Magazine Buyers’ Make Good Grocery Store Customers

Discussion
May 03, 2002
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A new market-basket study, commissioned by Magazine Publishers of America, provides evidence that magazine purchasers shop more often and spend significantly more than non-magazine buying shoppers.

The Management Science Associates, Inc.-conducted study analyzed loyalty card data for customers of 10 stores of a Midwest-based grocery chain from January to December 2001. (Shopping trips that resulted in a total purchase of under $5 were excluded from the data.) Approximately 139,000 of the nearly 600,000 households involved in the study were identified as magazine purchasers.

Study Conclusions (abbreviated list)


  • The magazine purchaser is typically one of the highest-spending grocery shoppers, and tends to buy from many of the store’s higher-margin business lines during a shopping trip. This suggests an opportunity for cross-merchandising promotions between specific magazines and other high-ticket items.


  • The magazine purchaser is a more loyal shopper, visiting the store more frequently than the non-magazine purchaser. This suggests that there could be an opportunity for encouraging more frequent magazine purchases through a continuity-oriented magazine offer, possibly as part of a loyalty-card reward program.


  • Additional placement of magazine categories to related business-line sections should significantly increase magazine sales.


  • Since a magazine purchase typically signifies that a consumer is on a major shopping trip, the magazine mainline should be located near other, higher-margin business lines.

  • The magazine mainline would be an excellent location to place the store’s weekly advertising circular.

Moderator Comment: Which of the MPA market basket
study’s conclusions do you think offers retailers the greatest opportunity to
leverage the strength of the magazine category?

We have always liked the concept of placing magazines
throughout the store in complementary departments such as health-oriented and
sustainable living publications in the natural products section. [George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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