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May 25, 2017

Publishing News

Note to readers:
MBR Daily will be on holiday break 5.26 and Memorial Day, returning Tuesday, May 30.

Men's Health Editor-in-Chief Matt Bean to Speak at MBR Retail Conference June 12
Matt Bean, editor-in-chief of Rodale's Men's Health, will help kick off MBR's Magazines & Books at Retail Conference, with a presentation at 5:45 pm on June 12, preceding the opening reception. Men's Health is the largest men's magazine brand in the world, with 41 editions in 65 countries and global print and digital readership of 60 million. Bean will discuss how the brand connects with Men's Health's savvy, health-focused readers across print and digital platforms, and drive sales at retail. Visit the conference area on MBR's site for registration and more information.

Vanity Fair Offers Four Exclusive 'Star Wars' Covers
Vanity Fair's next issue, on newsstands in New York and L.A. on June 1 and nationally on June 6, offers four different covers shot by Annie Leibovitz to celebrate the movie franchise's 40th anniversary. The covers, one of which features now-deceased star Carrie Fisher, were shot on the set of "Episode VIII, The Last Jedi." Leibovitz captured the cast of "The Phantom Menace" for VF back in 1999, and VF has since gone on to document each of the subsequent Star Wars episodes, including 2015’s "The Force Awakens." But this marks the first time that VF has released alternate/muliple Star Wars covers for the same issue.

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Why The Atlantic Is Shifting Its Focus to YouTube
Digiday: "Forget food videos on the feed: The Atlantic is sailing against the winds, opting for longer videos as part of series that are distributed through YouTube. The 160-year-old publication, which has a small video operation compared to the distributed-media publishers that get billions of monthly views on Facebook, is focusing on creating longer videos that dive into serious topics such as science and politics. This includes weekly video series featuring its lineup of star editors and reporters, as well as animated videos and documentary features. At the same time, The Atlantic is prioritizing YouTube as the platform to distribute this content. The reason: Not only is YouTube the place where this type of content performs best, but YouTube is still the best place for publishers--especially smaller ones with a limited amount of resources--to reach a lot of viewers while also generating consistent revenue from pre-rolls. (YouTube typically takes a 45 percent cut of ad revenue from pre-rolls.) 'We tend to be pretty focused on profitability--new investments require that revenue comes along with them,' said Kim Lau, VP and GM at The Atlantic. 'The big shift for us is the realization over time that while our audience at is interested in and increasingly aware of our video, being able to grow [our video business] with just that audience is a little bit of a limitation'"...

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Retail News

Wal-Mart Regaining Grocery Share
CNBC: Wal-Mart Stores "is aining a bigger slice of the $800 billion market and momentum picked up in the recent first quarter, according to a new report. W-M "is taking back share from the traditional supermarket at an accelerating rate,' according to Loop Capital analyst Andrew Wolf, who estimates the retailer now has a 21.5% share in the U.S. traditional grocery industry. In a report this week, Wolf said that [W-M's] domestic grocery same-store sales beat U.S. supermarkets by 2.9% in Q1, up from 1.6% in Q4 of 2016. "Wal-Mart's last period of sustained outperformance versus the supermarkets was 2009-2010, while from 2013 through Q3 2016, the supermarkets outperformed W-M at same stores," Wolf wrote. 'Thus, the last quarter of outperformance appears to mark a potential major inflection point for Wal-Mart after having been a (same-store) share donor since 2013.' W-M's strong performance in Q1 was helped in part of lower deflation but also by continued pricing investment by [W-M] as it seeks to better against Kroger, European-based discounter Aldi and other grocers. In the past month, there have been reports of price drops at W-M supermarkets in major U.S. markets where Kroger and others compete.."

Target Exec Describes New Operating Model to Vendors
MNB publishes the text of an email sent by Target EVP/chief merchandising officer to vendors. Excerpts: "At Target, we see enormous potential in front of us and we’re investing to better position ourselves to compete and grow. In Merchandising, specifically, a new team structure, clearer roles and accountabilities, and advanced data, tools and capabilities are just some of the changes we’re making to move with greater speed and agility. As you’re all keenly aware, we’re seeing a seismic shift in the retail landscape and these changes will help us work more effectively with you... Yesterday, we shared staffing for our future buying, planning, inventory management, pricing and promotion, and space and presentation (formerly MPD) functions. If you work with another area of business, such as Target Sourcing Services or Product Design and Development, there are no changes and we are sharing this information as an FYI only.Over the coming month, team members in our new functions will be transitioning responsibilities, joining new teams and learning new ways of working. This is a huge amount of change, so know that we’ll be sharing more information as we’re ready and asking for your patience and help as we fine-tune our approach. In the meantime, thank you for continuing to work with your current business partners..."

SpartanNash Sees Revenue, Earnings Gains in Q1
SN: "SpartanNash Co. finished its 16-week Q1 April 22 with a $123.7M increase in consolidated net sales. The 5.4% jump brings this year’s total revenues to $2.4B after last year’s $2.28B performance. Net earnings reached $15M, or 40 cents per share, a rise from $9.9M or 26 cents per share in the same period last year. The company credited the growth to the acquisition of Caito Food Service, as well as organic growth in the food distribution segment with propelling net sales upward despite lower numbers in the military and retail segments..."

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Buyers Stepping in for Marsh Stores?
SN: "Could Giant Eagle be in the hunt for some Marsh Supermarkets store locations in Indiana? That’s the rumor, according to local press reports, though Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle isn’t commenting about its interest in stores being sold off by Indianapolis-based Marsh, currently in bankruptcy protection. Giant Eagle could be looking to build upon its foothold in suburban Indianapolis. In any case, a Giant Eagle spokesman did not immediately reply to PG’s request for comment and is otherwise keeping mum on specifics..."


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