The publishing industry needs to step up and do a better job of advocating for itself with its retail partners…or risk losing this premium placement area.
According to industry statistics from the IPDA, magazines generate four times the gross profit of front end candy, and are the most profitable item at the checkout. Even so, cautions Jerry Lynch in Publishing Executive, big candy may be poised to edge magazines from this important transaction zone.
“Mars Inc., owners of the Mars and Wrigley candy and gum brands, recently launched a media push. The stated objective is to increase sales of impulse items,” write Lynch. He cites efforts by the candy industry to lobby for more retail space in this highly-desired “transaction area.”
“As The Chicago Tribune points out, the confections company isn’t offering a lot of information on the specifics of its transaction zones strategy. More jarring is the blatant omission of magazines — indisputably one of the three checkout power categories — in Mars Inc.’s pronouncements about how retailers should use their space,” he continues.
Lynch sees this as a claxon call for the publishing industry.
“In my view, the Mars push should be taken as a call to action. In response to competitors’ intensifying efforts to secure more retail display space, magazine publishers, NDs and distribution partners should all be intensifying our own efforts to shout our category’s documented strengths from the rooftops.
“We should be creating opportunities and platforms to convey magazines’ unparalleled checkout performance stats to retail decision-makers, as well as making this a standard part of our business contacts, so as to retain our well-earned place at checkout and position our category for its rightful place in other ‘transaction zones’,” Lynch continues.
He’s absolutely right. If front of store and front of mind placement for magazines matters to your business, download the info the IPDA offers and use it to advocate with your own retail partners. Big candy is making things look awfully sweet for them, but losing magazines could be a bitter pill for retailers.