Royal Mail workers vote for strike action

The vast majority (97.1%) of around 110,000 voters backed a strike from a 76% turnout of CWU members, representing both one of the largest ‘Yes’ votes and turnouts for many years. Strikes at Royal Mail were averted last year after the postal service agreed to increase pay, reform pensions and reduce weekly working hours from 39 to 35 by 2022, subject to productivity improvements. CWU said the agreement is not being honoured by the company’s new leadership but Royal Mail has said it is abiding by the agreement and has awarded two pay rises since last year.
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2020 Postal Rate Increase and What it Means for Catalogers

The United States Postal Service (USPS) recently filed its new pricing for the 2020 postal rate increase among its various mail class products with an average price increase of 1.9% across the board. Pending review by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), the new prices will begin on January 26, 2020. The good news is that while a postage pricing increase is a disappointment for all involved, carrier route mail did not see as dramatic of an increase as other mail classes. We believe this will open up additional opportunities to get involved in a postage cost-savings plan. For catalogers, one of the best ways to achieve this carrier route pricing tier is through co-mailing – which is the process of combining and sorting multiple different titles into a single mail stream it enters into the postal facilities.
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Kroger Stops Carrying Free Newspapers (mediapost.com)

Grabbing a newspaper and coffee to go is an American tradition. But it is eroding as more publications favor online-only and coffee shops and retail outlets stop assigning space for newspapers. Neiman Lab reports that Kroger, the largest U.S. supermarket chain by revenue, will stop carrying free newspapers and magazines as of October 15 — after 20 years. A Kroger rep told the Memphis Business Journal: “We are removing the publication racks from our stores because more publications continue to shift to digital formats, resulting in less customers using the products.”
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Number of Self-Published Titles Jumped 40% in 2018 (publishersweekly.com)

The number of books self-published in the U.S. saw more rapid growth in 2018, jumping 40% over 2017, according to Bowker’s annual survey of the self-publishing market. In its report, “Self-Publishing in the United States, 2013-2018: Print and E-books,” the total number of print and e-books that were self-published in 2018 was 1.68 million, up from 1.19 million in 2017. Bowker measures the size of the market based on the number ISBN’s registered and thus does not include self-published e-books by Amazon’s Kindle division, which uses an Amazon identifier. Amazon is considered to be largest publisher of self-published e-books, even if no number is available. Amazon’s CreateSpace division dominates the print self-publishing market, with 1.4 million self-published print titles last year, up from 929.290 in 2017.
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Future of Reading (intergraf.eu)

Although the advent of digital technologies has brought with it many advantages in the way we communicate, study or do business, traditional media still remains indispensable for us. An independent academic study was carried out to understand the impact of digitalisation on reading practices, particularly in children and young adults, under the COST Action E-READ initiative. This research found out that print readers have a better recall of temporal relations between events and are able to reconstruct more correctly the plot of a text than screen readers. E-READ also found out that paper remains a better support, especially for long text, since it encourages deeper comprehension and retention.
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REI Co-op opens new store in San Luis Obispo on October 25, invests $20,000 in local outdoor community

REI Co-op will open its new store in San Luis Obispo on October 25 offering a wide assortment of quality outdoor gear, equipment rentals, experiences and expertise. Located at the SLO Promenade, REI’s new 22,000-square-foot store will bring quality outdoor gear, experiences and expertise to California’s central coast. REI San Luis Obispo will also offer personal outfitting services that allow customers to connect with REI experts to get the gear they need for their next adventure. “San Luis Obispo is an incredible outdoor community and we look forward to connecting our local members to the outdoor places and activities they love,” said Michael Caponio, REI San Luis Obispo store manager. “Whether it’s biking, hiking, paddling or camping, we’ll offer the best gear and expertise to enjoy the outdoors, while investing in the outdoor spaces that make this community special.”
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Meredith To Partner With Property Brothers Drew And Jonathan Scott To Launch New Quarterly Brand

Meredith Corporation announced it will partner with globally recognized home renovation and interior design experts Drew and Jonathan Scott on a new lifestyle magazine with home at the core. Known for their dream big philosophy on life, the twin TV hosts of the hugely popular HGTV series, Property Brothers, will infuse ideas and stories that inspire personal growth and happiness into every issue. The new magazine title will debut on newsstands nationwide in January 2020 with a cover price of $9.99 and an initial newsstand print run of 500,000. Meredith and the Scott brothers plan to announce the title and tagline for the new magazine in the next few weeks.
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Print ‘thriving in wider publishing ecosystem’, finds UPM white paper (fipp.com)

Print continues to play a pivotal role in multi-platform, multi-channel strategies for publishers. This was one of the key takeaways from a presentation at FIPP Insider in Paris based on a UPM white paper on the future of media. ‘The Future of Media: How digital-to-print revenue models continue to shape the industry’ is one of four white papers produced this year by FIPP in collaboration with UPM Communication Papers, one of the six business areas of UPM the Biofore Company. The white paper explores the value print continues to bring to publishing portfolios and how print fits into the wider publishing ecosystem.
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Trade body ‘deplores’ US tariffs on print (printweek.com)

European trade federation Intergraf has hit out against the inclusion of printed matter in the burgeoning US-EU trade dispute, citing the UK and Germany as the biggest losers if tariffs on $7.5bn-worth of European exports are imposed. Intergraf said that 70% of European printed products exported to the US originated from the UK and Germany, with more than 50% of the products traded being books.
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ICSC: It’s beginning to look a lot like a brick-and-mortar holiday (chainstoreage.com)

According to the new Holiday Shopping Intentions Survey from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), holiday spending in 2019 will increase 4.9% from the previous year for a total of $832.3 billion. The average adult will spend $683 on holiday-related items. The study also found that 90% of U.S. adults plan to shop in-store for gifts and other related goods, and 97% of holiday shoppers plan to shop with a retailer that has a physical presence. Promotions will drive in-store visits, with over 60% of respondents saying that searching for deals encourages them to make more trips to physical stores.
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