Canadian Magazine Industry News
18 August 2011,     TORONTO
Magazine sections shrinking in convenience stores
One per cent.

That's the percentage of overall sales that magazines account for at convenience stores, according to Peter Chappell, senior category manager for Mac's. He shared the fact at the PBAA Canada convention at the Pantages Hotel in Toronto Aug. 17.

Meanwhile, Chappell said he is constantly wrestling with other category managers for space in the chain stores, namely with food service which is growing while magazine sections are shrinking. Magazine sales are down six per cent in convenience stores when comparing the first quarters of 2010 and 2011, he added.

Why are magazines faring poorly at convenience stores?

Possible reasons include the fact magazines are "labour intensive" for store managers, explained Chappell. While vendors of potato chips, soft drinks and other products stock shelves at Mac's, "magazine wholesalers do not service convenience stores," he said. That leaves store personnel to fill display racks and arrange returns for pick-up, said Chappell.

However, Chappell said if wholesalers were willing to provide more in-store service, it could present opportunities to expand the magazine category at Mac's, he added.

Chappell said one thing is for certain when it comes to reviving magazine sales at convenience stores: "Doing nothing is not an option."
— Jeff Hayward
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