Net sales for the first quarter decreased 4.2% (a 3.9% decrease on a constant currency basis after adjusting for a 30 basis point impact attributable to the year-over-year decline in the value of the Canadian Dollar relative to the U.S. Dollar) to $418.4 million, compared to $436.9 million in the same period last year. Company comparable sales decreased 2.5% (a 2.2% decrease on a constant currency basis). E-Commerce represented approximately 19% of net sales in the first quarter, as compared to approximately 17% of net sales in the first quarter of fiscal 2016. Gross profit in the first quarter totaled $149.0 million, or 35.6% of net sales, compared to $169.5 million, or 38.8% of net sales, in the first quarter of fiscal 2016. First quarter merchandise margin (the result of adding back delivery and fulfillment net costs and store occupancy costs to gross profit) totaled $232.5 million, or 55.6% of net sales, compared to $252.8 million, or 57.9% of net sales, in the first quarter of fiscal 2016. The year-over-year decline in merchandise margin is primarily attributable to elevated clearance and planned incremental promotional activity. For the three months ended May 28, 2016, contribution from operations (gross profit less compensation for operations and operational expenses) totaled $68.7 million, compared to $84.8 million during the same period last year.
The Pew Research Center released the results of a survey this week that signal more hardship for print publishers. Some 76% of respondents between the ages of 18 and 49 who read the news — rather than watch or listen to it — prefer to find that news online.
Of those 50 and older, 43% preferred the web as opposed to print.
In addition, three times as many 18- to-49-year olds who watch and listen to the news preferred to gather that form of news online too, rather than those over 50.
The study marked a healthy uptick in readers turning to the web for news since 2016. Just two years ago, 49% of respondents over 50 who preferred to read the news preferred printed paper, while 32% preferred to go online.
The results of the Pew study revealed that 47% of American prefer to watch the news as opposed to other forms overall — a number that has held steady since 2016. There are also a growing number of consumers who rely more than ever on the web.
The study was conducted from July 30 to August 12 of this year and polled 3,425 members of Center’s nationally representative American Trends Panel.