March 12, 2012

Publishing News

Magazine Tech Execs: Most Digital Readers Are New Readers
During panel at SXSW Interactive conference, digital execs from Time Inc., Hearst Magazines, Meredith and Conde Nast concurred that most tablet-edition readers are new to their brands, and that they are looking at a definite growth opportunity rather than transitioning existing audiences to digital. They also shared insights on evolving workflows and business models.  

New iPad May Require New Solutions from Publishers
Doubled resolution, pixel density opens opportunities for even more compelling visual experiences–but will also multiply the sizes of digital magazines’ already-large, slow-to-load files.  

Conde Nast Launches Architectural Digest in India
This is AD’s ninth worldwide edition. It is also the fourth title launched by CN in India since entering the market five years ago (following Vogue, GQ, Conde Nast Traveler). 

Magazine Editors Sign On to Develop Aggregation Standards
Editors of Esquire, The Atlantic, New York among those working with Ad Age columnist Simon Dumenco on new Council on Ethical Blogging and Aggregation. 

Vintage to Publish Hot Trilogy
First novel in erotic trilogy by E. L. James, “Fifty Shades of Grey,” published by small independent in Australia, hit #1 on NYT e-book fiction bestseller list. Now Vintage has acquired rights to all three books, and will release 750K copies of redesigned paperbacks plus e-book editions. 


Retail News

Whole Foods Gambling on Detroit
Retailer to open 20K-sq.-ft. store next year in “Midtown” downtown Detroit area that is the focal point for city’s revival efforts. In addition to financial incentives from city, market studies/demographics indicate urbanite demand for in-city availability of better organic foods selections. Many currently going to retailers in suburbs (including WF locations). 

Winn-Dixie/Bi-Lo Merger Approved
On Friday, W-D shareholders approved acquisition of the company by Bi-Lo for $9.50 per share or about $60M. Also, Bi-Lo Holding LLC president/CEO Randall Onstead officially became CEO of the combined company, and was named to its board. Separately, W-D is opening its fourth “transformational” store, in Palm Bay, Fla.
Supermarket News  (merger)
Progressive Grocer  (new store)

Sprouts Merging with Sunflower
Sprouts Farmers Market and Sunflower Farmers Market have agreed to merge, a move that will bring together 139 stores and 10,000 employees under the Sprouts banner by the end of the year. 

B&N Expanding Penguin Boutiques
Barnes & Noble has had success with testing 200-sq.-ft. boutiques within 10 stores; boutiques offer Penguin titles and branded merchandise such as tote bags, notebooks and mugs. Now expanding to 25 more stores. No plans to add other publisher-branded boutiques; believes Penguin (which says its sales elsewhere have not been cannibalized by the B&N boutiques) has uniquely broad merchandise assortment among adult publishers. B&N’s overall store layout overhaul, including Nook boutiques, more space for educational games, toys, continues.   

Retailers Overdoing Email 
In 2011, the top 100 retailers by e-commerce revenue sent an average of 177 emails to recipients, up 87% vs. 2007, reports Responsys Inc. But Harte-Hanks found that opens and click-throughs for retail emails declined by several percentage points between 2007 and 2011. Some retailers, brands now cutting back and more carefully targeting email messaging to avoid alienating customers and boost response rates. 

PepsiCo Snags Former Sam’s Club Chief; Lines Up CEO Successors
PepsiCo is strengthening the bench of potential successors to CEO Indra Nooyi. It promoted John Compton to the new position of president, responsible for better integrating global operations and brands. It also hired Brian Cornell, who is credited with boosting Sam’s Club’s performance, to succeed Compton as head of North American foods business, which last year generated a third of PepsiCo’s revenue and half of its profits. Other execs may also be contenders, should PepsiCo decide to replace Nooyi.


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