MPA looks to supermarkets for newsstand boost

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Magazine Publishers of America (MPA) will expanded a newsstand promotion that was tested last year for a full-on, regional, in-store campaign, launching Friday.

Supermarkets in the Pennsylvania area, with some spillover into New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia, will host the campaign, designed to encourage newsstand sales of consumer magazines. Customers at the stores involved — Giant, Weis, Wegmans, Darrenkamps and Mattsons — will receive a $2 discount on their next store purchase when they buy any two or more consumer magazines in a single trip. A special entrance display, in-store signage, circulars and supermarket Web sites will promote the deal.

“Retail sales are a big part of the magazine industry, and we're very interested in supporting retailers that sell consumer magazines,” said Ken Godshall, EVP, MPA. “Consumer magazines are almost a $5 billion category in retail and a very competitive product in terms of profitability for retailers. This is our attempt to promote the entire category in a single promotion and to communicate to retailers how successful we can be with a strong consumer offering.”  

Although all consumer magazines are included in the offer, in-store displays will specially promote nine different magazines that chosen largely for their appeal to women, who are most likely to be in charge of family grocery shopping: People, People StyleWatch, InStyle, More, Cosmopolitan, Every Day with Rachael Ray, O, The Oprah Magazine and Glamour. Men's Health rounds out the nine.

“We're targeting all newsstand buyers with an offer we thought would be compelling during an economic downturn,” Goodshall noted. “That said, this promotion appears to work particularly well in a supermarket channel, and the chains that were really interested have a majority of female consumers who are responsible for the family budget. So for the most part our featured titles are a good fit for female consumers.”

Last year's test run of the program took place at Meijer stores in the Midwest. That promotion saw an 8% lift in sales of all magazines in the store, and the eight monthlies featured on special promotion displays saw a 43% lift in sales for that month. Goodshall said MPA would like to match and exceed those numbers with this current promotion.

MPA and various publishing partners, including Condé Nast Publications, Hearst Magazines and Meredith Corp, are funding the promotion. It runs August 14 through September 5.

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