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October 22, 2020

Publishing News

Luxe Magazine Marks 15 Years, With Redesign
MediaPost: "Luxe Interiors + Design is celebrating its 15-year anniversary with a redesign, debuting in the November/December 2020 issue, which hits newsstands on Nov. 3. Owned by Sandow, Luxe magazine is helmed by Pamela Jaccarino, who has served as founding editor in chief since the publication's launch in 2005. “At our 15-year anniversary mark, Luxe is looking boldly toward the future with optimism, enthusiasm and a refreshed new logo and redesign,” Jaccarino stated. The redesign, which is exclusively for the print magazine, includes updated, clean layouts and new cover designs to highlight Luxe’s regional editions. “Regional Scene” sections are now the first editorial section to run in book. Luxe publishes 93 magazines annually, including 14 regional editions, a national edition and seasonal editions in The Hamptons and Naples + Sarasota. The company says it has a rate base of 480,000 and total print and digital audience of over 12M. “We are gearing up for a high water-mark year ahead and are committed to delivering exciting and engaging opportunities, in print and digitally, for our partners in 2021,” stated Kate Kelly Smith, executive vice president-managing director of Luxe Interiors + Design, and Chief Sales Officer of Sandow. Luxe hosted more than 50 virtual events during the pandemic. The annual LUXE RED Awards (Residential Excellence in Design), for example, went virtual this year, and attracted over 30,000 views. In March, Sandow launched DesignTV, with Luxe airing weekly original design content with programs such as “Master Class,” “Home Tours” and “CollabLab. "Content for the 15th anniversary issue will appear across social channels, on and across all Luxe regional editions"...

New York Magazine Publishes Hardcover 'Encyclopedia of New York' New York Magazine's "Encyclopedia of New York" ($27 on Amazon) is "part deep dive into hidden histories and part city field guide covering most anything one might want to know about the origins of things invented in New York City, including many you likely weren’t aware were created here — for instance, the game of Scrabble was born in Jackson Heights in 1931. Some other topics: General Tso’s chicken, the lap dance (in 1978, they apparently went for a $1 apiece in Times Square), double Dutch, and … Q-tips. This would, we suspect, make an excellent gift for the person in your life who wears a Zabar’s cap and an Economy Candy hoodie, the one who just moved into their first apartment in Greenpoint, and the once-frequent New York City visitor currently stuck in, say, Minnesota."

New Harper's Bazaar Editor Goes for Fresh Approach
Fashion Week Daily: "Samira Nasr skipped the usual cover girl suspects for her first official issue as EIC of Harper’s Bazaar. Instead she gave November cover honors to model and entrepreneur Liya Kebede... "I’m thrilled that my first issue as editor in chief is also Kebede’s first cover for American Harper’s Bazaar," [Nasr said in her editor's note for the issue]... The accompanying cover story by my fellow Montrealer Durga Chew-Bose unpacks Kebede’s decades-long career in an industry that has historically not made space for women of color and is often guilty of aging women out.”

U.K. Media Trade Claims Apple News+ Bad Deal for Publishers
The U.K.'s Press Gazette, in exploring why newspaper and magazine publishers largely haven't succeeded in creating a "Spotify-like" solution for aggregating and profitably selling many titles' content, profiles existing variations on the cooperative or bundling model, including Apple News+ -- the service created by Apple after it acquired Texture from major U.S. magazine publishers in 2018. Apple News+, which has about 300 premium magazine and newspaper titles, and costs $9.99 per month, "is a great deal for Apple, but a poor one for publishers who take a small and diminishing slice of the pie. Apple can’t be ignored. With around a billion devices they offer the prospect of a newsagent in everyone’s pocket. But they are unlikely to content themselves with the small margin and publisher-focused approach which would be needed for a Spotify-style system for news to take off," writes PG. An accompanying in-depth profile of the service lays out pros and cons for publishers, summed up this way by David Chavern, CEO of the U.S. News Media Alliance: "The traffic is incredible," but "“Apple restricts the ad units that can be sold around it. So it’s particularly good at driving traffic and particularly bad at driving money.” Profile also notes that the New York Times stopped participating, saying it News+ is "“We believe quality publishers should be fairly compensated for the expensive proposition of creating and providing platforms valuable independent journalism." In 2019, The New York Post reported that Apple paid $100M in cash and promised the publishers (Condé Nast, Meredith and Hearst and Rogers) and backer KKR $145M minimum in the first year, and $240M minimum in the second and third years. Texture reportedly had about 240K subscribers when it was sold to Apple, which reportedly pulled 200K subscribers in the first 48 hours of the Apple News+ launch. 
Press Gazette ('Spotify-like' sales models article)
Press Gazette (Apple News+ profile)

Workman Launches Campaign to Support Indie Bookstores
PW: "Workman Publishing has launched a campaign to encourage readers to buy books from their local independent bookstore this holiday season, under the slogan. "Shop Local NOW, So You Can Shop Local FOREVER"... A social media campaign on YouTube features a series of videos with authors asking readers to buy books from local bookstores this holiday season... Workman is making the videos available for download or to use the YouTube links to post the videos to their store’s social media channels. The publisher is also offering stores an archival frameable art print with artwork from Skunk and Badger by author Amy Timberlake and art by Jon Klassen"...

ANA: 15% Of Digital Ad Costs Go To 'Unknown'; P&G Pushing for Social Media Reform
MediaPost: "The Association of National Advertisers' annual Masters of Marketing Conference kicked off this morning with largely upbeat presentations by CEO Bob Liodice and Procter & Gamble Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard focusing on how the ad industry has responded as a "force for good" and a "force for growth" amid multiple 2020 crises of a global pandemic and explosive racial injustice, but it also revealed some nagging low points, especially for the digital supply chain. While Liodice showcased data from a U.K. ISBA study showing that 15% of digital ad spending is going to "unknown" sources that account for $20 billion in costs to brands, Pritchard focused on the ills of social media -- especially its role in spreading unsavory content. "Thirty years into the digital media age, we're still operating with very few boundaries that are self-imposed," Pritchard said during his opening keynote, adding that "social media is 5% of our spending but 100% of our problems." He cited progress, including the ad industry's recent GARM (Global Alliance for Responsible Media) initiative, but added: "It should be table stakes to expect digital platforms to remove content that is offensive to most" and that the ad industry would continue "holding digital media providers accountable." He listed getting digital media to remove "hateful content" as one of five top priorities for P&G and the rest of the ad industry"...


Retail News

Target Intros In-Store 'Reservations' for Holidays
PG: "In advance of the holiday season, Target is implementing new measures aimed at making shopping safer and easier. These changes are all in addition to retailer's procedures announced earlier this year. New measures include: Contactless In-Store Payment: Customers can use Wallet, the mobile-payment option in the Target app, for a contactless self-checkout experience, completely eliminating the need to pick up the scanning device. Pre-Trip Shopping Reservations: To ensure that customers have enough space to shop safely and comfortably, Target continues to monitor and, when needed, limit the total number of people inside stores at one time. This holiday, guests can visit to see whether there's a line outside their local store, and if so, they can reserve a spot in line. Target will then text the guest to notify them that it's their turn to enter the store. MyCheckout: The retailer is rolling out 1,000 more MyCheckout devices at its stores across the country, allowing team members to help guests check out anywhere in the store and avoid waiting in line. In addition to in-store measures, Target is doubling the number of spots dedicated to Drive Up, its same-day pickup service in which goods are brought directly to their cars. The retailer has also eliminated the need for barcode scanning at Drive Up, making it even easier for shoppers and employees to socially distance. Now guests simply show their app to team members through their car window, with a personal identification number visible to confirm the order. An updated app allows guest to adjust – in real time – whether they want to pick up their items using Order Pickup or Drive Up, even after they've arrived at the store"...

NRF Survey Confirms Consumers Plan to Spend Less for Holidays
CNBC: The National Retail Federation typically shares a holiday forecast in early October, but has yet to weigh in this year. However, it's now released its consumer holiday survey results. Consumers plan to spend $997.79 — or about $50 less than last year's survey — on gifts, holiday items like food and decorations, and additional “non-gift” purchases for themselves and their families this year. Nearly all of that drop came from people who say they are hesitant to buy non-gift items for themselves or their families, despite holiday sales, the survey found. But they also plan to spend a little less on gifts than last year, a drop of about $8. Despite the drop, expected holiday spending is higher than the five-year average for gifts and decor, NRF said. The pandemic has shaken up the way shoppers plan to celebrate the holidays, too, according to the survey. One in 5 people surveyed said they typically travel for the holidays, but will celebrate at home instead this year. The drop in travel spending could add up to more sales for retailers. A little over half of the shoppers surveyed said they’ll put some of the money they’d otherwise spend on travel expenses like plane tickets and gas toward holiday items instead. Shoppers do plan to spend slightly more on holiday decor this year. In a survey by Accenture, consumers said they plan to spend $540 on holiday shopping this year. That’s about $100 less than they planned to spend last year. Deloitte predicted holiday retail sales will rise slightly, by 1% to 1.5%."

Why Trader Joe's Traffic Has Recovered, But Whole Foods' Hasn't
Grocery Dive: "Whole Foods Market's foot traffic fell sharply at the outset of the pandemic and continues to lag behind its year-ago numbers despite strong recoveries from competitors such as Trader Joe’s, a new report noted... The report, which tracked location data among more than 15 major grocery brands, noted that 37% of consumers are spending more per trip on groceries, translating to expanded basket sizes critical for Trader Joes’ sales recovery... concluded that Trader Joe's has done a better job than Whole Foods at adapting to the "mission-driven" shopper mindset by offering products and merchandising conducive to efficient stock-up buying. Although visits declined for both grocers early in the pandemic, Trader Joe's drove larger baskets and longer visit times than Whole Foods, which eventually translated into greater traffic frequency. Trader Joe's also didn't see a drop off in visits from loyal shoppers compared to 2019, while Whole Foods saw a slight dip"...

Amazon Fresh Opens 2nd California Store
Amazon Fresh opened its second store Thursday in Irvine, California, just a few weeks after the new grocery format debuted in Woodland Hills, California, according to a company spokesperson. The 40,000-sq.-ft. supermarket, open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. with 7 to 8 a.m. reserved for high-risk customers, is offering deals like $2.69 for a 12-pack of Coca-Cola... The Fresh format combines a conventional supermarket experience, including low prices, with AI-driven technology and perks supporting Amazon Prime, like free same-day delivery and pickup for Prime members... Amazon plans to open more Amazon Fresh stores in the LA and Chicago metro areas, along with debuting a new Go Grocery store in the Washington, D.C. area... Amazon is expanding its physical grocery stores this year, introducing two new formats, Fresh and Go Grocery, and opening roughly a dozen new Whole Foods locations.

Big Y Associates Get 2-Day Thanksgiving Break
PG: "Big Y Foods will close most of its stores, including Big Y World Class Markets, Table & Vine, and the Fresh Acres specialty market, not only on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26, but also on Friday, Nov. 27, also known as Black Friday. Big Y Express Gas & Convenience locations will be closed on Nov. 26.The New England grocer explained that it was shuttering its stores on those days to allow its hardworking employees to rest and be with their families, as well as to undertake extra cleaning, restocking and preparations for the rest of the holiday season. “We are humbled by the extraordinary work of our front-line employees throughout this past year,” said, Richard D. Bossie, Big Y’s SVP of operations and customer experience. “Being able to close to the public for an extra day or two helps them to relax and spend time with loved ones. It also gives us an opportunity to clean and restock. The resilience of our teams has been remarkable, and we are thrilled to be able to thank them with a well-deserved break.” Big Y also closed for two days in observance of Easter Sunday and Monday, April 12-13, to give workers a break. As well as days off during holidays, Big Y has given thank-you pay and bonuses to front-line associates in recognition of their ongoing commitment to fellow employees and to shoppers"...

Instacart, Aldi Rolling Out SNAP Online Payment
Grocery Dive: "Aldi and Instacart will allow online Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) payments for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants, offering same-day delivery and pickup for eligible grocery orders at more than 600 stores in five states, Instacart announced Thursday. The program will roll out in phases, starting in a few weeks with 60 Aldi stores in Georgia before expanding to more than 570 stores in Illinois, California, Florida and Pennsylvania in the coming months. When using Instacart, shoppers will be able to pick out SNAP-eligible products from Aldi and then select how much of their benefits they want to allocate to the order once the items are in the cart, Instacart said. The integration marks the first time SNAP participants will be able to use their EBT cards on Instacart as retailers look to combat food insecurity and make it easier for millions of shoppers enrolled through the federal program to purchase groceries"...


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