This just in from a correspondent who was working in some former Source supermarkets in northeastern Ohio:
What would you do if you were a store manager and hadn’t received fresh product for premium retail space in three weeks? You’d take t-shirts from a best-selling children’s’ movie and drape them over the dead space on your check out. Then you’d cover it all up with pre-packs of cheap candy and multi-colored fly swatters.
There are thirteen checkouts in this store so there are thirteen checkout racks with a minimum of twenty-four pockets in each rack. All of them have had stale product since the end of May.
Everyone in the industry is working diligently to solve the problem of transitioning magazines from one distributor to another. How do we time deliveries? Can we split a print order and treat the new accounts as a re-ship? How does this impact last months’ sales? We’ve spent sleepless nights figuring out the financial hit client publishers, the surviving wholesalers and national distributors are going to take to make the transition work (Trust me, that one makes my eyes roll open around 2:00 AM each day). We’re wondering just how in hell we’re going to fill out our AAM reports next month.
Everything I’ve mentioned in the above paragraph: We (Those of us who work in the newsstand business) are good at. Really, really good. We’ve had a lot of practice.
But the real questions everyone in publishing should should ask are:
- How do we make sure this doesn’t happen again?
- How much more can this industry take?
- How can we get readers to come back after leaving them with nothing for so long?
- How can we attract new readers? New markets? New products?
If you have some pictures from the field, please send them to me at my email address: joe.berger at newsstandpros.com and I will put them up.
More importantly, if you have any proposed answers to the questions above, let’s hear what you think. Our industry will live or die by what we do in the next twelve months.
I’m happy to give you credit for your ideas, or keep you anonymous. You’re choice.