Feb. 21, 2012

Publishing News

The New Yorker’s Editor Likes Tech, But Loves Print
David Remnick is interested in using digital to expand on editorial in iPad platform, and has “cautious” interest in social media, but “overwhelming” priority is producing best possible print magazine each week. “The New Yorker–you roll it up, you put it in your bag. It’s quite easy; it’s pretty good technology,” he says. Includes link to video of interview. 

U.K. Cosmo Editor Not Threatened by Web Sites
Louise Court says Jezebel, other competitive sites for young women, and even Cosmo U.K.’s own digital platforms (#1 on Apple Newsstand), not taking readership from print.  ”Young women take all the digital stuff for granted but they still get really excited by the physical, tangible magazine,” she says. 

Nielsen Reports on Tablet-Using Kids
Adults in 70% of tablet-owning U.S. households with kids under 12 let their kids use their devices (9% increase between 3rd, 4th quarters of 2011). Kids’ uses for tablets: games (77%), educational apps (57%), entertainment while traveling (55%), watching TV shows/movies (43%), talking to friends/family (15%). 

Survey: Most Young People Have Pirated Content
Columbia University survey finds 70% of 18-to-29-year-olds reporting that they have bought, copied or downloaded unauthorized music, TV shows or movies, compared to  46% of adults. 

Adweek Readers Pick ESPN’s Skipper as Sports Media Exec of the Year
John Skipper, ESPN president as of last fall, chosen from among list of candidates supplied by editors. 

Retail News

Wal-Mart Net Income -15%; U.S. Same-Store Sales Up 1.5%
FY Q4 profit $5.16B, or $1.50 a share, down from $6.06B or $1.70 a share. Net sales +5.9% to $122.28B (missing analysts’ $123.9B estimate). U.S. sales +2.4%. U.S. same-store (minus fuel) +1.5% for Walmart (2nd positive quarter), +5.4% for Sam’s Club. International sales +13%. Operating margin slipped to 6.8% from 6.9%. Current quarter comp-store sales projected at flat to up 2%, including 3% gain for Walmart, 5% for Sam’s. Separately, W-M-owned U.K. grocery retailer Asda Group Limited saw sales rise 1% in 14 weeks ended Jan. 7, same-store +0.1% (both excluding fuel, VAT, sales taxes), in a fiercely competitive environment.
WSJ  (Wal-Mart financials)
W-M financials release
WSJ  (Asda financials) 

ACSI: Supermarkets See Q4 Satisfaction Gain
Customer satisfaction with supermarkets in Q4 was up 1.3%, to 76 on American Customer Satisfaction Index’s 0-100 scale, despite rising food prices. Cross-industry, satisfaction up 0.1% to 75.8. Publix still on top (84), Whole Foods at 80. Walmart’s supermarket rating -3%, to 69 (last among measured retailers); in department/discount store ratings, W-M -4%, to 70 (also lowest). Costco +1% to 83; Sam’s +4% to 81. Barnes & Noble -4% to 79.

ACSI summary release

B&N, Amazon Both Reportedly Readying New Tablets
Barnes & Noble Nook 8GB tablet aimed at better competing with Amazon’s Kindle Fire reportedly to launch in Walmart on Feb. 22. Meanwhile, Amazon said to be gearing up to launch larger (10″) version of Kindle Fire.
TheVerge  (B&N Nook)
AllThingsD  (Amazon Kindle Fire) 

Home Depot Reports Strong FY Q4
Net profit +32% (to $774M or 50 cents a share). Sales +5.9%; same-store sales +5.7%. U.S. stores particularly strong. Projecting coming-year profit of $2.72 per share on 4% sales growth. Separately, WSJ reports that unusually warm winter, improving economy, are boosting home-improvement product sales. 
WSJ  (Home Depot financials)
WSJ  (weather boosting DYI ) 

Kraft’s Net +54% on Price Hikes
FY Q4 profit $830M or 47 cents a share. Revenue +6.6%, organic revenue +6.1%. Gross margin down to 33.3% from 34.8%, on input cost rise of 9.1%. N.A. operating profit +8.9%, organic revenue +7%. 2012 organic revenue growth projected at 5%. 

Feds Allege CVS, Cardinal Ignored Painkiller Orders Red Flags
Drug Enforcement Administration alleges Cardinal Health Inc., CVS Caremark were aware of high-volume orders of oxycodone shipped to two Florida CVS pharmacies. DEA hoping to get court to remove injunction now barring DEA from removing the two pharmacies’ licenses. Cardinal denies wrongdoing; CVS said it took appropriate actions starting last fall and has voluntarily stopped dispensing the drug from the two pharmacies.

Meijer Removes Free Pubs
Racks distributing free community publications being removed as of March 1, in favor of cleaner store look. 
Supermarket News

Retailers Scrap Facebook Storefronts
Over past year, J.C. Penney, Gap, Nordstrom among those that have closed storefronts on Facebook, casting doubt on the social network’s value for retailers. 

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