TV Guide Magazine Is Still Here, and Doing Just Fine (Newsstand Sales +7% in 2H 2017)
Folio: "Everyone loves a comeback story. And the 65-year-old TV Guide magazine has a great one to tell after some trying years. TV Guide’s back story is a long...one, but what’s important to know is that the magazine was once distributed to nearly 20M American households and at one time was valuated at more than $3B dollars. But the rise of digital cable and the Internet disrupted its bread and butter, which was offering local TV listings in virtually every U.S. market. Its capital and brand equity allowed it to make pivots, but in hindsight they were reactionary and ill-conceived and led to crippling debts. Since 1988, the brand has changed ownership a handful of times, and the magazine and its digital assets were split, with the digital business going to CBS Interactive. But TV Guide the magazine is still here. And not only has it survived, its new debt-free owner NTVB Media has transformed it into a money maker that’s increased its EBITDA by $4M dollars since its 2015 acquisition... TV Guide is...bucking every trend that’s working against print magazines in 2018. It grew newsstand sales by more than 7% in the second half of 2017. It has a healthy (and clean) subscriber list of 1.25M. And it’s investing in its advertising business by increasing its sales staff and tapping into new categories. The secret to this success may be in the ownership itself. NTVB has been around for more than 35 years. It started as a printing company and then expanded its business into TV listing inserts for local newspapers. Andy DeAngelis, CEO, says that about nine years ago, that piece of the business was in trouble because of the struggles newspapers were facing. So he took a risk and launched TV Weekly, a magazine that borrowed from TV Guide’s heyday. TV Weekly taps into 160 markets and for all intents and purposes acts as a programming guide for TV viewers who consume TV the old fashioned way. The success led NTVB to expand... Today, its portfolio also includes Remind, OnDIsh, View! Magazine, Channel Guide Magazine and TV Insider, a website devoted to informative content about TV programming. Its TV assets made NTVB an ideal buyer for TV Guide when its former owner, OpenGate Capital, was looking to unload it in 2015. But DeAngelis was skeptical at first... 'It was trying to be a general interest magazine and we didn’t see that as the way forward. There needed to be a sea change.' The sea change was inspired by Michael Fell, managing editor of TV Guide at the time and now editor-in-chief. The process began with research via email, direct mail and surveys... [Readers] want more service. The volume of TV and when you get to watch it has changed and we are uniquely qualified to guide people through that'... While TV Guide still tells its readers when network and cable network programs air, the bulk of the content within the 80-90 page biweekly talks about the shows themselves, as well as the actors. Each issue is packed with quick snippets and smaller features... [Its coverage] includes streaming programs on OTT channels like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. TV Guide... isn’t trying to capture the attention of Millennials, or trying to be more of a tech company than a magazine publisher. It’s a magazine, pure and simple. It knows who its audience is and what they want from its pages... “There’s 150M Baby Boomers in this country,” DeAngelis says. 'We aren’t looking to drive our demo down to 35-year olds'... DeAngelis and David Jackson, SVP of advertising and marketing, especially boast about the cleanliness of its subscriber list... The company has worked diligently to minimize verified subs to less than 1%, and doesn’t believe in discounting its product just to increase readership size. 'We’re a great buy [for advertisers],' Jackson says. 'We’re a dual-audience magazine with close to 11M readers [factoring in passalong rates]... each issue typically sells around 20 ad spots (not pages) and the endemic buyers are entertainment companies like NBC, who is its largest advertiser in terms of spend... Events are another beacon of growth for the brand, and Comic-Con is a tent pole opportunity for the brand... NTVB isn’t leveraging TV Guide alone to capitalize on nostalgia. It also has a sister publication Remind... a sort of a paper and ink version of TV Land or Nick at Night, with the inclusion of crossword puzzles and games. Each issue looks back on a different era and the TV, film, music and pop culture from the time... [NTVB] is thriving as a traditional magazine publisher in an otherwise difficult environment...by focusing on and iterating on what it does best"...
Report: Meredith Hires Advisers to Explore Sale of Some Titles
Reuters: "Meredith Corp. has hired advisers to explore a sale of its Time, Fortune, Money and Sports Illustrated magazines following its $1.84B acquisition of Time Inc. in January, people familiar with the matter said... The Des Moines, Iowa-based company has tapped investment banks Citigroup Inc. and Houlihan Lokey Inc. to find potential buyers for the magazines, the sources said this week. There is no certainty that a divestiture will occur, the sources added. While it’s possible that media, telecommunications or technology companies could express an interest in the magazines, a sale to wealthy individuals, such as philanthropists or billionaires, is viewed by Meredith as more likely, according to one of the sources. Citigroup declined to comment, while Houlihan Lokey did not immediately return a request for comment. 'We are in fact exploring a number of additional changes to the (magazine) portfolio, including divestitures of brands and businesses that might perform better under a different owner,' Meredith CEO Steven Lacy told investors at a Deutsche Bank conference earlier this month. Time Inc. referred calls to Meredith, which declined to comment beyond reiterating that the company is reviewing its portfolio. It was not clear how much the magazines could be worth. Fortune and Money generated more than $20M in 12-month...EBIDTA, while Time generated more than $30M in 12-month EBITDA, according to one of the people"... NY Post's Keith Kelly adds: "Staffers at Entertainment Weekly can breathe easier--they’re not going anywhere after their recent cross-country migration from New York to new digs in L.A. The names of possible suitors on the lips of industry experts include former Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp and Jay Penske, head of Penske Media Corp. PMC bought Rolling Stone and the Robb Report to add to digital titles such as Women’s Wear Daily. American Media has expressed interest in buying some of the titles in the past, but sources say the company is tapped out financially after stretching to buy Us Weekly and Men’s Journal last year. 'They may look, but I am not sure they’ll end up as the buyer,' said Reed Phillips, an investment banker at Oaklins DeSilva + Phillips. 'It won’t be easy to find a strategic buyer,' Phillips added. 'I think it will be more likely to go the way newspapers have gone lately and get sold to wealthy individuals.' Telecom and tech companies may also take a look, sources said. In addition to the sale of the four titles, Meredith is likely to undertake other belt-tightening moves. Those are expected to be unveiled next week after an 'integration study' by Deloitte Consulting is complete. Between the downsizing and title sales, hundreds of jobs will be cut--in addition to the 600 to 700 positions already [being eliminated due to the shut-down of] the Time Customer Service Center in Tampa, Fla... Hearst-owned CDS will take over subscription processing and billing. As for Entertainment Weekly, initially there was speculation that it would be added to the other four titles in the out box--but Jess Cagle, the editorial director of People and EW, was said to have made an impassioned pitch to executive chairman Steve Lacy and chief executive Tom Harty, his new bosses, to keep the magazines in the Meredith stable. Cagle..is said to be keenly interested in developing TV projects and doing high-profile interviews... Meredith has told Wall Street investors that the $2.8B deal finalized Jan. 31 can be justified because it plans to realize $400M to $500M in cost savings over the next two years. But the cuts could be deeper than first anticipated, sources said, because numbers in the first quarter of the year are off. Separately, the prestigious Henry Luce Award, named for the man who co-founded Time Inc. in 1922, is going to be renamed the Meredith Achievement Award, one source said."
Q&A: Conde's First Chief Data Officer, Karthic Bala
Excerpts from a MediaPost interview with Karthic Bala, who was just promoted from head of data strategy to Conde Nast's first chief data officer: "I am really excited to take on this new role to transform Condé Nast into the leading data-driven publisher. This is the right time to double down on our success with Spire and take it to the next level. I am focused on expanding Spire to become an integrated marketing platform that helps customers reach their goals in a frictionless manner. Another important initiative is to help our customers connect with their target audience in a one-on-one manner and engage with them in a meaningful way. We can help our customers have meaningful dialogues with their target audience. This will also enable us to provide attribution and prove performance. I am also excited to take on expanding our deep-learning applications and exploring voice, AR, VR and other emerging media formats... Spire was a huge team effort, and I was involved in the initiative from the start. My team, partnering with other teams at Condé Nast and best-in-class data providers, created this platform. This platform enables our customers to target the right audience, optimize campaigns and provide actionable insights in a brand-safe environment... Our plan is to invest in advanced data capabilities that enable us to drive maximum value for our customers. We want to provide our customers not only the ability to execute marketing campaigns, but also the tools to help them understand and manage their customers better. With Spire, we have built deeper relationships with our customers by providing performance-driven marketing and actionable insights that will drive highly profitable revenue... Traditional publishers are focused on aggregating audiences and monetizing them. We, however, have started to work like a technology company and are investing in building the capabilities, both organically and through acquisitions, to revolutionize the way we provide marketing solutions. By enhancing our platform to personalize our users’ experience, using large volumes of data in real-time, we are able to increase audience engagement."
John Skipper Details His ESPN Exit and a Cocaine Extortion Plot
THR: "On Dec. 18, 2017, John Skipper suddenly resigned as president of ESPN and co-chairman of Disney Media Networks, citing his desire to seek treatment for what he called a 'substance addiction.' The announcement shocked employees at ESPN and its parent company, and was met with disbelief and confusion throughout the sports and media worlds... Over the course of several hours during the first two weeks of March, Skipper was interviewed for the first time since his departure by ESPN historian, journalist and Hollywood Reporter contributor James Andrew Miller." In the Q&A, Skipper basically confirms that the substance was cocaine, that his use of it over the past two decades was "quite infrequent," and that neither he nor business associates used it at work at ESPN. " I judge that I did a very good job and that it did not get in the way of my work," he said. "I worked hard, I worked smart. I worked all the time... It turns out I was more than unusually clever in devising ways to separate my professional life from my personal life." He says that, while he resigned from ESPN, it was clear to him that he had put Disney CEO Bob Iger "in an untenable position." He said the discussion with Iger occurred "on Friday afternoon, before I resigned on Monday... I want to stress that until that Friday conversation occurred, I worked with complete conviction with colleagues I loved and for a company I loved. But I hurt my family, particularly my wife, and I forfeited a great job." Pressed about why he seemed to have made a sudden decision to leave, Skipper said: "In December, someone from whom I bought cocaine attempted to extort me... It turned out I wasn’t careful this time... They threatened me, and I understood immediately that threat put me and my family at risk, and this exposure would put my professional life at risk as well. I foreclosed that possibility by disclosing the details to my family, and then when I discussed it with Bob, he and I agreed that I had placed the company in an untenable position and as a result, I should resign." He also stressed: "Look, it was inappropriate for the president of ESPN and an officer of The Walt Disney Co. to be associated in any way with any of this. I do want to make it clear, however, that anything I did in this regard, and anything else resulting from this, was a personal problem. My drug use never had any professional repercussions, but I still have profound regret. I accept that the consequences of my actions are my responsibility and have been appropriate. I also have to accept that I used very poor judgment."
Regional Magazine Publisher Jack Moffly Dies at 91
Folio: "Jack Moffly, longtime publisher of Connecticut’s Greenwich Magazine and founder of Moffly Media, died of natural causes at Greenwich Hospital on Sunday. He was 91. An Army veteran and member of Princeton University’s class of 1949, Moffly spent three decades working in ad sales at Time Inc.--from 1954 to 1987--before entering what he called “semi-retirement” to acquire Greenwich Magazine (then known as the Greenwich Review) and launch his namesake publishing company. In the three decades since, Moffly Media has grown to six regional publications serving lower Fairfield County, Conn.—including Stamford, Fairfield Living, and atHome magazines—as well as robust events and custom publishing businesses. In 2006, Moffly turned full-time control of the company over to his son Johnathan, who now serves as president, but he remained an editorial contributor to Greenwich Magazine... A memorial service will be held at Christ Church in Greenwich on Saturday, April 28, at 3:00 pm, with a reception to follow. According to Coxe & Graziano Funeral Home, male guests are encouraged to wear bowties--part of Moffly’s signature look"...
Amazon's Internal Numbers on Prime Video, Revealed
Reuters: "Amazon.com Inc’s top television shows drew more than 5 million people worldwide to its Prime shopping club by early 2017, according to company documents, revealing for the first time how the retailer’s bet on original video is paying off. The documents also show that Amazon’s U.S. audience for all video programming on Prime, including films and TV shows it licenses from other companies, was about 26 million customers. Amazon has never released figures for its total audience. The internal documents compare metrics that have never been reported for 19 shows exclusive to Amazon: their cost, their viewership and the number of people they helped lure to Prime. Known as Prime Originals, the shows account for as much as a quarter of what analysts estimate to be total Prime sign-ups from late 2014 to early 2017, the period covered by the documents. Core to Amazon’s strategy is the use of video to convert viewers into shoppers. Fans access Amazon’s lineup by joining Prime, a club that includes two-day package delivery and other perks, for an annual fee. The company declined to comment on the documents seen by Reuters. But chief executive Jeff Bezos has been upfront about the company’s use of entertainment to drive merchandise sales. The world’s biggest online retailer launched Amazon Studios in 2010 to develop original programs that have since grabbed awards and Hollywood buzz"...
Faith Popcorn on the End of Advertising, the Gender Attitude Revolution and More
Excerpts from a MediaPost Q&A with "Trend Oracle" Faith Popcorn: "Advertising is dead. Over. Two huge changes are happening: One is machine learning will--in real time--customize messages and offers to suit the individual, to an almost DNA-specific level. Next: Culture is the new media. Don’t buy an ad. Put your brand’s belief into the culture. At [her company,] BrainReserve, we have a 4P model: People, Press, Products, and Places. Your brand must be woven into those realms--not buying 30-second spots." On the gender revolution: 'Not only are we at a moment where women and men are moving to a new relationship, we are at a time when men and women are no longer the only game in town. Younger generations, millennials and Gen Z, in particular, are increasingly gender-fluid--20%--and evolving toward one gender. How we market and message is about to be revolutionized... It’s having a huge impact. Think of the #grabthembythewallet movement that rocked many brands and businesses around the election; the consumer said, 'I won’t patronize you if you support brands I don’t believe in.' Now, it’s coming closer to home. The consumer will say, 'I won’t patronize you if you don’t elevate the causes I believe in.' Brands need to show that, internally, they are addressing sexual misconduct and gender inequality. They need to visibly support women." On adapting companies' marketing strategies: "Look for the signals of tomorrow. Step out of your comfort zone, delve into pockets of the culture you usually avoid. We call it TrendTrekking. Then you connect the dots. Go to underground bars and clubs and offbeat cafes; see what people are eating and saying. Go sound-bathing. Try cryotherapy. And ask yourself, 'What need is this answering, and how can my business address that need?'... We are at a moment of intense fragmentation--we call it 'Micro-Clanning.' People want recognition of their individuality, and want their every, ever-changing needs constantly met. So you aren’t looking for the 'next big thing' but the 'next big things.' Think hyper-personalization, and move faster than you ever dreamed possible to satisfy this demanding consumer."
OTHER NEWS OF NOTE:
Smart & Final Reports Strong Q4, FY17; Ecommerce Expansion
PG: "Smart & Final Stores Inc. closed out its Q4 and fiscal 2017 with sales growth over the same periods a year prior, also reporting significant expansion of its ecommerce program across its operations. During Q4, which ended Dec. 31, 2017, net sales grew 6.7% vs. the prior-year period, reaching $1.07B. These were led by 3.2% comp-store sales growth, representing the company’s third consecutive quarterly increase.Looking at banners, net sales for Smart & Final stores were $841.4M, up 5.7% vs. Q4 2016, with comps rising 2.5%. Net sales for Cash & Carry Smart Foodservice grew 10.8% to $226.6M, with comps up 6.2%. 'We're pleased with the strong sequential agreement in our comp-store sales metric and a solid positive contribution from both the Smart & Final and the Cash & Carry banners,' said David Hirz, Smart & Final president/CEO. 'Sales growth was well in excess of the underlying inflation rate, and we had an average ticket growth in both store banners.'For the full fiscal year, net sales were $4.57B, a 5.3% rise over fiscal 2016. Driving growth were the net sales contribution of new stores and a 1% increase in comps, the latter made up of a 0.3% increase in comparable transaction count and a 0.8% increase in comparable average transaction size. Broken down by banner, net sales for Smart & Final stores for the year were $3.56B, up 4.6% from fiscal 2016, with comps rising 0.7%. Net sales for Cash & Carry stores were $1.01B, 7.6% higher than fiscal 2016, with comps up 2.4% Looking at FY 2018, which will end Dec. 30, the company is anticipating net sales growth of 4% to 5%, with comps rising 1% to 2%. It expects to open three to five new Extra stores and the same range of Cash & Carry locations. Relocations will include two or three legacy stores, while expansions or conversions of legacy stores to the Extra format will involve one or two stores"...
SEG to File Bankruptcy, Begin Financial Restructuring
PG: "Southeastern Grocers (SEG) has entered into a restructuring support agreement (RSA) with a group of creditors and its private equity sponsor. The agreement establishes the terms of comprehensive financial restructuring in a bid to return the company to financial health. To efficiently carry out the restructuring, the grocer will voluntarily file a pre-packaged plan of reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U. S. Bankruptcy Code by the end of March. SEG will continue to operate throughout the process, according to the Jacksonville, Fla.-based grocer, which earlier reports indicated would file for Chapter 11. However, under the terms of the proposed restructuring, 94 stores are slated to close, leaving the company with 582. The affected locations are Bi-Lo, Fresco y Mas, Harveys, and Winn-Dixie stores throughout SEG’s seven-store footprint of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina. The closing stores’ addresses, as well as information on the company’s restructuring efforts, is available in a special section of SEG's website. Addressing its customers in that section, the company noted, 'It is our goal to work through our financial restructuring as quickly and efficiently as possible, and we will emerge from this process likely within the next 90 days.' SEG also referred to a three-year plan to 'create stunning, remodeled stores in a significant portion of our footprint.' According to SEG president/CEO Anthony Hucker, 'The agreement...is an important step in Southeastern Grocers' transformation to put our company in the best position to succeed in the extremely competitive retail market in which we do business. With a foundation built on iconic, heritage banners, and with the strong support of our leadership team, we will work through this process as quickly and efficiently as possible. We are excited to emerge with the optimal store footprint and greater financial flexibility to invest in Southeastern Grocers' growth.' The restructuring aims to lower overall debt by more than $500M and maintain the company's strong liquidity position under a new post-emergence revolving credit facility. The considerably reduced debt should result in less interest expense, enabling SEG to invest more cash flow back into its business as higher cap ex for new stores and those due for renovation"...
Former Exec Sues Walmart, Claims Misleading E-Commerce Results
Bloomberg: "In its race to catch Amazon.com Inc. in online retailing, Walmart Inc. issued misleading e-commerce results and fired an executive who complained the company was breaking the law, according to a whistle-blower lawsuit. Tri Huynh, a former director of business development at Walmart, claims he was terminated 'under false pretenses' after repeatedly raising concerns about the company’s 'overly aggressive push to show meteoric growth in its e-commerce business by any means possible--even, illegitimate ones'... Huynh claims Walmart mislabeled products so that some third-party vendors received lower commissions, failed to process customer returns, and allowed offensive items onto the site. Huynh’s dismissal in January 2017 -- just a day after a retail-industry publication singled him out as one of the sector’s rising stars--was in retaliation for warning senior executives about the misdeeds, he said in the lawsuit, filed Thursday by employment litigation attorney David M. deRubertis in San Francisco federal court"...
How Costco Is Defeating Amazon
TheStreet: "Costco shares have risen a heady 77% over the past five years, relatively in line to the S&P 500. During that same span, Walmart and Target shares have gained about 22% and 6%, respectively. For the 24-weeks ended Feb. 18, Costco's U.S. same-store sales increased 8.6%. Membership fees were up 11%... New research out of UBS nicely captures how Costco is managing to beat back Amazon. The wholesale king is seeing higher customer satisfaction scores overall, notes UBS... Customer service has fast become a key differentiator in retail, reminds UBS retail analyst Michael Lasser. 'Our survey highlights that 70% of Costco shoppers are very satisfied with the retailer (compared to 66% in our last survey)--this is followed by Amazon (65%) and Sam's Club (56%)'... Believe it or not, consumers think Costco has better prices in many categories than the notorious cutthroat Amazon... While Costco has work to do with its online shopping experience, the products it does get to consumers from the site or in stores are viewed as higher quality than Action Alerts Plus holding Amazon."
Dollar General Expanding Fresh, Updating Non-Foods Assortment
SN: "Dollar General is ramping up its expansion plans for 2018 and rolling out several new merchandising initiatives, including adding fresh produce to hundreds of remodeled locations after a successful test. Of the 1,000 store remodels Dollar General has planned for 2018, about 400 will be what the chain calls its “traditional plus” stores that include 34 cooler doors to merchandise an expanded perishables assortment. Of the 750 traditional-plus stores to be operating by year end, about a third will include an assortment of fresh produce, bringing to 450 the number of stores carrying fresh fruits and vegetables... The company also plans to redesign its snack and beverage aisles in 2018 to better position the stores as destinations for immediate-consumption products, he said. In addition, Dollar General is rolling out to select stores an expanded assortment of better-for-you products, with a focus on high-protein and low-salt options.The changes are in addition to the ongoing efforts to expand the perishables offering across the store base with the addition of 20,000 cooler doors throughout the store network in 2018. The company in particular is focusing on expanding the perishables offering in stores that currently have fewer than 12 cooler doors, which have the opportunity to drive the highest relative return on remodels, according to Vasos.By the end of the year, the chain will have an average of 20 cooler doors per store, up from 10 in 2012. Dollar General is also focusing on its nonfoods assortment, with new displays and marketing around its revamped HBC offering and a new initiative involving "treasure hunt” displays that feature hot deals on merchandise for a limited time. The company discussed its plans after reporting better-than-expected same-store sales gains of 3.3% for Q4 and 2.7% for the full year"...
MarketWatch: Home Depot Stock, Retail Sales Declines Should Worry Investors
MarketWatch's Jeff Reeves points out that Home Depot's stock, which has surged 600% since 2008 vs. 110% for the broader S&P 500, is down 13% from its all-time high in January. "These declines came even as Home Depot earnings were quite strong, featuring a beat on both the top and the bottom line along with strong forward guidance," he writes. "With a report like that, if investors were really just caught up in short-term market trends, they would have eagerly come back as buyers when the dust settled. But they didn’t... In a vacuum, it’s fairly straightforward to dissect why this stock has had a bad few weeks. But stocks don’t behave absent of broader market trends... Consider that retail sales have fallen for three months in a row, most recently the 0.1% decline from January to February... the theoretical stimulus of tax reform efforts in December should have affected consumers’ emotions, if not their pocketbooks. Speaking of tax reform, Home Depot is the poster child of corporations benefiting from last year’s tax legislation, thanks to operations that largely exist in the U.S. With a prior effective tax rate of around 36% projected to become a rate of just 26% in 2018, you would think the stock would see a sustained lift... And worst of all, there are increasing signs that housing in America could be about to roll over... if these trends are working against this big-name stock, it’s worth wondering how these headwinds will weigh across other consumer-related plays in the months ahead."
Retailers Feel Effects of Growing Income Disparity
eMarketer: "According to US Census Bureau data analyzed in a new Deloitte report, "The Great Retail Bifurcation," there is some truth to thinking that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Between 2007 and 2016, high-income consumers (the 20% earning more than $100,000) experienced 4% growth of their disposable income, to 63% of total income. The disposable income of middle-income consumers (the 40% earning $50,000 to $100,000) remained flat, at 39%, while low-income consumers (the 40% earning less than $50,000) saw their disposable income dip 16% to -23%. This widening disparity in US incomes is having an effect on retail. Deloitte looked at revenue growth among different types of retailers over the past five years: "price-based" retailers, those that compete solely on price like discount and dollar stores; "premier" retailers, which offer exclusive products and experiences; and "balanced "retailers, those that focus on price and promotions and sell widely available merchandise. It found the higher-end stores experienced revenue growth of 81%, while revenues for discount stores grew 37%. By comparison, revenues at midrange stores grew only 2%"...
Discounts Trump Brand Loyalty in Canada
CPGMatters: "Whether to buy a favorite brand or a discounted competitor is a frequent decision facing many shoppers around the world. In Canada, for example, new research from Mintel reveals that two in five (41%) consumers say they don’t consider themselves to be brand loyal. Why? They are willing to forgo their favorite brands in exchange for a deal they can’t pass up. Almost all grocery shoppers look for discounts at least some of the time they shop. What’s more, nearly all Canadians (95%) say they buy store brands, including 19% who do so every time they shop. Nearly half (48%) of consumers will even buy an unfamiliar or generic brand if the price is right. Low price points are key among Canadians as nearly two in five (39%) consumers buy discounted items, one third (33%) compare prices at multiple retailers, and one quarter (24%) purchase the lowest-priced items every time they shop. 'Canadian consumers are acting on the sales they see when they are in-store and show a willingness to take the risk of buying an unfamiliar brand if the price is right, indicating a boon to retailers,' said Carol Wong-Li, senior lifestyles and leisure analyst at Mintel. 'Combined with reasonable pricing, retailers will likely be able to attract the attention of budget-minded shoppers by creatively finding ways to elevate the components of their private label products--be it product ingredients, materials used to make the item or even improving the visual aspects of the packaging,' she said"...
OTHER NEWS OF NOTE: