Publisher Calls on Newsstand Industry to Declare War on Waste
It was at an ACIDA wholesaler’s convention in either 1979 or 1980, Kanter said, that Stern and Wilmington, Delaware wholesaler Stan Budner, unhappy with the 45 percent average sale on mainline, not only challenged the industry to eliminate waste, but also handed out logo-ed T-shirts urging the same. "I was at Penny Press at the time and we thought it was a great idea to reign in the terrible waste of unsold magazines," Kanter told Circulation Management Tuesday. "This financial drain to the newsstand industry has gotten a lot worse over the years and everyone is suffering."
Kanter is once again asking publishers, distributors and wholesalers to remove excessive copies in the newsstand pipeline that have no chance of selling. "Let’s allow each magazine to find its natural level of sales by removing all the physical clutter from mainlines, and the financial clutter from the distribution channel," he said in his email.
Kanter said the industry should strive to get the mainline back up to 45 percent. "I say let’s distribute no more than 3 times the current average sale of all magazines across the board," he said. "If we do it with only a handful of magazines, the others that continue to over-distribute will flood the racks and neutralize the positive effects of the allotment cuts." He suggested the industry review the results in four to six months and either make another round of cuts or modify the plans based on the actual results. "While we publish only two mainline magazines, I feel a new war on waste is long overdue and hope my email can kelp kick start it," he told CM.