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October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

Publishing News

Bloomberg Event Hopes to Take on Davos
Axios: "Bloomberg's New Economy Forum, going virtual this year for the first time, is on track to challenge the likes of the World Economic Forum, The Aspen Ideas Festival and others. The forum will be the first major global convening of business and political leaders in the wake of the U.S. election. The World Economic Forum has been pushed until next summer. The agenda for the four-day, live-streamed event, happening from November 16-19th, will focus on five core topic areas: finance, trade, climate, health and cities"...

2020 Magazine Covers Feature Black People 3X More Than In Past 90 Years
MediaPost: "Magazine covers this year have featured Black people three times more than in the previous 90 years, according to research by University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media professors. The research, which was done by Samir “Mr. Magazine” Husni, Mark K. Dolan and Marquita Smith, and published by Poynter, found that every one of the 126 covers published in 2020 that featured Black subjects showed them in “a positive and uplifting light.”Since the 1930 Time cover featuring Ethiopian leader Haile Selassie (the first time the magazine had a Black person on the cover), there were about 40 total covers of non-ethnic magazines that showed Black subjects as "respected, celebrated or as everyday Americans," according to their research. Conde Nast's Vogue, for example, commissioned special, illustrated covers for its September 2020 issue. Vanity Fair’s September issue featured an illustration of Breonna Taylor, the Black woman shot and killed by police in March in her Louisville apartment, as did O, The Oprah Magazine.There are many other recent examples: Hearst's Men’s Health and Women’s Health magazines also featured Black subjects on its covers this year, as did Meredith’s InStyle, Health and Shape."

Good Housekeeping Sells Kitchenware on QVC
MediaPost: "Good Housekeeping teamed up with chef Curtis Stone and his kitchen product company, Foodfight, to create a line of Good Housekeeping Kitchenware, backed by the GH Seal. Shopping network QVC is the exclusive launch retailer. “This line is for food-loving home cooks who, like us, have busy schedules, limited counter space, and a fondness for throwing impromptu dinner parties,” Stone stated. The line made its debut on Wednesday on the QVC channel, with Good Housekeeping style director Lori Bergamotto showcasing the products. The seven items are priced from a $28 four-piece silicone utensil set to a mini food processor for just under $50, available on This spring, Good Housekeeping experienced an increase of 567% in its ecommerce business over the span of six weeks, compared to the same period last year. Sales grew across bedding, bath and gardening products in that time. Good Housekeeping had a 1,200% increase in ecommerce revenue between February 2019 and December 2019, thanks to its digital growth strategy around search for product reviews and gift guides."

Time 100 Talk to Feature Prince Harry, Meghan Markle
he Duke and Duchess of Sussex are embarking on their next speaking initiative. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are working with Time Magazine to host a special episode of its Time 100 Talks on Oct. 20. The episode will focus on the topic of “Engineering a Better World,” which is an important element of the couple’s Archewell charitable foundation, according to Time’s statement. The episode’s guests include Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian; Rappler chief executive officer and executive editor Maria Ressa; Center for Humane Technology president and cofounder Tristan Harris; author and co-director of UCLA’s Center for Critical Internet Inquiry Safiya Noble; Stanford Internet Observatory technical research manager Renée DiResta, and Somewhere Good founder Naj Austin, among others. Prince Harry and Markle will also make opening and closing statements and lead conversations throughout the episode on “building online communities that are more compassionate, safe and trustworthy.” The couple has previously worked with Time for speaking engagements. Prince Harry and Markle participated in Time Magazine’s “Time 100” television special on Sept. 22, where they appeared in a pre-recorded video discussing the importance of voting in the upcoming presidential election and the harm that hate speech and misinformation can have"...

COVID is Turning Us Into Readers Again
NY Post: "If the media industry were to proclaim one silver lining of the pandemic it would be the book sale boom. Kids books are doing especially well as parents look for ways to keep their tots occupied at a time when playdates are hard to come by. Ebook revenues for children and young adult books this year through August have surged 63.2% to $83.6M, according to figures from the Association of American Publishers released this week. Adults also appear to be doing more reading — and listening — at a time when many bars and theaters remain closed or empty. E-books for adults soared 17.7% this year through August compared to the same period in 2019, for total sales of $432.6M, the data shows. Print, still the largest book category, is up 5.2% to $5B compared to the first eight months of 2019 with hardback books driving the sales, up six percent through August to $1.7B. Larger format paperbacks were up only 1% to $1.6B, while cheaper pocket-sized paperbacks, known in the industry as mass market, actually tumbled 6.9%. Sales could zoom further thanks to the political blockbusters that started hitting shelves in late August and September, including Bob Woodward’s “Rage,” Mary Trump’s “Too Much and Never Enough,” and Sean Hannity’s “Live Free or Die.” Penguin Random House, meanwhile, plans to start selling Barack Obama’s “A Promised Land,” the first of two memoirs on his White House years, on Nov. 17. There are also indications that consumers are starting to tire of the avalanche of political books. In the New York Times list released to industry insiders for October 24, the top three best sellers were all non-political books making their first appearance on the non fiction list. Topping the list is “Humans,” by Brandon Stanton, followed by “Is This Anything” by Jerry Seinfeld and “The 99% Invisible City” by Roman Mars and Kurt Kohlstedt."


Retail News

September Grocery Sales Flat
Grocery Dive: "Grocery sales were essentially flat in September, eking out a gain of 0.1% over their level in August, according to estimated data released Friday by the U.S. Census Bureau. On the whole, retail sales were up 1.9% on a month-to-month basis. Consumer spending on groceries remains markedly above pre-pandemic levels. Sales were up 9.6% in September compared with the same period last year, while overall retail sales recorded a 5.4% increase. After gyrating wildly at the start of the pandemic, grocery sales have settled into a tight range, with sales up or down no more than about 2% from one month to the next since May"...

2021: Online Boom Continues, But COVID Recession Sets In
In an SN webinar, FMI SVP industry relations Mark Baum reported that about 21% of consumers have tried online shopping for the first time. Of that 21%, 8% have returned and 19% are continuing to shop online and most at deeper levels than they did initially... Online, most expect that they will return to their pre-pandemic levels of ordering groceries online (delivery at 57% or pickup just under 60%). And while some — 27% for delivery and 24% for pickup — say they expect to be ordering more online in the future, others say they expect to order fewer groceries — 16% and 18%, respectively... About half anticipate that they will return to their pre-pandemic levels of in-store grocery shopping. The remaining half are almost equally divided between shopping more and shopping less in-store for groceries in the future. So clearly, not everyone will continue ordering online at the levels we have over the height of the pandemic, but it is now just part of the fabric of our lives and we will likely continue to see more than we did pre-coronavirus"... Hanging over the heads of retailers and consumers is the threat of a pandemic-spurred recession and what that might mean for grocery shopping. “We have seen more households begin to come into this group of financially impacted consumers, and they're coming into it at a time when the same amount of stimulus dollars aren't being flooded into the market,” said Nicole Collida, head of consumer intelligence sales, North America at Nielsen. “So we do need to prepare as an industry for the best ways to reach these consumers, the best meaningful ways to interact with these consumers. “We saw the number of trips increase for these financially impacted consumers and the basket size decrease. There's a need to make more trips to the store in order to fulfill your needs sort of based on your pay cycle,” she added. “We are now seeing these consumers pick and choose based on price, based on availability, based on convenience and omni-shop for all of their needs, more so than any other consumer groups.”

Walmart, H-E-B Ranked Tops in Delivery, Pickup Study
SN: "Walmart, Sam’s Club and H-E-B were named the top-performing U.S. grocery retailers for in-store pickup, curbside pickup and home delivery, respectively, in a new study by global research firm Ipsos. Ipsos said its inaugural E-Commerce Experience Report gauges buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS), curbside and delivery services of major retail brands. The two-pronged study first surveyed 2,000 U.S. consumers about their usage, attitudes and perceptions of retailer pickup and delivery offerings, and then researchers conducted thousands of mystery shopping trips (150 per brand) that evaluated the pickup and delivery services of national and regional retailers"...

Target Gives New Bonuses to Workers
PG: "Target workers are getting another bonus. The retailer said Monday that it will award more than 350,000 frontline team members another $200 bonus. This bonus will go to all eligible hourly team members in stores and distribution centers—including seasonal hires—plus hourly team members who support Target’s guest and team member contact centers. This bonus represents an investment of more than $70m million in Target’s labor force ahead of the holidays, the retailers. It’s also the fourth time Target has recognized its frontline team members or leaders with bonuses in 2020"...

Albertsons Pilots Contactless Pickup Lockers in Stores
Grocery Drive: "Albertsons will test in-store, self-serve lockers for contactless pickup of online orders as its latest e-commerce addition... The lockers from Bell and Howell will be installed later this year at select Jewel-Osco locations in Chicago and Safeway stores in the San Francisco Bay Area. The stores with the lockers will have a new option asking shoppers to choose a time window for pickup when ordering. Shoppers will use a code to retrieve their orders from the lockers, which are modular and temperature-controlled. The upcoming pickup lockers join other efforts by Albertsons to make online grocery ordering more convenient for shoppers"...

Thrive Market Achieves B-Corp Certification
Progressive Grocer: "Thrive Market has unveiled its B-Corp certification, making it the biggest online grocer, first major national grocer and largest non-GMO food retailer in the U.S. to receive this designation. The designation lets customers, employees and the industry know that Thrive Market has met the highest independent standards for social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability. According to Thrive, it earned its B-Corp certification largely because of its Zero Waste fulfillment centers effort, new curated packaging, and commitment to organic and regenerative organic agriculture. Further, the company’s supply chain poverty alleviation efforts, which include trade terms, positive labor conditions and support for underserved suppliers to reduce poverty, also played a role"...

Alibaba Invests $3.6B in Chinese Hypermarket
WSJ: "Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. said it would pay $3.6B to take control of China’s largest big-box retailer and a major rival to Walmart Inc. in the world’s most populous nation. Hangzhou-based Alibaba, currently China’s most valuable company with a market capitalization in excess of $800 billion, said Monday it plans to double its stake in Sun Art Retail Group Ltd., which operates more than 480 large supermarket-department stores in China"...
Wall St Journal (paid sub req.)


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