Director, Newsstand Planning ﾕ Hearst Magazines
While the industry talks about the excesses of the newsstand, Serafin is doing something about it. Doug Serafin, director of newsstand planning for Hearst Magazines, and his team have spent the past year working to increase single-copy sales for their publications by reducing the number of copies they put on the newsstand.
“We have a new data stream that’s been available to us and allowed us to identify segments of our business where we can grow and improve sales, but also reduce the number of copies we’re putting out there,” says Serafin. “It’s not only been a boost for our bottom line, it’s also helped to contribute to Hearst’s effort to be more green and to help save the environment.”
Hearst worked with its distributors to align its goals more closely with the goals of its wholesalers. As part of this effort, the company is implementing new formulas to reduce inefficiency at the bottom and increase copies at the best stores.
The company has identified where its magazines are selling well and where they aren’t. Hearst can look at the number of copies distributed to each location, the number of copies sold and cut the draw to increase the percentage of copies sold. “Right now, we’re only looking at dealers that can improve our bottom line,” he says. “And we’re looking to delete dealers where we’re not selling copies, not just in terms of sell-through, but also in terms of dollars.”
Hearst has lost just one sale for every 10 copies it’s taken off the newsstand and has been able to replace the lost copies with subscriptions. A dealer expansion program is working to identify titles that can expand the store base by a percentage point or two.
Improving checkout sales is next. “We’re measuring checkout profitability, looking closely at our investment in retailer checkout programs and looking at ways to reduced the enormous price of doing business at the checkout,” Serafin adds.
Hearst has lost just one sale for every 10 copies it’s removed from the newsstand and replaced those with subscriptions.