Feb. 29, 2012

Publishing News

Men’s Journal Names New Publisher
Chris McLoughlin was most recently associate publisher of Hearst’s Redbook. Men’s Journal celebrating 20th anniversary in June. Separately, Post column offers more on thinking behind Bon Appetit’s new app, and on launch of upscale Du Jour magazine. 

Time Inc. Hires EVP Corporate Communications
Teri Everett is 11-year veteran of News Corp. corporate communications. First executive hire by new Time Inc. CEO Laura Lang. Another former News Corp. exec, Gary Ginsberg, heads Time Warner’s corporate communications. 

Bloomberg Relaunches Businesweek’s Site
Revamped site, effective today, reflects look of the redesigned magazine, including photos dominating home page, color-coded section tabs. Content features more analysis and “offbeat” stories. One goal: Better differentiatiating Businessweek.com from owner Bloomberg’s Bloomberg.com (latter more focused on real-time news stories), although BW site now features more links to Bloomberg.com. 

ASME Announces Digital Nominees
Nominees for 2012 National Magazine Awards for Digital Media include four titles with three nominations each: The Atlantic, Golf Digest, National Geographic, New York Magazine. These plus EW.com will also compete for the general excellence digital media award. Conde Nast snagged most overall nominations (10). Awards event to take place March 20 in NYC. 

Adobe Details Digital Publishing Stats
Data from 1,500 tablet publications (600 publishers) created on Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite show 16M downloaded in last 12 months; 68% of readers worldwide currently pay for such pubs (print/digital bundles 27%, subs 26%, single issues 15%); every fifth page viewed in a magazine app is an ad; readers interact with 48% of all interactive features; 56% spend between 25 minutes and 2.5 hours per month reading digital titles; other user trends. 

Pinterest Is A Leading Traffic-Driver for Women’s Magazine Sites
Site is top social referrer for Martha Stewart’s sites, second-highest for Cooking Light’s site (after Google); fourth-largest for Country Living. Piece explains Country’s Living’s Pinterest leveraging strategy.

Christian Dior Starts Own Online Magazine
DiorMag to go live Friday, with live-streaming of fall fashion show. Plans to update content almost daily; has hired full-time editor (so far unidentified). Brand has 7M Facebook fans; stepped up its online profile last fall with launch of new site consolidating fashion, beauty content. 

Harlequin’s 2011 Sales, Earnings Down Slightly in 2011
Total revenue -1.9%; operating earnings -2%. North American revenue rose by C$1.4M, earnings rose by C$5M, with C$29.5M growth in digital sales exceeding C$23.5M decline in print revenue (direct-to-consumer revenue down by C$4.6M). 

2011 E-Book Production Overtook Hardbacks
Nielsen BookScan: New books/editions totaled 149,800, down from 157,039 in 2009 and 151,959 in 2010. 35,000 first ISBN registrations of e-books in 2011 (+20%). 28,000 hardbacks registered, vs. 30,175 in 2010. 71,000 paperbacks registered, vs. 79,087 in 2010. Number of new publishers continues to rise, driven by self-published, digital. 

Digital Publisher to Offer Print Versions at Retail 
Open Road Integrated Media is moving into retail distribution of print versions of some of its original e-books and out-of-print titles through Ingram Publisher Services and Lightning Source. 
Open Road release

Small Publisher Pulls All Books from Amazon
Children’s book publisher Educational Development Corp. (Tulsa, Okla.) says move is in response to Amazon’s attempts to make it “impossible for other retailers to compete effectively” and to show support for local booksellers. But EDC gets 64% of revenues from independent sales rep network (online, home parties). 

Opinion: Who Decides What Gets Sold in the Bookstore?
Marketing/social trends guru Seth Godin reports that Apple has rejected carrying his latest “manifesto” because it includes links to the Amazon store. Amazon, Apple and B&N need to “make a decision on principle: What’s inside the book shouldn’t be of concern to a bookstore with a substantial choke on the marketplace,” Godin argues.  

Retail News

Economy: Home Prices Hit New Low in 2011
Prices fell 4%, on average, per S&P index tracking 20 metro areas. Yet, supply of homes for sale in many markets now at fiv-year low. Economists’ views of indicators are mixed. 

Costco’s FY Q2 Earnings Up 13%
Profit $394M, or 90 cents per share, vs. 79 cents year-ago. Revenue +10%; U.S. same-store sales +7% excluding currency, gas-price fluctuations; international sales +10%. Membership fee revenue +7.7%. Operating margin slipped to 2.8% from 2.9%. 

FMI: Food Retailers’ Share of Debit-Card Fraud Protection Costs Is Unfair
New FMI report shows food retailers pay disproportionately for debit-card fraud protection relative to actual rate of debit-card fraud in their stores. Signature-debit transactions account for 85% of annual debit-card fraud losses, but food retailers favor safer, PIN-based debit-card transactions. FMI sent letter urging Federal Reserve to review supermarket costs for preventing fraud prior to finalizing rule on interchange-fee fraud adjustment provisions; as written, retailers would pay 5 basis points on total fraud transaction amounts, regardless of transaction type.   

Bottom Dollar Food to Add 8 N.J. Stores
Currently has five stores in state. First two new ones to open March 2 in Trenton, Cinnaminson. Has also been expanding in Phillie market. Currently operates 43 stores in N.J., Pennsylvania, Ohio. 

Report: Top 25 Food Banners to Dominate Growth Through 2015
These banners, currently accounting for 65% of U.S. sales, will capture 100% of U.S. food-channel dollar growth between 2012 and 2015 (even excluding acquisitions/closures), projects RetailNet Group report. Overall sales growth projected at 4.3%. Top 10 by projected food sales to be added during forecast period: Amazon, Walmart Supercenter, Target Supercenter, Costco, Walgreens, CVS, Sam’s Club, Kroger, Dollar General, Publix.

Safeway Expects Growth Through Non-Core Businesses
Creating significant wellness program expected to add to operating income over next three years, says CEO. Blackhawk gift cards and property development center businesses have already generated major growth.

Giant-Carlisle Launches Apps
Giant Food Stores and Martin’s banners have launched first apps for iPhone, Android devices. Apps sync to BonusCard loyalty program, enable viewing customized offers, loyalty points, shopping lists created on retailer’s site. 

Whole Foods Testing Potentially Revolutionary Smart Shopping Cart
Prototype carts, outfitted with motion sensor from Xbox 360, can ID shoppers with their loyalty cards, follow them around the store without having to be pushed, guide them to the items they want, scan items as they are placed in the cart.
PC Magazine

PepsiCo in U.S. Dairy Venture 
Investing $206M in new U.S. facility to make yogurt, other dairy products in joint venture with Muller. 

Survey: 51% of Online (Non-Foods) Shoppers to Spend Same in 2012 
Survey of online consumers by PriceGrabber e-commerce site (spans 25 non-food product categories) finds 21% plan to spend more, 28% plan to spend less. Former cite confidence in economy, better discounts anticipated, increased earnings; latter cite price inflation in necessities, lack of confidence in economy, decreased earnings. 45% of these online shoppers plan to shop across physical stores, online, mobile channels; 42% said they’ll shop mostly online, 12% mostly in physical stores, 1% mostly via mobile device. 

Forrester Marketer Survey: Social Media Crucial to Survival
New Forrester survey, commissioned by Facebook, finds 71% of VP and C-level marketing execs saying companies that take social marketing seriously gain competitive advantage; 76% saying social media is a brand-builder. 41% have begun using to market products, manage staff, optimize operations; 40% plan to start using as marketing, operations tool.

Survey: 43% of Employees Cite Weight Loss as a Primary Health Concern

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