million versus the net loss attributable to Gannett of $53.7 million in the second quarter of 2022 • Cash provided by operating activities of $46.1 million • Free cash flow(1) of $38.4 million, an increase of 188.8% compared to second quarter of 2022
As you know from our post on postcards, there are many times that a design element causes a mailing to go at a higher rate of postage. This can be frustrating as well as expensive. In order to help you stay away from potential issues here are some things to keep in mind as you are preparing a direct mail campaign. Now let’s look at Self-Mailers: 1. Self-Mailer size is 5 x 5 to 6 x 10.5, anything larger is not mailable in this category. 2. Paper stock must be a minimum of 70lb, as long as the weight is under an ounce. 3. Keep your aspect ratio between 1.3 and 2.5. 4. There are two options for addressing a self-mailer. Barcode in the address block: 4 x 2 clear area, no varnish, UV coating, text, or images for the address block. 5. There are two kinds of folds horizontal and vertical: For horizontal folds: the final fold is below the mail panel. 6. Tabbing or fugitive glue closures are required: If tabbing: up to 1 ounce mailer needs two 1 inch tabs, mailers over 1 ounce need two 1.5 inch tabs and if you are using perforations or inserts it needs two 2 inch tabs. 7. Poly bag/envelope: If you use a poly bag or envelope your mail will have to go at flat postage rates.
Times Media Group, which owns 35 publications throughout Arizona and Southern California, has acquired Picket Fence Media, publisher of San Clemente Times and other Southern California titles. The terms were not disclosed. Times Media Group will continue operating the Picket Fence Media publications from that firm’s address in Capistrano Beach.
FY23 third quarter service performance scores covering July 1 through July 21, included: *First-Class Mail: 91.4 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal third quarter. *Marketing Mail: 94.9 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal third quarter. *Periodicals: 86.0 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from fiscal third quarter.
• Reported revenue increased 4%; Adjusted revenue, excluding Engineering Solutions, increased 7%. Vitality revenue from new or enhanced products contributed 11% of reported revenue in Q2. • GAAP EPS decreased 44% due to gains on divestitures in Q2 2022, and adjusted diluted EPS increased 11% year over year. • Previously announced $1 billion ASR to be completed and additional $500 million ASR to be launched in the coming weeks. • Divestiture of Engineering Solutions closed on May 2, 2023.
Second Quarter Highlights *Delivered sales of $4.2 billion, up 9.0%, or 10.1% on a daily, constant currency basis *Generated operating earnings of $661 million, up 23.5%, with operating margin of 15.8%, up 190-basis points *Achieved diluted EPS of $9.28, an increase of 29.1% *Produced $450 million in operating cash flow and returned $265 million to Grainger shareholders through dividends and share repurchases *Announced plans to open a new 500,000-square-foot distribution center in Oregon in 2025
UPS and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the union representing about 330,000 UPS employees in the U.S., have reached a tentative collective bargaining agreement. “Together we reached a win-win-win agreement on the issues that are important to Teamsters leadership, our employees and to UPS and our customers,” said Carol Tomé, UPS chief executive officer. “This agreement continues to reward UPS’s full- and part-time employees with industry-leading pay and benefits while retaining the flexibility we need to stay competitive, serve our customers and keep our business strong.” The five-year agreement covers U.S. Teamsters-represented employees in small-package roles and is subject to voting and ratification by union members.
FY23 third quarter service performance scores covering July 1 through July 14, included: *First-Class Mail: 92.0 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal third quarter. *Marketing Mail: 95.3 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal third quarter. *Periodicals: 87.7 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from fiscal third quarter.
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today released its StatShot report for May 2023 reflecting reported revenue for Trade (Consumer Books), Higher Education Course Materials, and Professional Publishing. Total revenues across all categories for May 2023 were flat as compared to May 2022, coming in at $846.8 million. Year-to-date revenues were up 0.7%, at $4.7 billion for the first five months of the year. Trade (Consumer Books) revenues were down 1.6% in May, coming in at $661.3 million. In terms of physical paper format revenues during the month of May, in the Trade (Consumer Books) category, Hardback revenues were down 0.3%, coming in at $233.5 million; Paperbacks were down 3.6%, with $239.5 million in revenue; Mass Market was down 41.2% to $6.1 million; and Special Bindings were down 21.5%, with $10.2 million in revenue.
Media mogul Barry Diller reiterated that he and other top publishers are prepared to take legal action over use of copyrighted works to train AI systems. Diller, the chair of Dotdash Meredith parent IAC, said on TV this week that tech firms like Google and Microsoft claim the “the fair use doctrine of copyright law allows them to suck up all this stuff,” according to The Hill. He added, “Of course, say we’re open to commercial agreements. But on the side of those people who are depending upon advertising, Google, for instance, they say, ‘Yes, we’ll give you a revenue share. Right now, the revenue share is zero. So, what percent of zero would you like today?”
Dear ACMA member or friend of the ACMA: Please play an important role by urging key Congressional committee members to intervene and stop Postmaster Louis DeJoy from continuing these punishing twice-a-year postal rate hikes. The July 9th increase was the third in the past 12 months. The action we're asking of you is fairly simple and easy, but requires two key steps: 1. The ACMA is a flagship member of the Keep Us Posted campaign, headed by former Kansas Congressman Kevin Yoder. Just use this platform to ask Congress to stop these rate hikes. 2. We have hand-selected you (and likely, a colleague or two from your company whom we also know) because your headquarters, your other facilities, or clusters of your employees are in districts of Congressional members who serve on the House Oversight Committee, the key committee that oversees the USPS. Please see the list below and use the Keep Us Posted letter as a template to write the appropriate representative separately from item 1 above. Send your letter by email to the contact listed below each Congressional member.
While the material and equipment costs of the traditional two-step lamination process were once a deterrent in choosing lamination over synthetic paper, the environmental impact of using lamination has arrived as the key detractor for choosing lamination as robust sustainability initiatives have become the norm across nearly every industry. This leaves end users and printers alike with an important question: Are there sustainable alternatives to traditional laminates that offer the same degree of substrate strength and protection? The short answer is yes, and, here, we’ll look at a couple of ways choosing sustainably manufactured synthetic paper can provide superior protection for your print media in a more eco-friendly way. Synthetic paper is manufactured to be 100% recyclable. While some laminates can be recycled and reused for other purposes, the process involves removing the laminate from the substrate, which is a time-consuming and costly process.
The recent research report from Two Sides Europe, the ‘Trend Tracker Survey 2023’, seeks to understand changing consumer perceptions towards print, paper and paper-based packaging, looking specifically at their environmental perceptions, reading habits, packaging preferences and attitudes towards tissue products. The print and paper industry is surrounded by myths, many of which are rooted in historical misconceptions about paper’s impact on forests. The need to bust these myths and raise awareness of paper’s sustainability is now more important than ever. When consumers were asked to rate several industries/activities and which they believe has the most impact on forests, paper and pulp came out as the least damaging.
FY23 fourth quarter service performance scores covering July 1 through July 7, included: *First-Class Mail: 92.5 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal third quarter. *Marketing Mail: 95.6 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal third quarter. *Periodicals: 87.9 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from fiscal third quarter.
The strike that hit the Western Canada ports, including the country’s largest, the Port of Vancouver, has ended after the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Canada and waterfront employers reached a deal on a tentative four-year contract, reported Reuters. The agreement still needs to be ratified by both sides. The walkout started on July 1 when roughly 7,500 dock workers represented by the ILWU walked off the job after failing to reach a new contract.
In the U.K., Harry Sussex is a prince and a duke. In the U.S., he’s the lord regent of the bestseller list, with his blockbuster Spare—written with J.R. Moehringer—selling nearly 1.2 million copies and taking the crown for top-selling title of the first half of this year at outlets that report to Circana BookScan. But Colleen Hoover remains the bestselling queen. Seven of the writer’s works make up one-third of the top 20 adult titles of the year to date, and are nearing the four million mark in combined sales. If anyone is to get the credit for shaping this bestseller list, however, it’s the young people on TikTok. In addition to Hoover, Bonnie Garmus, Emily Henry, and Taylor Jenkins Reid all hit the list thanks at least in part to online fervor, with Reid reaching it twice with two backlist titles, BookTok favorite The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and 2019’s Daisy Jones & the Six, the latter helped into the top 20 by the TV adaptation that hit Amazon Prime in March.
The Postal Service announced the launch of its new shipping offering, USPS Ground Advantage. The enhanced ground solution provides a simple, reliable, and more affordable way to ship packages in two-to-five business days across the continental United States. “USPS Ground Advantage is a game changer – for our customers, the industry and USPS. By efficiently and effectively integrating our ground transportation model to the magnificence of our last mile delivery operations, we can now offer the most compelling ground shipping offering in the market,” said Louis DeJoy, United States Postmaster General and CEO. “With USPS Ground Advantage, we are ready to compete for an increased share of the growing package business.” USPS Ground Advantage provides America’s businesses and the public with a compelling new ground shipping option leveraging USPS’ unparalleled last-mile delivery route system and improving integrated mail and package postal logistics network. With the product’s launch, USPS is retiring three offerings: USPS Retail Ground, USPS Parcel Select Ground and USPS First-Class Package Service as well as Ground Returns and First-Class Package Return Service.
Grainger announced the release of its 2023 Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) Report on www.GraingerESG.com. The report, which covers the fiscal year that ended Dec. 31, 2022, highlights how Grainger's purpose-driven culture directly supports its ESG initiatives. The report also emphasizes Grainger's focus on four key priorities: Customer Sustainability Solutions, Supplier Diversity, Energy and Emissions, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI).
The United States Postal Service reported new delivery performance metrics for the thirteenth week of the third quarter for fiscal year 2023 showing improved delivery performance across all mail categories. The average time for the Postal Service to deliver a mailpiece or package across the nation was 2.5 days. FY23 third quarter service performance scores covering April 1 through June 30, included: *First-Class Mail: 92.4% of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an increase of 1.4 percentage points from the fiscal second quarter. *Marketing Mail: 95.9% of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an increase of 1.3 percentage points from the fiscal second quarter. *Periodicals: 88.6% of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an increase of 2.1 percentage points from the fiscal second quarter.
While a tentative contract agreement has been reached at West Coast ports, that doesn’t mean supply chain disruptions are over. Retailers are closely following labor disputes at ports in western Canada and a potential Teamsters strike against United Parcel Service. In Canada, workers are on strike at two of the country’s busiest ports: the Port of Vancouver and the Port of Prince Rupert. The walkout started on July 1. Here at home, the Teamsters Union and UPS last week accused each other of abandoning labor negotiations which are aimed at averting what would be the largest strike in the U.S. since the 1950s.
Costco Wholesale Corporation reported net sales of $22.86 billion for the retail month of June, the five weeks ended July 2, 2023, an increase of 0.4 percent from $22.78 billion last year. For the forty-four weeks ended July 2, 2023, the Company reported net sales of $196.93 billion, an increase of 4.6 percent from $188.34 billion during the similar period last year.
Tuition.io, a leading education assistance benefits provider, has acquired Wiley’s (NYSE: WLY) Tuition Manager business, which enables employers to offer a range of tuition assistance benefits to their workforces. Terms are undisclosed. The acquisition is the culmination of a successful relationship between Tuition.io, Wiley and HostedHR dating back more than four years. It continues Tuition.io’s growth as a leading Education Assistance service provider, allowing Tuition Manager customers to take full advantage of Tuition.io’s modern, highly configurable and customizable platform to offer a wide range of differentiated benefits to their workforces.
Over the last two decades, technology has become part of almost every facet of our lives. The expansion of broadband, smartphones and portable technology has changed how we communicate, access information, work and learn. While many of these changes are positive, there is growing evidence that this isn’t always the case. In recent years, there has been a gradual shift away from paper-based learning materials in schools toward digital and online tools. This shift accelerated rapidly during the pandemic when almost all schools moved lessons online. Research has shown that this increasing reliance on digital methods and resources may be negatively affecting the ability of students to learn and remember information. There is also growing concern about the impact of digital technology on mental and physical health. A 2018 meta analysis examined 54 studies involving more than 171,000 readers that compared reading from digital text with reading from printed text. The analysis found that comprehension was better overall when people read printed as opposed to digital texts.
Keep US Posted — a nonprofit advocacy group of consumers, nonprofits, newspapers, greeting card publishers, magazines, catalogs and small businesses — is warning Americans that stamp prices are set to increase on July 9 for the second time in 2023, and cautioning that if such unprecedented and excessive postage increases continue, Americans could be facing a government bailout of the U.S. Postal Service. The July increase marks the third such increase in 12 months — the most mailing rates have increased during the U.S. Postal Service’s 247-year history. Yoder continued, “DeJoy’s stated intent has been to use stamp increases to bring in additional revenue, yet each hike drives down mail demand at a progressively faster rate and increases internal costs, meaning less revenue for USPS, no matter how much more a stamp costs. The result is additional strain on the system. Congress passed bipartisan postal reform in 2022 intending to prevent these excessive postage increases by bringing financial solvency to the Postal Service but USPS, under DeJoy’s leadership, has plowed ahead with pre-planned stamp increases, which will continue every six months. The American people need Congress to step in now and bring additional oversight to the USPS rate strategy, otherwise we could be looking at a situation where a federal bailout is necessary."
Greg Hoskins’ Better Newspapers Inc. has acquired the Park Hills Daily Journal (Missouri), Fredericktown Democrat News, Farmington Press and Advantage (Michigan) from Lee Enterprises, Terms were not disclosed. “I am happy to now include The Park Hills Daily Journal, Democrat News, Farmington Press and Advantage as part of our growing, premium newspaper company,” says Greg Hoskins, Publisher at Better Newspapers. Hoskins pledges “a heightened amount of news content, with an emphasis on increasing local news.”
FY23 third quarter service performance scores covering April 1 through June 23, included: *First-Class Mail: 92.4% of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an increase of 1.4 percentage points from the fiscal second quarter. *Marketing Mail: 95.8% of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an increase of 1.3 percentage points from the fiscal second quarter. *Periodicals: 88.8% of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an increase of 2.3 percentage points from the fiscal second quarter.
Learning technology company HMH today announced that Math 180, its intensive math intervention solution, has received an endorsement from the Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE). CASE is an international professional organization that provides leadership to advance the field of special education through professional learning, policy and advocacy. Math 180, known for its proven, research-based intervention that works in core and dedicated intervention classrooms, received the official CASE endorsement after following an extensive review process by its Product Review Committee (PRC). The PRC uses an in-depth rubric to ensure that the solution meets or exceeds criteria that includes the fidelity of the product, professional development support, accessibility, organizational/technical requirements, evidence of the research base, product, and quality of the research along with satisfaction data advocated by CASE.
USA TODAY announced the return of its Best-selling Booklist featuring expanded content, the ability to filter by genre, updated tools to enable data collection as well as new partnerships that support independent booksellers across the country in USA TODAY Network markets. “USA TODAY Best-selling Booklist is back, and we couldn’t be more thrilled because this content is important to our vast audience and uniquely supports the communities we serve,” said Kristin Roberts, Gannett Media Chief Content Officer. “Readers, authors, publishers, booksellers and those who cherish books can experience our data driven best-sellers list again.” USA TODAY's Best-selling Booklist, a leading force in the market since 1993, ranks the 150 top-selling book titles weekly based exclusively on sales analysis from U.S. booksellers including bookstore chains, independent bookstores, mass merchandisers and online retailers.
Search engines are once again under fire from some of the top news publishers. The New York Times, News Corp, and IAC are among the companies that are discussing the formation of a coalition to address how generative artificial intelligence (GAI) will impact advertising, websites, search, content, and more. Other publishing giants involved include Vox Media, Advance, and Axel Springer, according to The Wall Street Journal, which cited people familiar with the matter. And while a coalition might not be formed, the challenge is on the mind of publishing executives and company lawyers attempting to secure copyrights and intellectual property rights for content.
Overall, the Commission’s report provides an in-depth analysis and several recommendations regarding each of the Postal Service’s four performance goals: *The Postal Service partially met the High-Quality Service performance goal because it met seven of the eight targets for the High-Quality Service performance indicators. In FY 2022, the Postal Service failed to meet its target for Single-Piece First-Class Mail, 3-5-Day. *The Postal Service partially met the Excellent Customer Experience performance goal because it exceeded targets for three performance indicators (Business Service Network, Customer Care Center, and usps.com) but missed targets for five other performance indicators. *The Postal Service partially met the Safe Workplace and Engaged Workforce performance goal because it exceeded the FY 2022 Total Accident Rate target but missed the FY 2022 Grand Mean Engagement Score target. *The Postal Service met the Financial Health performance goal because the FY 2022 Controllable Income (Loss) result was better than the target.
U.S. consumer confidence rose in June to its highest level since January 2022 even as some consumers still expect a recession. The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index rose to 109.7 in June, the highest reading since January 2022, and up from 102.5 in May. The rise in consumer confidence in June reflects improved current conditions and a pop in expectations, according to Dana Peterson, chief economist at The Conference Board. “Greater confidence was most evident among consumers under age 35, and consumers earning incomes over $35,000,” she added.
The Postal Service announced that it received favorable review from the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), approving the Postal Service’s plan to implement USPS Ground Advantage on July 9, 2023. USPS Ground Advantage is the Postal Service’s enhanced ground solution. It provides a simple, reliable, and more affordable way to ship packages in two-to-five business days across the continental United States. Pricing for USPS Ground Advantage will reflect a decrease of 1.4 percent relative to predecessor USPS shipping products, specifically retail prices will be 3.2 percent lower and commercial published prices will be 0.7 percent lower in comparison.
Savvas Learning Company, a K-12 next-generation learning solutions leader, is proud to announce that its Savvas Realize learning management system (LMS) has won the 2023 EdTech Breakthrough Award for “LMS Innovation of the Year.” Savvas Realize, a dynamic and flexible LMS for teaching and learning, was recognized as a “truly breakthrough educational technology solution built for today’s modern education challenges.” Winners of this year’s EdTech Breakthrough Awards, which showcase technologies and companies that drive innovation and exemplify the best in edtech solutions, were selected from more than 2,400 nominations based on innovation, design, user experience, and overall technological advancement. This is the second year in a row that the Savvas Realize LMS has received an EdTech Breakthrough Award. “We would like to thank the EdTech Breakthrough Awards for honoring Savvas Realize as an innovative learning management system,” said Bethlam Forsa, CEO of Savvas Learning Company. “Built to meet all of a district’s K-12 curriculum and administrative needs, our robust platform supports educators with the most advanced tools, engaging content, and instructional resources to help move learning forward for all students.”
WBA third quarter sales increased 8.6 percent from the year-ago quarter to $35.4 billion, an increase of 8.9 percent on a constant currency basis, reflecting sales growth in the U.S. Retail Pharmacy and International segments, and a significant contribution from the U.S. Healthcare segment. Operating loss was $0.5 billion in the third quarter compared to a loss of $0.3 billion in the year-ago quarter. Operating loss in the quarter reflects a $431 million non-cash impairment of pharmacy license intangible assets in Boots UK. Net earnings in the third quarter was $118 million compared to net earnings of $289 million in the year-ago quarter, primarily driven by lower operating income.
FY23 third quarter service performance scores covering April 1 through June 16, included: *First-Class Mail: 92.3% of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an increase of 1.3 percentage points from the fiscal second quarter. *Marketing Mail: 95.9% of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an increase of 1.4 percentage points from the fiscal second quarter. *Periodicals: 88.9% of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an increase of 2.4 percentage points from the fiscal second quarter.
Gannett Co., Inc. the largest publisher in the United States including USA TODAY and over 200 local publications, filed a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against Google for monopolization of advertising technology markets and deceptive commercial practices. The lawsuit seeks to restore competition in the digital advertising marketplace and end Google’s monopoly, which will encourage investment in newsrooms and news content throughout the country. As more Americans read the news online, publishers depend on digital advertising revenue to provide timely, cutting-edge reporting and content that communities across the country rely on. Google’s practices have depressed revenue and impacted local newsrooms adversely by monopolizing the markets for important software and technology products that publishers and advertisers use to buy and sell ad space. Google controls 90% of the market for “publisher ad servers,” which publishers use to offer ad space for sale. Google also controls over 60% of the market for “ad exchanges,” which run auctions among advertisers bidding for ad space on publishers’ websites. Google controls the largest source of advertisers bidding on exchanges. For Gannett, 60% of all buyers come through Google. The result is Google unfairly controlling selling, buying, and the exchange that matches sellers and buyers – and manipulating all aspects of online advertising transactions.
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today released its StatShot report for April 2023 reflecting reported revenue for Trade (Consumer Books), Higher Education Course Materials, and Professional Publishing. Total revenues across all categories for April 2023 were down 7.6% as compared to April 2022, coming in at $732.3 million. Year-to-date revenues were up 0.9%, at $3.9 billion for the first four months of the year. Trade (Consumer Books) revenues were down 11.2% in April, coming in at $605.7 million. In terms of physical paper format revenues during the month of April, in the Trade (Consumer Books) category, Hardback revenues were down 9.2%, coming in at $218.1 million; Paperbacks were down 16.3%, with $208.9 million in revenue; Mass Market was down 10.7% to $12.7 million; and Special Bindings were down 2.8%, with $12.3 million in revenue.
A tentative contract agreement has been reached between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), easing concerns about a strike at 29 West Coast ports disrupting incoming freight from the Asia-Pacific region ahead of the fall and Q4, nearly a year after the previous contract expired. “We are pleased to have reached an agreement that recognizes the heroic efforts and personal sacrifices of the ILWU workforce in keeping our ports operating,” said PMA President James McKenna and ILWU President Willie Adams in a joint statement. “We are also pleased to turn our full attention back to the operation of the West Coast ports.”
FY23 third quarter service performance scores covering April 1 through June 9, included: *First-Class Mail: 92.3% of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an increase of 1.3 percentage points from the fiscal second quarter. *Marketing Mail: 96.0% of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an increase of 1.4 percentage points from the fiscal second quarter. *Periodicals: 88.8% of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an increase of 2.4 percentage points from the fiscal second quarter.
Second Quarter Fiscal Year 2023 Financial Highlights: *Adobe achieved revenue of $4.82 billion in its second quarter of fiscal year 2023, which represents 10 percent year-over-year growth or 13 percent in constant currency. Diluted earnings per share was $2.82 on a GAAP basis and $3.91 on a non-GAAP basis. *GAAP operating income in the second quarter was $1.62 billion and non-GAAP operating income was $2.18 billion. GAAP net income was $1.30 billion and non-GAAP net income was $1.79 billion. *Cash flows from operations were $2.14 billion. *Remaining Performance Obligations (“RPO”) exiting the quarter were $15.22 billion. *Adobe repurchased approximately 2.7 million shares during the quarter.
4th Quarter Summary (results vs. prior year) *GAAP Results: Revenue of $526 million (-4%), Operating income of $82 million (+41%), and EPS of $1.22 (+$0.46). Full Year Summary (results vs. prior year): *GAAP Results: Revenue of $2,020 million (-3%), Operating income of $56 million (-$163 million), and EPS of $0.31 (-$2.31). GAAP earnings performance primarily due to $100 million ($1.77/share) of non-cash goodwill impairment in Education Services/University Services and restructuring charges totalling $49 million ($0.66/share). *Cash from Operations of $277 million (-$62 million) and Free Cash Flow of$173 million (-$50 million) mainly due to higher restructuring payments and interest payments.
A May, 2023 report from Student Monitor, a second independent research group, also found a dramatic decade-long decline of 41% in student spending on course materials, with an average spend of $333 per student for the 2022-2023 academic year. Inclusive Access is a course material model developed by colleges across the country to deliver learning resources to students at the lowest market rate, on or before the first day of class. In 2015, the U.S. Department of Education issued federal guidance for institutions of higher learning to charge for course materials as part of tuition and fees, reducing the level of effort it takes for students to utilize their financial aid dollars for timely use on their course materials. According to Student Watch, the number of students enrolled in Inclusive Access has increased to 44% of the student population, up from 39% last year.
Learning technology company HMH today announced that HMH President & CEO, Jack Lynch, has been named “EdTech Company CEO of the Year” in the 5th annual EdTech Breakthrough Awards program conducted by EdTech Breakthrough, a leading market intelligence organization that recognizes the top companies and solutions in the global edtech market. Under Lynch’s leadership, HMH has undergone a strategic transformation to a digital-first, connected learning company that engages learners, empowers educators and improves student outcomes. In less than six years, he has executed on key changes that have set HMH up for success as a K-12 technology company, from the divestiture of its Books and Media division in 2021, to HMH’s sale to Veritas Capital in 2022, which puts the organization in an even stronger position to increase its positive impact on millions of students and teachers. Supporting this goal, most recently Lynch led HMH's acquisition of assessment and research organization NWEA, bringing the potential to further transform the K-12 education experience for teachers and students.
In celebration of Pride Month, the White House today announced a set of actions designed to protect LGBTQIA+ communities, including the appointment of a new coordinator within the Department of Education to spearhead a response to the rising number of book bans at the state level. While details are still to come, White House officials say the new coordinator position will be situated within the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, and will “work to provide new trainings for schools nationwide on how book bans that target specific communities and create a hostile school environment may violate federal civil rights laws.”
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today released its StatShot report for March 2023 reflecting reported revenue for Trade (Consumer Books), Higher Education Course Materials, and Professional Publishing. Total revenues across all categories for March 2023 were up 6.6% as compared to March 2022, coming in at $883.5 million. Year-to-date revenues were up 3.2%, at $3.2 billion for the first three months of the year. Trade (Consumer Books) revenues were up 0.2% in March, coming in at $710.9 million. In terms of physical paper format revenues during the month of March, in the Trade (Consumer Books) category, Hardback revenues were down 1.0%, coming in at $243.1 million; Paperbacks were up 0.3%, with $268.2 million in revenue; Mass Market was down 9.5% to $13.0 million; and Special Bindings were up 21.9%, with $18.9 million in revenue. Year-to-date Trade revenues were up 1.1%, at $2.2 billion for the first three months of the year.
Savvas Learning Company, a K-12 next-generation learning solutions leader, today announced that its Experience Physics program has been named a 2023 SIIA CODiE Award Finalist in the “Best Science Instructional Solution for Grades 9-12” category. Experience Physics © 2022 is a modern high school physics curriculum that implements an interactive learning model using the exploration of phenomena to drive student engagement. The program places students center stage as they make sense of phenomena with experiential learning routines that connect physics to the real world. Experience Physics also uniquely supports educators with comprehensive, editable resources and flexible teaching tools that allow them to adapt instruction to their students’ diverse learning needs.
The average piece of Direct Mail is looked at for 108 seconds across the course of a month, while the average Door Drop is viewed for 46 seconds. The mail channel is more attention efficient than a host of other media platforms, resulting in the recommendation that it is a “must-have” channel on attention-based media plans. JICMAIL (The Joint Industry Currency for Mail) has today revealed the findings from a major year-long study – The Time We Spend With Mail. This research into consumer attention with mail has involved collaboration with multiple measurement partners including Kantar, PwC and Lifestream. The year-long measurement program has seen JICMAIL roll out full attention measurement across its entire panel of 1,000 households per month (capturing time-spent metrics for Business Mail, Direct Mail, Door Drops and Partially Addressed Mail). At the same time, the AI-driven video analytics company Lifestream has provided directly observed mail attention data with which to validate the panel findings, while PwC has scrutinised the mail efficiency calculations that JICMAIL has generated to compare the delivery of time spent to other media channels.
Based on years of gear designing, experience, customer feedback, and industry-leading sustainability insights, REI Co-op introduces its first foray into running shoes since the 1970s, with the introduction of the REI Co-op Swiftland Multi-terrain (Swiftland MT). This versatile trail runner maximizes recycled and bio-based materials without compromising technical expectations, while giving runners the freedom to take their adventures over multiple surfaces beyond the pavement. The Swiftland MT is a foundational running shoe that joins a wide variety of running apparel, equipment and gear for REI customers to choose from, and continues the co-op's commitment to broaden its running assortment and more deeply invest in this activity category.
Email may be more convenient and less expensive for brands, but if you really want your customers to look at a communication, mail is much more effective, according to a new report. A study by automation specialist Quadient has found that almost two-thirds (62%) of UK consumers say they are more likely to open a physical letter than an email, with many citing the fact that letters feel more personal. When asked why a physical letter from a business might be better than email, 39% said letters feel more personalised to them and their needs than bulk email messages, while 42% said there is no risk of hacking, phishing or being infected by viruses. A further 37% said they appreciate the lack of spam messages received through physical mail. “Companies need to think strategically about the different scenarios in which they contact customers and choose the communication channel that best fits the situation.”
Barnes & Noble today announces their selections for The Best Books of the Year (So Far). The list is a stunning collection of books selected by the B&N bookselling team, representing the very best works published across various categories since January of 2023. As readers know well, narrowing down to a few choice titles can feel insurmountable when so many fantastic new books are published every week. This year, the booksellers of Barnes & Noble tackled the task first by compiling three-title shortlists across lots of categories ... and they liked the results so much that they have kept them. They now announce over 50 of the best shortlists, an original and hopefully inspiring way of looking at the best new books of 2023 — so far.