Last week magazines went on display for the first time in 29 Costco stores in the Midwest, coming out of the Source Interlink Chicago distribution center. In March the program will roll out to all stores, in excess of 350.
The 46 pockets represent a small amount of magazines displayed in a store compared to most retail outlets, which would have 46 pockets just at the checkout. In addition, of course, the average large retail store would have a mainline magazine section. Costco has no mainline section.
The list of magazines on the approved list is "very restricted." The magazines were selected based on current sales in other places, plus ABC numbers. Source Interlink was also "under pressure" to put in titles that Costco thinks its shoppers want.
The deal requires payment each month, but the financial agreement for publishers and the national distributor is competitive with arrangements with Wal-Mart and Barnes & Noble. No numbers were revealed, but "Costco is not getting any special deal," our source said.
No numbers on how well the magazines are selling in Costco stores until mid-April.