JCPenney Reports Second Quarter 2019 Financial Results

J. C. Penney Company, Inc. announced financial results for its fiscal second quarter ended Aug. 3, 2019. Net loss for the quarter was $48 million or ($0.15) per share. Comparable sales decreased 9.0 % for the quarter. Excluding the impact of the Company’s exit from major appliance and in-store furniture categories, comparable sales decreased 6.0 % for the quarter. Cost of goods sold for the quarter was 63.2 % of sales, a decrease of 310 basis points compared to the same period last year. Inventory at the end of the second quarter was $2.47 billion, down 12.5 % compared to the end of the second quarter last year. “I am pleased with the results we delivered this quarter and the progress we are making against our plan. While we still have work to do on our topline, I strongly believe that growing sales in an unprofitable way is simply not an option. The only way I know how to reconstruct a business, is through a holistic approach across all the key tenets of strategic, purposeful and effective retailing. Notably this quarter, the meaningful improvement we delivered in cost of goods sold was driven by lower permanent markdowns, improved shrink results, increased store and online selling margins and the exit of major appliance and in-store furniture categories.” said Jill Soltau, chief executive officer of JCPenney.
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Magazine ABCs highlight growth titles bucking downward trend (printweek.com)

The Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) has released the latest consumer magazine reports, highlighting a downward trend in circulation across the industry but with a number of bright spots. The figures, which were released yesterday (15 August) and covered the first six months of 2019, showed there were six growth sectors in the period. Men’s lifestyle general was up by 9% year-on-year while children’s magazines: primary – girls grew by 7% with its boys equivalent up 3%. Women’s interests: parenthood was up by 2%, general interest: religion was up 1% and home interest: gardening was up 1%.
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ACMA Members Should Act Now on New Tariffs; List 4 Ten Percent Tariffs Still Coming for You!

While the President and the United States Trade Representative (USTR) have recently announced the proposed List 4 tariffs at ten percent will be delayed until December 15 for certain articles, the rest of these tariffs that will impact your imports from China are scheduled to go into effect on Sept. 1, 2019. According to their release: "Certain products are being removed from the tariff list based on health, safety, national security and other factors and will not face additional tariffs of ten percent. Further, as part of USTR’s public comment and hearing process, it was determined that the tariff should be delayed to December 15 for certain articles. Products in this group include, for example, cell phones, laptop computers, video game consoles, certain toys, computer monitors, and certain items of footwear and clothing." If you are impacted by the List 4A tariffs (See lists: List 4A Effective September 1, 2019- https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/enforcement/301Investigations/List_4A_%28Effective_September_1%2C_2019%29.pdf or List 4B Effective December 15, 2019 - https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/enforcement/301Investigations/List_4B_%28Effective_December_15%2C_2019%29.pdf), now is the time to alert your members of Congress and to start to prepare to file for your exemptions. Click Read More below for additional details.
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1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. Completes Its Purchase of the Shari’s Berries® Brand

1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. announced that it has completed its purchase of the Shari’s Berries brand. The acquisition follows the Company’s winning bid at the auction held on July 31, 2019 for certain assets of FTD’s gourmet food business, including the Shari’s Berries brand, which were previously operated by Provide Commerce LLC, a division of FTD. The Company acquired the Shari’s Berries brand and the assets through one of its wholly owned subsidiaries. Chris McCann, CEO of 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc., said, “We are pleased to have closed this acquisition quickly and to welcome Shari’s Berries to our all-star family of great gifting brands. Shari’s Berries enjoys strong brand awareness among consumers as a leading provider of dipped berries and other specialty treats and it has a rich heritage in the gourmet gift industry.”
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Print Unit Sales Increased 1.3% in 2018 (ibpa-online.org)

Unit sales of print books rose 1.3% in 2018 over 2017 at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. According to BookScan, which tracks 80% to 85% of print sales, units topped 695 million in the 52-week period ended December 29 compared to 686.9 million in 2017. Print book sales have been trending upward, albeit at a slow pace, since 2013. The modest 2018 gain was driven by the adult nonfiction segment. Not only did political books pile up big sales last year, but Michelle Obama’s Becoming was 2018’s runaway bestseller, selling 3.4 million copies at outlets that report to BookScan. A total of five books sold more than 1 million print copies in 2018, all of which were frontlist titles. In 2017, the two top selling books were backlist titles, Wonder by R.J. Palacio and Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur.
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Bauer Media Leads Again as the UK’s Biggest Magazine Publisher

Bauer Media retains its position as the UK’s biggest selling magazine publisher according to the latest round of ABC figures; •No 1 in TV listings (the UK’s biggest magazine category by volume) with TV Choice and Total TV Guide. Bauer has increased its share of the TV Listings Market to 44.2%; •In the Women’s Weeklies Classics market Bella remains the No 1 best-selling title. •Garden Answers posts significant double-digit growth year-on-year and period-on-period and Garden News records period-on-period growth; •In the Real-Life market Bauer Media continues to dominate the sector and has increased its market share to 57.4% with Take a Break in the No 1 position selling 432,683 copies weekly; •Grazia celebrates market beating performances both period-on-period and year-on-year; •heat out-performs the market with period-on-period and year-on-year increases in market share; •Yours out-performs the market growing share.
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REI Co-op to open new store in Wichita, Kansas in spring 2020

REI Co-op is opening a new store in Wichita, Kansas in spring 2020, bringing a wide assortment of quality gear, equipment rentals, experiences and expertise for the region’s most popular outdoor activities. The new 20,000-square-foot store will be located at the northeast corner of Highway 96 and Greenwich Place. With nearly 70,000 lifetime REI members in state, REI Wichita will be the co-op’s second store in Kansas, and offer a full-service specialty bike shop for maintenance and repairs. “From paddling on the Arkansas River to camping at one of the many surrounding state parks, Wichita is one of the best places to experience the outdoors in Kansas,” said Michelle Yancy, REI retail director for the Midwest. “We are thrilled to further connect our local members to the activities and the places they love.”
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Walmart Releases Q2 FY20 Earnings

Total revenue was $130.4 billion, an increase of $2.3 billion, or 1.8%. Excluding currency2, total revenue was $131.7 billion, an increase of $3.7 billion, or 2.9%. Walmart U.S. comp sales increased on a two-year stacked basis by 7.3%, which is the strongest growth in more than 10 years. Segment operating income increased 4%, marking the fifth consecutive quarter of growth. Walmart U.S. eCommerce sales growth of 37% includes strong growth in online grocery. Sam's Club comp sales1 increased 1.2%, and eCommerce sales grew 35%. Reduced tobacco sales negatively affected comp sales by 300 basis points.
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Postal Regulations That Trouble Print Service Providers (piworld.com)

Print service providers don’t always mail what they produce for their clients, but when they do, they must be clear about the rules and regulations administered by the U.S. Postal Service. Generating mailings (or even designing mailings) without considering the mailing requirements can blow the client’s budget, cause delivery delays, or depress campaign results. In severe cases the postal service might even reject the mail. Help clients get the most from their investments in printed and mailed communications and generate worry-free mail by being informed about mailing requirements. Move Update - Move update is the USPS’ regulation aimed at decreasing the volume of mail that requires forwarding, disposal, or returning to the sender. In-Home Dates can Fluctuate - Timing is important. Clients want assurance of when their marketing mail will be delivered but predictability isn’t always easy.
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Hearst Magazines Evolves Hearst Media Solutions

New leadership roles include: •Jeffrey Hamill has been elevated to executive vice president, chief media officer for Hearst Magazines. In this newly created role, Hamill, who has served as executive vice president of sales and marketing for Hearst Integrated Media since 2012, will have oversight of all corporate contract negotiations, pricing strategy and agency partnerships. •Todd Haskell has been promoted to senior vice president, chief marketing officer for Hearst Magazines. Haskell, who has been driving digital sales revenue growth for Hearst Magazines as senior vice president, chief revenue officer since 2013, will be responsible for all corporate marketing functions for the company. He will also work closely with the marketing teams across the division’s portfolio of brands, while leading Hearst Magazines’ marketplace positioning and communications. •Tom Kirwan has been elevated to vice president, chief revenue officer of Hearst Media Solutions, a recently integrated corporate group that provides multi-platform, multi-brand client solutions and delivers a unified approach to the market. In his new role, Kirwan, who has been vice president of national sales and key accounts for the digital division of Hearst Magazines since 2013, will be responsible for corporate revenue across all platforms for the company’s portfolio of more than 25 brands, working in partnership with Hamill.
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