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June 14, 2016

Magazine Bright Spots at Retail: May Shows Positive Dollars

Yes, there are real bright spots on the newsstand.

Based on sales data to date, Comag Marketing Group’s early estimate is that the magazine category’s total dollar sales for May were up by roughly 1%, according to Jay Felts, president of CMG and chairman of IPDA prior to its just-completed merger with PBAA. (See merger story this issue.)

During opening remarks at the Magazines at Retail conference, Felts noted that this would mark the first industrywide positive dollar sales performance in about two years.

He said that May’s performance reflected the huge success of specials and regular issues of magazines devoted to tributes to Prince. (A Time Inc. exec noted during the conference that People’s issue commemorating Prince looks on track to sell as many as a million copies.)

Felts also pointed to the ongoing sales strength of adult coloring books—and further noted that the category’s sales trends have been improving for some months now. Numerous specials and tribute issues for Mohammed Ali are also expected to drive a wave of newsstand sales, he added.

Will Michalopoulos, senior director, retail sales at Hearst Magazines and chairman of PBAA until the merger, added that Hearst has ample evidence that innovative thinking and a willingness to invest in tests and new initiatives pays off at the newsstand.

He cited successful examples including Hearst’s multi-packs of magazines, packaging Oprah Winfrey’s three-CD self-help audio book with an issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, and offering heirloom tomato seeds as a premium polybagged with Country Living, among others.


MBR Publishing & Retail News
Original Articles
2018 Retail Conference
  MBR 2018 Wrap-Up
  Magazine, Book Shopper Research Lays Groundwork
  Common-Sense Lessons for Today’s Print Media
  Channel Leaders Report Innovation, Determination, Progress at Retail
  Publishers Talk SIP, Bookazine Opportunities
  Leveraging Everything, Part 1
  Leveraging Everything, Part 2
  Marketing Analytics Wiz Reveals Secrets
2018 Articles
  New Front End Focus Study Quantifies Profitability of Magazines, Other Power Categories
  First Priorities: Let’s Focus On Reinventing Our Marketing Approach
  What If We Leveraged Everything
2017 Retail Conference
  Newsstand Execs: It’s Time to Invest in Retail Partnership-Building
  Men’s Health’s Bean on Covers, Print’s Unique Value
  Achieving Relevance for Retail Success
  Books Going Strong, Even in Fragmented Retail Environment
  New SuperStudy: Magazines, Books Yield Strong Retail Profitability
  Channel Executives Focus on New Retail Opportunities
  Getting Attention in Today’s Retail World
  Mainline Study Finds ‘Huge’ Sales Opportunities

2016 Retail Conference
  PBAA, IPDA Agree to Merge
  Magazine Media Executives Propose Innovative Disruption at Retail
  Magazine Bright Spots at Retail
  Best Practices for Powerful Newsstand Covers
  Kantar Exec: Magazines Well-Positioned To Partner On Retail Solutions
  Print (And Digital) Books Are Doing Just Fine, Thank You
  Retailers, Channel Partners Discuss What Moves the Needle
  Research: Millennials Often Prefer Reading Print Vs. Screens

Nov. 30, 2015
  Fighting Back With Facts
2015 Retail Conference
  5 Things to Know About Newsstand Buyers' Economic Prospects
  How Magazines Engage and Turn Consumers Into Buyers
  How National Geo Leverages Social Media
  Takeaways from Day One of Conference
  Finding Opportunities in Retail's Transformation
Sept. 9, 2015
  IPDA Magazine Study, Article Summary
March 9, 2015
  Willard Bishop SuperStudy 2014
February 26, 2015
  John Cowley Q&A
December 17, 2014
  The Underlying Strength Revealed By Disruption
June 17, 2014
  Innovating at Retail: Recent Tests and Success Stories