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Placement critical to magazine sales.

Placement critical to magazine sales

CDR Roundup - Drug store magazine sales accounted for $223 million (11.4%) of the category's $1.9 billion total in 1989, says the Periodicals Institute, making the trade class a significant player.

Even though many of the most popular magazines are facing slumps, industry observers note that most other publications are either doing well or holding their own. Indeed, with 2,000 different publications available, niche publications are providing most of the category's growth.

Most industry observers agree that the key to successful magazine marketing combines variety, display and location. A little attention to these areas can mean the difference between having a lackluster selection or an important profit center.

Register racks generally remain the most desired spot for big-name books. Publishers will pay to have their magazines displayed there, either through a quarterly fee or through a percentage of the cover price for each issue sold.

Determining what magazines to put on shelves, once left mainly up to the wholesalers, is getting more attention from retailers.

In addition to gathering information from wholesalers on developing successful magazine lists, a growing number of chain drug stores are drawing on data generated by point-of-sale scanners.

Where displays are placed and how they are arranged are also critical to the category's success. One easily corrected problem that occurs at register racks is cluttering.

Jack Fitzmaurice, president of the Periodicals Institutes, said recently in Titles Magazine that three products - publications (magazines and paperbacks), candy/gum, and tobacco - account for 87.2% of sales, 58.5% of inventory and 69.7% of space at the front end. When this is considered, it is easy to see that such additional merchandise as flowers, toys and seasonal items may impede the growth of such high-profit items as magazines.

Front-end merchandise is there because it sells on impulse. Positioning magazines in high-traffic areas is becoming easier, as the heated competition in the chain drug industry leads to more renovations. Remodeling allows drug outlets to position their racks near such high-traffic areas as pharmacies, where customers either wait for prescriptions to be filled or pass by to pick them up.

Retailers can also drive their sales with promotions. Tie-ins with sporting events, hot trends in the toy industry and holidays can all be successful ways to build awareness of magazine sections.

PHOTO : Some drug chains rely on wide selections to make magazines into a powerful profit center.

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Title Annotation:drug store magazine sales
Publication:Chain Drug Review
Date:Apr 8, 1991
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