April 11, 2012 w retail partnering feature

Leveraging New Opportunities for Partnering with Retailers 
Changing retail and consumer dynamics pose challenges, but also offer opportunities for the magazine category to employ its unique strengths to partner in new ways with retailers to help them enhance customer loyalty, traffic, cross-category sales and basket sizes. IPDA’s Jerry Lynch and Jay Annis of Taunton Press and PBAA highlighted some of those opportunities during the recent Publishing Business Conference & Expo, summarized in this Publishing Executive article.  (Look for more original content on magazine retail initiatives in coming issues of IPDA Daily.) Publishing Executive


Publishing News

AMI Folds Soap Opera Weekly
With only four daytime soap operas still on the air (down from 19 in the 70′s), SOW’s circ had declined by 50% in past four years (to 108K). American Media Inc. continuing to publish Soap Opera Digest (2H 2011 circ 292K, -40% vs. 2H 2010). AMI also folding newsstand teen title Pixie. AMI took over operations of all three titles from Source Interlink Media a year ago, through a licensing deal. Soap opera titles published by other companies have also been impacted, but Bauer reports ABC Soaps in Depth and CBS Soaps in Depth (combined circ of 200K) continue to be profitable due to their high cover prices ($3.99).

Rolling Stone, Spin Add Spotify Music Service
Digital music service Spotify is going beyond its own Web site to make its licensed songs available to third-party sites and bloggers via an embeddable play button. Rolling Stone, Spin, HuffPo, Guardian among those already featuring the play button on their sites.

U.S. News’s Unique Print/Newsstand Model Breaks the Bookazine Mold 
Print and the newsstand continue to be key elements of the U.S. News & World Report business model, through its popular annual guides to colleges, hospitals, and personal finance strategies, as well as single-topic SIPs. VP, director of specialty marketing Mark White explained how these print offerings vary from the usual bookazine “rules” because of their unusual nature (among other points, they carry advertising and are more purpose-driven than impulse driven). Links below are to an article summary of his presentation at the Publishing Business Conference & Expo and accompanying Powerpoints.

Gartner: Tablet Sales to Double in 2012; iPad Continues to Rule
Report projects tablet sales to end users to reach 118.9M units in 2012, up 98% vs. 2011. Despite growing competition, expects Apple’s share to decline only slightly, to 61.4% in 2012 vs. 66.6% in 2011. More data highlights included in piece.


New iPad Not Yet Driving Traffic
Early days, but as of day six, new iPad accounted for under 2% of total iPad network traffic, reports Jumptap.

Big 6 Book Publishers Reportedly Declining to Renew Amazon Contracts
Teleread points out info in Salon Magazine article about Amazon indicating that big publishers aredeclining to renew their contract with Amazon over what they see as “price gouging” by Amazon.


Penguin Names New EIC, AP
Patrick Nolan has been promoted from director of trade paperback sales to editor-in-chief and associate publisher of Penguin Books, responsible for overseeing the editorial direction of the publisher’s list and working closely with marketing. Nolan replaces Stephen Morrison, who recently moved to Picador as its publisher.

Publishers Weekly

Opinion Re Consumer Group’s Estimate of Agency Model’s Impact 
Consumer Federation of America told Senate antitrust subcommittee that agency pricing model will cost consumers an estimated $200M+ this year alone. PaidContent writer says the estimate doesn’t hold water.




Retail News

Economy: Pinning Down Consumption Vs. Income Still Problematic
Consumers’ consumption of goods and services and living standards likely a better indicator of economy’s health than GDP or straight income data, but consumption data, metrics still relatively primitive. Economists’ views on this and efforts to pin down consumption trends explored.

More on Supervalu’s Results, Guidance
As part of reporting on Q4/full-year FY 2012 results, Supervalu said that it expects negative same-store sales to continue through the end of its current/2013 fiscal next February. Comps projected to decline 1%-2%. Total sales also projected to decline by about 1%, to between $35B-$35.5B (sell-off of most fuel centers cited). But $1.27-$1.42 per-share guidance exceeded analysts’ expectations ($1.19), sending Supervalu’s stock up despite a Q4 loss of $424M ($2 per share). President/CEO Craig Heckert said guidance is based on the retailer entering FY 2013 as a leaner company with a “hyperlocal” and pricing strategy that will differentiate it and drive traffic, volume. Concept empowers store directors to help define assortments, pricing, promotions, services for their stores. Supervalu’s simultaneous emphasis on lowering prices is exemplified by its new “Fresh Produce, Fresh Prices” initiative (low everyday prices on 200 key items).

WSJ (financials summary)
Supermarket News (comp declines)
Drugstore News (2013 strategy)

Family Dollar Hires Giant Eagle’s Mary Winston as CFO
Winston succeeding Ken Smith, who is leaving Family Dollar; she was Giant Eagle’s CFO for four years. Analyst says indicative of “new Family Dollar”; retailer has turned over roughly half of its senior execs over past 18 months. 

BJ’s Expanding Local Produce Program
“Farm to Club” local produce program to be expanded to all of its 195 stores in the 15 states in which it operates.

Supermarket News

Albertsons Cuts Store Waste by 90%
Supervalu-owned banner reports that 30 stores located in the greater Las Vegas area, Henderson, Nev., and Boulder City, Nev., have diverted more than 90% of all store waste from local landfills. Through recycling, organic composting and food donations, the stores combined to keep more than 21 million pounds of waste out of local landfills and donate 3.5 million meals to local food bank and hunger relief efforts in the past year.

Supermarket News 

Can Retailers Halt ‘Showrooming’?
To address sales being lost to Amazon, other online retailers, Target is pushing suppliers to provide more exclusive products, has quadrupled # of items offered on its own site. Wal-Mart is pushing in-store pickups for online orders to let shoppers avoid shipping costs. Pricing is the key issue: Amazon’s are 9% lower than Walmart.com’s and 14% lower than Target.com’s, when sales taxes for Amazon are excluded, but also 11% lower than W-M.com’s even in states where Amazon collects taxes. W-M and Target product prices 1-2% lower on their sites than in-store, and growing competition from online retailers may cause the retailers to promote, rather than downplay, their online pricing deals. Sending targeted coupons tied to loyalty programs and daily-deal alerts to shoppers’ mobile phones may be most effective strategy; both retailers are employing apps for these purposes.  


Retailers Attempting to Stem Higher Theft at Self-Checkouts
Higher theft rates (as well as customer service concerns) was one reason Big Y removed self-checkouts at end of 2011. NRF asset protection advisor Joe LaRocca says tunnel scanners and new, more sensitive self-checkout systems–plus watching for tell-tale behaviors–should help deter theft. But Big Y says it’s seen no change in shoplifting behaviors since removing self-checkouts; consumers intent on theft find other means.

USA Today

Best Buy CEO Resigns Amid Probe
Brian Dunn resigned amid what Best Buy described as a probe into his “personal conduct,” exacerbating the troubles of the slumping consumer electronics chain. No specifics on the nature of the probe yet available.

Tesco Comments on Fresh & Easy
While Tesco can’t make new comments on pressure from some shareholders to rethink its U.S. Fresh & Easy operations (pending release of its year-end results), company did re-issue an earlier statement re F&E: “We have a clear target for break even, and in January we reported we have continued our strong run of form.”

Giant Eagle Intros Personal Shopping
Stores in Robinson Township, Pa. and Columbus, Ohio, rolled out a new personal shopping service this week that enables customers to order groceries online and pick them up in front of the store.

Progressive Grocer 

Detroit’s Last Black-Owned Grocery Store Worried About Meijer Plan
Owner of Metro Foodland in northwest Detroit says a new Meijer store reportedly to occupy a site nearby could be biggest threat in Metro’s 27-year history. Meijer confirmed “definite” interest in the site, but asked about a timeline, said the project is at this point developer-driven.  


Amazon Launches In-App Purchasing for Kindle Fire Apps
Launched yesterday; designed to make it easier for developers to offer digital content and subscriptions inside apps and games offered on the Amazon Appstore for the Fire and other Android devices.

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