Year-end book sales across Europe were slammed by December lockdowns after Covid-19 cases surged across the continent. Still, preliminary results in three major markets show declines for the full year were modest. In Germany, Europe’s single largest book market, sales were up 25% in the first two weeks of December over 2019, but they plummeted when a new lockdown was imposed on December 16. Overall sales for the year were down 2.3% compared with 2019, according to BUCH, a German book publishing trade group. Bookstores saw sales drop 8.7% for the year, but gains by online booksellers and platforms offset that decline. “It is true that books played an important role for people during the crisis,” said Karin Schmidt-Friderichs, head of the BDB, in a press release. “There was great enthusiasm for reading and demand for books was high for much of the year. But the shutdown in December thwarted the industry’s plans. The renewed store closings in the middle of the Christmas business stopped the race to catch up from lost sales due to the shutdown in spring.”
Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS) announced today an expansion of the company’s ongoing commitment to health and wellness, including mental health, highlighted by a new national nonprofit partnership with NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Kohl’s is donating $2 million over two years to NAMI, which the organization will use to refresh its support group model. With Kohl’s gift, NAMI’s support groups will be expanded to reach additional people and serve more diverse communities, rolling out virtually in communities across the United States. The programming will be enhanced to include new trauma-informed, cross-cultural training and materials to better support those whose mental health has been impacted by trauma, including the impacts of COVID-19 and economic uncertainty.
“We’re confident that our new partnership with NAMI will make a positive impact in the lives of countless families across the country who are affected by mental illness,” said Greg Revelle, Kohl’s chief marketing officer. “We see this relationship as a natural extension of our long-standing commitment to healthy families and an important part of our continued focus on health and holistic well-being.”
The NAMI support group model is available for two different populations with similar needs – individuals with mental illness and those who care about them. NAMI Family Support Groups are offered to families and friends of people experiencing mental health conditions, while the organization’s Connection Support Groups are available to any adult (18+) with a mental health condition. Both groups offer no-cost, peer-led opportunities to share experiences and gain support from other attendees.
“The need for our support groups has risen dramatically in response to the stress and uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially for youth and young adults and people in underserved communities,” said NAMI chief executive officer Daniel H. Gillison, Jr. “We thank Kohl’s for its partnership to help us improve and expand our support groups throughout the NAMI Alliance. Partnerships like this show that together we can address the critical mental health needs of the country so that everyone has access to help.”
As part of the new partnership, Kohl’s has also joined NAMI’s StigmaFree Company initiative. This unique program identifies and assists companies with a culture of openness, acceptance, and understanding about employees’ overall health and well-being. Participating organizations receive a variety of NAMI resources, expertise and assets to help in providing employee education opportunities and awareness initiatives inclusive of mental health.
In addition to its new national partnership with NAMI, Kohl’s recently invested in other mental health resources, including a collection of resources for its associates called Be Well at Kohl’s which includes numerous materials for Kohl’s associates and their families focusing on mental health and well-being.
Kohl’s donation to NAMI was made possible through the company’s philanthropic program, Kohl’s Cares®, which sells children’s books and coordinating plush toys at Kohl’s stores nationwide. 100 percent of the net profit from the sale of Kohl’s Cares merchandise is donated to health and wellness organizations across the country.