This holiday season, and for the foreseeable future, Time Inc.
is offering Giftscriptions, a gift subscription in a box sold at major retailers. And, apparently, it's doing well. Deede Dickson, VP, Time Consumer Marketing, Time Direct Ventures, says they’ve tried selling gift subscriptions at retail before with good results, but this is the first time they are selling multiple magazines.
“$250 billion in gifts are sold at retail,” says Deede Dickson, “but you need a product to put in a box and wrap.” She adds that detailed research and focus groups told them, among other things, that “it’s the packaging, stupid.”
The subscription gift box includes a mini catalog offering 50 magazine choices, from Time Inc., Hachette Filipacchi, Conde Nast, Rodale and Reader’s Digest. The price for the gift box, which is good for one subscription, to be ordered via the enclosed business reply card, is $19.95 (discounted to $17.95 at Wal-Mart, which is carrying the box at hundreds of its stores).
Retail displays include the end-caps at Wal-Mart, the front end at Border’s Books, positioning in the Barnes & Noble gift sections, at Best Buy and on the Books-a-Million gift table and at point-of-sale. The product was Barnes & Noble’s best-selling item before Harry Potter came out, knocking it to number 2. Dickson says they have between 75,000 and 100,000 products in the stores and are expecting a 50 percent sell-through.