Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Store Sign Lifts Newsstand Sales: By Asking Clerks to Refill Empty Pockets, Fixture Boosts Unit Sales 27%

Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Store Sign Lifts Newsstand Sales: By Asking Clerks to Refill Empty Pockets, Fixture Boosts Unit Sales 27%

Article excerpt

Store sign lifts newsstand sales

One of the more nagging newsstand problems is the lack of service given empty check-out pockets. Even the most assiduous wholesaler can provide service only once a week, leaving it to store personnel, who are occupied with hundreds of other products. Consumers who encounter empty magazine bins find signs telling them to try another check-out counter, but few do.

Cal-West Periodicals, a wholesaler based in Oakland, California, found that a simple sign turns the problem around. The rectangular sign, with black lettering against a bright yellow background, announces: "ATTENTION, store personnel. I'M EMPTY. Please borrow from full pockets at other check-outs to fill me."

Unlike other signs in magazine bins, the I'm Empty sign invites action, explains Peter Swidzinski, Cal-West vice president and general manager. By simply reminding personnel to keep the supply of magazines flowing, he says, the sign boosted unit sales 27.4 percent during a three-month period last year in 10 Bay-area supermarket outlets, compared to the same period the previous year.

The wholesaler, which sponsored the test, placed 2,000 signs in 10 test stores, and chose 50 control stores. Existing signs were not removed. Monitors checked each test store twice weekly to count the number of visible I'm Empty signs and report the results to store managers. In each store, monitors noticed a decline in the number of signs, says Swidzinski. …

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