CHICAGO -- It’s easy to regard publication sales as an afterthought. But they can function as catalysts for building market baskets and even driving traffic—particularly leading up to Black Friday, when deal seekers scour ads for hot sales.
Josh Lund, owner of Beaudry Express, a 2,000-square-foot store in Elk River, Minn., sells about 200 newspapers on Thanksgiving and the day before. By contrast, Lund on a typical weekday sells 25 to 30 papers. On Thanksgiving, he allots extra space for what are also thicker papers, positioning them at a rack near the front window and also at the checkout.
Consider stacking papers high to save space—particularly near the window—and try not to clutter valuable counter space. Put papers behind the counter on the floor and move them into selling position as more are sold.
Cross-merchandise and bundle
According to Jennifer Hutto, a senior analyst on Temple, Texas-based McLane’s Center for Category Innovation team, few retailers adopt cross-merchandising strategies behind publications against other profit centers. She recommends deploying suggestive selling as an initial engagement technique: “Verbal communication can be one of the most effective methods of bringing category awareness.”
Consider bundling a paper with a coffee or energy drink and pastry on Thanksgiving and Black Friday mornings, and with lunch items as the afternoon nears.
* Technomic CSP Consumer Study: Regional Differences at C-Stores, powered by Ignite
Go whole hog on the holiday
Lund is considering a potential fill-in merchandising tactic come late November. As customers come in expressly to buy a Thanksgiving paper, they might be inclined to buy last-minute grocery items such as gravy or an extra package of rolls. As such, retailers can assemble an endcap display stocked with these items so customers don’t have to make a separate trip.