Reader's Digest Sees New Readers In The Checkout Aisle

As part of its continuing effort to keep the Reader’s Digest brand relevant to a new generation of readers, the 80-old magazine will target the supermarket checkout aisle with a series of 17 special issues focusing on health, food and home content.

Agreements have already been signed with Wal-Mart, Kmart and Target stores, giving Reader’s Digest distribution nationwide. The digest-sized RD Specials have a rate base of 400,000 copies and will target women between 35 and 49. The special magazines, to be released every three weeks, will include content from Reader's Digest, Taste of Home, The Family Handyman magazines and the Books and Home Entertainment division of Reader's Digest. The first of 17 annual issues will go on sale November 4.

“We are pleased to enter the supermarket checkout field with high-quality publications that extend the franchises of our existing titles,” said Frank Lalli, vice president for development in a statement.

Through September, Reader’s Digest’s advertising pages were down 9.1% although its ad revenues were essentially flat at roughly $200 million. According to the Audit Bureau of Circulation, Reader’s Digest’s average paid circulation for the six months ending June 30 was 12, 212, 040. Although suffering decreases in readership in recent years, Reader’s Digest remains one of the most widely read magazines in the world. Reader’s Digest is published in 48 editions and 19 languages and is sold in more than 60 countries.



It is the first new product release by Reader’s Digest, following its $760 million acquisition of Reiman Publications in May.

In recent years, the Pleasantville, NY-based company has been tinkering with the content and layout of the magazine that was founded in 1922 by DeWitt and Lila Wallace. Working out of the Greenwich Village apartment, the couple sold Reader’s Digest exclusively by mail for 25 cents an issue.

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