MPA launches retail promotion

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Magazine Publishers of America (MPA) has partnered with Meijer retailers to test a new program that will promote single copy magazine sales.

The program, which runs from August 21 to September 6, promotes magazine sales by offering a $2 discount coupon to customers who buy two or more magazines during a single shopping trip. Meijer, which has 182 locations in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio, will further promote the program with in-store signage, a feature in the store's weekly circular and on its Web site and an e-mail blast to Meijer shoppers. At each store entrance special display bins, which show nine magazines, will also promote the publication. Marketing efforts for the program will carry the message, “Magazines put the world in your hands.”

“The MPA board expressed to me that they were interested in doing something to demonstrate MPA's commitment to supporting the retail side of the business and that publishers are committed to supporting the retail channel,” said Jeremy Koch, EVP consumer marketing, MPA. “This is just a test, and we wanted to test a retailer that we felt was a good sample. There were a number of criteria, like scale, budget and demographics. Meijer is from the middle of the country geographically and demographically, so we thought it would be a good sample.”

Koch added that the promotion was a “lead activity” for MPA, which is exploring other retail ideas and promotions. If the program is successful, it will be expanded to more retailers in a variety of trade classes.

Standards for success include total sales in-store during the period, which will be measured against the prior period and the same period in 2007. MPA will also look at market basket analysis, to see if the program drove people to buy more magazines in a single shopping trip, and the nine titles featured in the entrance displays will receive special scrutiny to see if the display boosted sales. Redemption rate for the $2 coupons will also be monitored.

Meijer stores carry more than 1,800 consumer titles, all of which are qualified for the promotion. Publishers taking part include Bonnier Corp., Condé Nast, Hachette Filipacchi Media US and Meredith Corp., and all four national distributors — Comag Marketing Group, Curtis Circulation Co., Kable Media Services and Time/Warner Retail Sales & Marketing — were involved in planning the promotion.

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