Jan. 10, 2012

Publishing News

Time Magazine’s Cover Double-Take
In unusual move, Time is running same close-up photo of Mitt Romney (with different design treatment) on Jan. 16th issue as on Dec. 12th issue. Managing editor says first cover, with headline asking “Why Don’t They Like Me?,” got a lot of attention (including Romney’s). Second cover, post Romney’s Iowa win, has revised head (“So You Like Me Now”); meant to spur New Hampshire and subsequent primary voters to “answer question for themselves.”

Glamour Print Ads to Feature Mobile Ecommerce
March issue print ads to allow readers to purchase items via a scan with their smartphones. Builds on success of QR-code effort promoting download of “Friends & Fans” app (“liking” participating brands enables discounts). 

Angelina Jolie Partners with Hearst Magazines for Live, Online Chat
Live chat is star’s first ever (she will focus on her directorial debut/new movie). To participate, users must have Facebook account and log onto the site of any of eight Hearst magazines (seven key women’s titles plus Esquire). Jolie is featured on January’s Marie Claire. Chat is 8 pm EST, Jan. 12. 

Shelter Magazines Mostly Showing Strength
Veranda, Elle Decor, House Beautiful among those showing both newsstand and ad-page gains. 

Nielsen Reports on Consumers’ Media Usage
Finds consumers OK with ads…if the apps are free. Percentages of tablet/smartphone users downloading magazine and book apps within last 30 days: 14% and 23%, respectively. (Versus 68% for games, 45% each for maps/navigation, music, social networking, for example.) Also details U.S./global penetration of devices, time spent, etc.

MediaPost (highlights) 
Nielsen blog/report download

More Speculation on Kardashians Magazine
Some say launch would hurt other tabloids due to reliance on family’s selling power. Others point to potential launch challenges, including the commitment that would be required of the family, and what the ongoing content would consist of.  

Online Magazines and E-Books Find Second Life in Print
The list of brands that began digitally but are now tapping expansion opportunities in print include Style.com; the popular Donovan Creed novel series by e-book author John Locke; and Sincerely, which turns digital mobile photos into digital–and now print–postcards. (Online messages get “like spam”; print “is forever,” says Sincerely founder.) 

2011′s Top Sites by % Gains in Uniques
Biggest unique visitors’ gains (Oct. 11 vs Oct. 10) among magazine/media brands tracked by MIN: Saveur.com (218%); Newsmax.com (212.5%); Pastemagazine.com (141%); BonAppetit.com (132.45%); Shape.com (116.77%). 

How Magazines Are Using Vertical Content Channels
To leverage audiences. Interviews with execs from The Atlantic, Time, New York Magazine. 

Opinion: What’s Ahead for the Book Business in 2012
The publishing enterprise structure will continue to become more market-driven, more distributive, less intermediated and less top-down, and distribution will remain in flux…but opportunities lie in creating communities that bind readers to authors and their books, writes Eugene G. Schwartz. 

Cover Esthetics, Luxury Craftsmanship Giving Hardcovers New Life

Retail News

Economy: Federal Stats Show Debt Up, Health Spending Down
Consumer credit card and other installment debt rose at a seasonally adjusted rate of 9.9% in November, largest monthly jump since November 2001…Consumer health-care spending found to be at near-historic low of 3.9% in 2010.  
WSJ (debt)
WSJ (healthcare spending)

A&P Plans 14 Store Closures; Fresh & Easy Closing 12 Stores
A&P files with bankruptcy court to close 14 more stores in four states (N.Y., N.J., Conn., Pa.), including six Pathmarks, three A&P’s, five Waldbaums. Fresh & Easy positions 12 closings (seven in Southern California, four in Phoenix and one in Las Vegas) as temporary measure to reach profitability in fiscal ending in Feb. 2013. Still opening stores, including three Express units this week and next. In other F&E news, the retailer has added more than 60 products to its Eatwell and Goodness (kids’ meals/snacks) lines. 
Supermarket News  (A&P)
Supermarket News (Fresh & Easy)
Drugstore News (F&E PL expansion)

N.J. Food Retailers Can Now Offer Fuel Rewards Programs
Bill signed yesterday eliminates long-standing restrictions in state. 

Investor Has 5.1% B&N Stake
New SEC filing shows Daniel R. Tisch having acquired just over 3 million shares of Barnes & Noble.
Moody’s Downgrades Safeway Debt Rating
Senior unsecured rating lowered to Baa3 from Baa2, with a stable outlook. Follows Safeway’s issuance of $800 million in senior unsecured notes and closing of a new $700-million delayed draw term loan in December. 

Weis Lowers, Freezes Prices
On 1,700 staple items, through April 2–its eighth 90-day freeze since 09.

Wal-Mart Canada Cuts Prices
On 7,000 items spanning all grocery and GM categories. Shopper savings projected at $25.1 million U.S. 

Drug Channel News: Walgreens, Express Scripts, CVS, Rite Aid
Discount for Express Scripts members to switch added 125,000 new members to Walgreens’s Prescription Savings Club in 2012′s first week…Meanwhile, Express Scripts says its early 2012 stats support its projection of keeping 95% of client prescription volumes despite losing Walgreens…CVS Caremark will acquire Health Net’s stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan business for approx. $160 million in cash…Rite Aid names former Premier Healthcare Alliance exec Wendy Barnes as group VP managed care…Express Scripts . 
Drugstore News (Walgreens)
WSJ (Express Scripts) 
Drugstore News (Rite Aid)

Supplier News: Valpak, Catalina
Valpak now offering coupons via CheckPoints, a mobile savings app with major national-brand partners… Catalina Marketing has named a former Dell exec, John Miles, as its new EVP, consumer information officer. 
Drugstore News (Catalina)

USDA: External Influences Likely to Keep Sugar Prices High
Factors include government policies, oil prices and instability in the Eurozone. 

‘Grocery Game’ Profiled by WSJ
Teri Gault, shopping expert behind database-driven Grocery Game site that she says typically saves users 67%, shares some key savings strategies. 

D.C.-Area Shopping Centers Anchored by Grocers Show Stability
Vacancy rate for grocery-anchored centers down to 5.5% in 2011, vs. 5.6% at end of 2010, and these centers said to be poised for 2012 growth. 

U.K.: Sainsbury Up, Tesco Down

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