So how does this deal sound?
- You’ll get a generous discount.
- We’ll give you Scan Based Trading so you don’t have any inventory to concern your accountants.
- We’ll pay you a Retail Display Allowance. Heck, we’ll make it “Advanced RDA”. Will that work for you?
- Your suppliers trucks will drop off new deliveries, merchandise the product and return those pesky unsolds that will never disgrace your accountants’ ledgers.
- Representatives of your suppliers will advise you on product mix, placement and keep you apprised of all the latest new launches, manage, market and sell your promotional programs.
Sounds good? Great! Thank you for being a magazine retailer! Now, where will you display our merchandise in your stores?
Oh, I don’t know. How about in the “dead” lane?
Jim Sturdivant, one of the founders of mediaShepherd sent me the above photo from his local drugstore. This is the aisle that leads to the cashier station. The swinging door in front of the rack is, as you can see, open. Clearly this does not invite the customer to browse the magazine rack.
Unfortunately, this is not an unusual scenario.
Anyone who has traveled the country on behalf of magazine publishers, wholesalers or national distributors can regale you with tales of how they walked the aisles of a major national or regional retailer only to find the magazine rack located at the back corner of the store in a “dead” aisle. I’ve even seen the mainline placed on the exit aisle on the other side of the check outs (If you wanted to buy a magazine, you’d have to go back to the cashier to pay for it – or steal it).
A national chain store near my office has the magazine rack in the last aisle of the least busy section of the store. The magazines face the wall. It’s this way in at least four other stores I’ve visited in other parts of the country. This position is clearly something I take into consideration every time one of my clients wants to purchase their “Mainline Feature Pocket Program.” On the other hand, when I check sales in these stores, copies are being purchased. I know they aren’t being “stolen”. It’s an SBT chain.
So how do we fix this? We’re currently in a fight to maintain the space we have. How do we get a better position?
Editor’s Note: Please keep the flow of pictures coming. It’s great to see what is going on out in the world. They also don’t have to be of display disasters. Good stuff happens everyday.