A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Alpha new magazine launch

The News Ltd launch yesterday of Alpha – the slick sports magazine being sold for just $2 with News Ltd major dailies seems to have gone well from the newsagents I have spoken with.

Many have provided significant in store real estate to provide a strong presence for the new title.

In my own store we have strong displays in two locations plus we have Alpha at the counter and are offering it as an up sell. It’s a challenging product to up sell because most of our customers are female and over 50 so that’s a demographic issue for us.

The pitch for the product is strong with a good cover and good point of sale material. Where there is a challenge is what’s it about? That message is not as clear as it could be and this leads to a confusing message from newsagents in merchandising and pitching the product.

It’s early days since this product has a 30 day shelf life. The key in my situation will be the weekend sales. We’re planning a very strong pitch on Saturday.

Newsagency customers are very segmented. Eyes down, freeway into the part of the store they want, purchase, freeway out. Alpha is trying to get newspaper customers purchasing a magazine or vice versa. My experience yesterday is that we need to systemise that a bit more so that we get the sales uplift necessary to make it work for us and for News Ltd.

For example, there is a strong story at the newspaper display but not as strong a story and integration at the sports magazine display. At that place the story needs to be different to the newspaper stand story.

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