By Jerry Lynch, President, IPDA
The unprecedented channel disruption caused by Source Interlink's exit from the newsstand distribution business earlier this year has had predictably negative impacts in the short term.
Yet, some of the consumer patterns that have emerged in response to that disruption actually confirm magazines' value to consumers and retailers.
Specifically, it's been widely reported that several retail chains (not named due to business confidentiality) whose magazine supplies were not disrupted have been seeing significant—even double-digit—dollar increases for the category, or at minimum performing substantially better than the overall category.
It seems indisputable that in these areas, many consumers followed the product to find and purchase magazines despite the disruption.
This clearly demonstrates that—contrary to the negative assumptions we so often read in the general press—print magazines do matter to consumers.
Most important from a category value standpoint, it's been documented time and time again that magazines matter most to retailers' most valuable and loyal customers.
Magazine buyers shop supermarkets more frequently, and they shop the entire store, pointed out Jackie Gray, director at the Willard Bishop consultancy, in an October 2014 article in Progressive Grocer.
Gray confirmed the outsized revenue- and profit-generating power of the supermarket-loyal consumers who often buy magazines: With an average basket ring is $45, versus $34 for other shoppers, magazine buyers account for 32% of an average store’s sales.
Further, the data continue to confirm that the retailers that put resources into the magazine category are the ones that benefit the most from the exceptionally high per-unit profits generated by this DSD category.
With the supply chain having made great strides toward recovery, support for the magazine category now will prove well-justified for retailers and publishers.