Merchandising Magazines – Should we be doing it differently?

Posted by on June 24, 2015

It’s a consumer’s world today and retailers need to engage them and create an experience for their shoppers. We all know that. What does that really mean however, to create an experience?


Well merchandised magazines A store's reading area is viewed as a decompression zone for shoppers.


The reading area in any store has often been considered the area where shoppers slow down, take a breath and decompress. Browsing increases the enjoyment of the shopping experience overall.

This is great for the shopper who is at his or her leisure and providing this “decompression zone” should be a continued consideration in store planning.

Some shoppers today however are more harried, more busy, then ever before. They may not be taking the time to shop the entire store. In response, Retailers have begun to build smaller store footprints.

Match relevant product for the busy shopper

We learned from our Impulse Merchandising Program (click here to read more about the TNG Impulse Merchandising Program) that by matching impulse product to the grocery items in-aisle, the product becomes more relevant to the shopper and he or she chooses it in that moment.

Magazine (and often book) purchases are impulse also. So, perhaps we need to think about bringing the “experience” magazines and books provide out from the reading center, to that busy shopper. Give consideration to temporary displays, or even permanent displays that work with the store branding, and merchandise them where they become relevant and are top-of-mind as that shopper walks by.

For example, gain impulse sales by placing fashion and beauty in the cosmetics or apparel area of the store, merchandising health magazines near the vitamins, and cooking in the produce section.

This complements the store format being adopted by retailers today and could be an answer to increasing the shopper's positive experience in a store with that smaller footprint.

Appeal to list shoppers

With continued focus on keeping to the household budget, many shoppers continue to use lists to shop. Studies have shown that a list shopper is open to deviating from that list, but is more likely to do so at the beginning of their time shopping.1.

With the high ring and profitability of magazines, consideration should be given to where the magazine display is merchandised in the store overall.

Use merchandising to engage the distracted shopper

Aren’t we always looking for something new? We have ideas for engaging today’s distracted shopper also.

In the past, a typical mainline display is merchandised by replacing the old issue when the new issue comes in. Today this practice could lead to extreme fatigue as the weekly shopper may not notice a change in the ever-changing and interesting content that is being displayed. Strong recommendation here ~ always be moving older content to the back within each category and place that newest and more exciting product at the front.


Creating movement at the checkout could attract distracted shoppers Creating movement at the checkout could attract distracted shoppers

This practice could also work for the checkout also. In the past, pocket positions are sold on the rack and titles maintain that position for at minimum a year. We’re competing with that mesmerizing and addictive mobile phone today. Perhaps we need to move magazines’ positions to gain the shopper’s attention again.

Perhaps we should consider adding some digital displays that also get them to look.

Recognize the fragmented shopper

Shoppers today are varied and diverse. In the past, aggregate data defined how a checkout looked or even what was placed on a mainline. Today shoppers are much more diverse and habits are just as diverse. Perhaps we should be appealing to that variety of shopper and design magazine mix within each store, and also on that checkout, with the fragmented shopper in mind.

Retailers are much more open to sharing POS data today. Sharing this data would allow TNG to drill down to the store-level and optimize assortments. Defining and distributing based upon store clusters can produce optimal profit for retailers and truly enhance the experience for that diverse shopper.

Improving shopper experience goes beyond merchandising magazines differently at retail. However, today it's important to consider all of the ideas that could engage your shopper more, keep them a bit longer and provide an enjoyable experience while they are in that retail store.

1. 2013 BRANDSOURCE Canadian Shopper Study


Topics: Retail, Magazines, Media

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