Wal-Mart Shrinks Magazine Racks
Wal-Mart is poised to begin reducing the amount of aisle space devoted to magazine sales displays, according to Folio:. Coming close on the heels of Wal-Mart's decision to move magazine racks to the back of the store, the move to cut the racks themselves is an ominous sign. The nation's largest retailer has knocked magazines several rungs down on its hierarchy of sales priorities.
Both moves are part of Wal-Mart's "Project Impact," according to the Folio: source, who said the average amount of retail frontage devoted to magazine displays will be cut roughly in half, from 40 feet to about 20. As most magazines are eight inches wide, this leaves room for 30 titles in a display tier, equaling a total of 210 titles on Wal-Mart's standard seven-tier display.
As noted, Wal-Mart is also moving the magazine section to the back of the remodeled stores, where it will be merged with the entertainment department. Magazines will be sold alongside movies, games, music and electronics.
Last year, Wal-Mart said it would cut 1,000 titles from its stores, and earlier this year, the retailer faced shortages of certain popular magazine titles as a result of a price war between the country's main magazine wholesalers. Although Wal-Mart executives are typically tight-lipped about their decisions, the resulting waste of retail display space may have motivated the current reductions, at least in part.
However, "Project Impact" is a wide-ranging remodel, affecting plenty of categories in addition to magazines. Overall, the remodel will affect 500 existing stores, as well as 150 new stores being built around the country. This represents about 15% of Wal-Mart's total stores in the U.S. (The retail giant has 4,337 locations, according to an August 2008 count.)
Every Day With Rachael Ray Offers Product Discounts
Every Day With Rachael Ray is set to introduce a new promotion giving discounts on popular supermarket products beginning this October. Rachael Ray partnered with Modiv, which provides consumers with handheld scanners to locate special discounts targeted on the basis of their loyalty card history, to promote brands including Arm & Hammer, Purina and Uncle Ben's at over 250 Stop & Shop and Giant venues throughout the Northeast. The October issue includes a special advertorial feature to raise consumer awareness of the promotion.
TV Guide Cuts Rate Base by 31%
TV Guide is cutting its rate base by 31%, from 2.9 million to 2 million, according to the New York Post. This follows an earlier reduction from 3.2 million to 2.9 million in January; in October 2005, amid a general reinvention of the digest as a glossy consumer mag, the title chopped its rate base from 9 million to 3.2 million.
RDA Promotes 4
A number of executives are taking on new or additional responsibilities at the Reader's Digest Association. Lora Gier, vice president and publisher of Taste of Home, is assuming the same responsibilities for the Home & Garden Media Group, while keeping her previous responsibilities. Renee Jordan, the general manager of the Taste of Home Web site, is adding responsibility for The Family Handyman and related sites in the Home & Garden Digital Group.
Amber Dunn, previously the vice president of sales for Digital Feast, is taking on additional responsibility as leader of ad sales and account management for U.S. Affinities, where she will be in charge of digital ad sales and operations at the Reader's Digest Web site along with Web sites for The Family Handyman, Allrecipes.com, Tasteofhome.com, and Rachaelraymag.com. Finally, Jonathan Hills was named general manager of the Reader's Digest Web site.