Canadian Magazine Industry News
26 May 2008,     TORONTO
Rogers uses supplement to promote grocery store magazine sales
A new initiative from Rogers is trying to convince grocery stores and pharmacies that magazines are still worth it. Credit: Ualani at Flickr

While grocery stores and pharmacies account for more than half of magazine newsstand sales, challenges faced by the single copy crowd in these environments continue to mount. U-scan checkouts and product-free displays are just two of the newer issues faced by publishers, wholesalers and distributors, and the fight for space at checkouts is dogged as ever.

To “try and influence both the chain decision-makers at head offices who may know little about magazines, as well as the people on the floor,” Rogers Publishing Ltd. has placed four-page advertising sections on magazine retailing in the newest issues of Canadian Grocer and Pharmacy Post (both Rogers-owned).

The supplement is presented in the style of a feature report and offers quotes from several sources advocating for the place of magazines in these kinds of stores, as well as offering advice on how to maximize sales.

Tom Worsley, president and general manager of Retail Support Services, points out that “magazines deliver margins that are typically in the 33- to 34- per cent range, versus average margins of about 28 per cent in the rest of the store."

Ross McLeod, president of FactBase Marketing Inc., suggests retailers get creative with magazine retailing outside of checkout. “’There’s no reason, if you’re about to build your summer barbecue display, that you couldn’t have some kind of merchandising opportunity around summer-themed magazines,’ offers McLeod by way of example. Sports drinks and energy bars would be a natural location for health and fitness magazines.”

Statistics from Coast to Coast Newsstand Services Partnership’s Canadian Newsstand Boxscore are also included in the supplement.

“Rogers Publishing funded the section as a marketing investment to provide ideas and perspective to Canadian retailers about the magazine category,” writes Michael J. Fox, senior vice president of circulation and development at Rogers. “My hope is that by seeding this initiative, we can look to other publishers for support of future such sections.”

Fox says he welcomes comments and ideas and can be reached at michael.fox at rci.rogers.com.

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— M.U.
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