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April 20, 2018

Publishing News

Time's '100 Most Influential People' Issue Offers 6 Covers
From a release: This year's "Time 100" issue, profiling the world's most influential people, features six covers, featuring Jennifer Lopez, Nicole Kidman, Roger Federer, Tarana Burke, Satya Nadella, and Tiffany Haddish. This edition includes a record 45 people under age 40, and a record 45 women. Oprah Winfrey and Xi Jinping are tied for most appearances on the list: nine each. Among the issue's writers: Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Cher and Sean "Diddy" Combs.

Condé Nast International Set for New Appointments
WWD: Anita Chang, publisher of Vogue China, and Feng Wang, editorial director of GQ China, will both be leaving Condé Nast International, WWD has learned. Chairman and CEO Jonathan Newhouse said both have been instrumental in shaping Vogue China and GQ China. 'Anita Chang joined Condé Nast China in 2004 and Wang Feng in 2008 and since that time, both have played important roles inside the company,' said Newhouse. 'Anita has been publisher of Vogue China for the past 14 years and Wang Fey, editorial director of GQ, for the past 10'... CNI also named their successors: Li Bao Jian has been named publisher of Vogue China, effective Thursday. Blues To was appointed editorial director of GQ China and will start his new role on May 14"...

Reddit Hires Former Time Inc. Exec Wong as COO
NY Post: "Jen Wong, the chief operating officer of Time Inc. before it was gobbled up by Meredith, has been hired as COO of social media network Reddit as it tries to expand its ad base. Reddit raised $200M in a funding round in mid-2017 that put its valuation at $1.8B. Ironically, that’s about the same value that Time Inc. had when it was sold to Meredith earlier this year. Time Inc., of course, had a few more employees--about 7,000. Reddit has about 350. The expectation is that Reddit, which is still believed to be in the 'investment stage,' will have an initial public offering at some point--although nothing is on the table at the moment. Wong told The Wall Street Journal that she wants to increase ad revenue and expand its global user audience from 330M to 1B... Advance, the Newhouse family’s media company, currently has about a 40% stake in Reddit, which was spun off as a separate company in 2011. Condé Nast owns the rest.Wong, who got a Time exit compensation package of $6.8M, had her first day on the job on Thursday. She is based in New York, where she’ll oversee business strategy and play a big role in diversity efforts, the company said."
NY Post 
Wall St. Journal (paid sub req)

Allure Issue Spotlights Beauty 'Disruptors'
MediaPost: Condé Nast'S Allure "is calling its May issue the “Disruptors Issue,” dedicated to people changing the beauty industry this year. 'The beauty world is booming right now--and standards of beauty are thankfully evolving as well,' says Michelle Lee, Allure's editor in chief. 'We thought this was the perfect time to highlight some of the people, products and new technologies that are not only shaking up the $445 billion beauty industry, but redefining what beauty is altogether. We also pay homage to some of the innovators who were breaking the mold years before 'disruption' became part of the mainstream conversation." Actress Sasha Lane, the lead in the 2016 film “American Honey,” is on the cover of the issue, which hits newsstands April 24... Another feature spotlights 12 “Beauty Disruptors”...chosen for their 'bravery when faced with barriers, haters or self-doubt.' They include musicians Lizzo and Morgan Saint, actresses Condola Rashad and Pom Klementieff, couture milliner Heather Huey, makeup artist Ryan Burke, and models Iskra Lawrence, Lily Nova, Hanne Gaby Odiele, Winnie Harlow, Maye Musk and Teddy Quinlivan. In 2018, Allure is publishing seven themed issues (similar to the "Disruptors Issue") and four special guides. Allure's January issue was a dedicated beauty guide to eyes, and in April, it published its "Beauty Guide: Skin." The other two beauty guides will be on hair and lips."

Has 'Print' Media's Ad Spending Decline Bottomed Out?
MediaPost: "A protracted erosion in “print” media ad spending may be bottoming out, thanks in large part to the growth of digital. According to a new forecast released by Jack Myers TomorrowToday, a surge in demand for digital “print-originated” advertising will offset declines in “legacy print” -- the kind published in actual print--by 2021."

Using Personalized Marketing, Inc. Grows Its Annual 5000 by 25%
Folio: "For Inc. Magazine, audience engagement is integral not only to its annual Inc. 5000 list, but also the brand’s revenues. Recently, however, the list has run into issues with losing potential applicants to outdated technologies and lack of follow-through. So this year, its marketing team is set out to reverse this issue. Since starting the Inc. 500 (later the Inc. 5000)in 1982, a list of the fastest-growing, privately held companies in the U.S., Inc. Magazine has worked to curate a competitive group of entrepreneurs and up and coming businesses through a selective application process. However, at the end of last year’s submission period, the brand realized that a large section of potential applicants never completed registration, eliminating themselves from consideration... the marketing team used a variety of tactics including personalized house ads, comprehensive email campaigns, and upgrading the e-commerce platform. 'Every marketer knows that personalization and very targeted messaging will ensure a successful program,' says Julia Pan, consumer marketing manager at Inc., who tells Folio: that personalizing their house ads were likely the most successful aspect of their marketing campaign. Using users' locations, potential applicants are greeted with ads on the brand’s website that state, for example, 'Show your success in Montana on Inc. 5000.' Pan says this was aimed to show people all around the country that they have as much chance of being honored as a startup in New York does..."

Rosenbush Back at Harper's as Interim Editor
NY Post: "Former Harper’s editor Ellen Rosenbush is back at the monthly as interim editor--even as the latest blowup between fired editor-in-chief James Marcus and publisher John “Rick” MacArthur grows nastier by the day. 'Editorial Director Ellen Rosenbush is back in charge for the time being,' said Harper’s VP of communications, Giulia Melucci... Harper’s is insisting she’ll be a short-timer. 'A replacement will be named in due course,' said Melucci... Rosenbush was boss from 2010 to 2015, when she was replaced by Christopher Cox — who only lasted three months before getting bounced in early 2016, ushering in Rosenbush’s return as interim editor.That lasted a few weeks — until Marcus was tapped for the top job that March. The public spat between Marcus and MacArthur broke into the open on Monday when Publishers Lunch, an insiders newsletter, revealed that Marcus was fired last Friday. The ousted editor told the newsletter it was his role opposing Katie Roiphe’s controversial March cover story, “The Other Whisper Network: How Twitter Feminism Is Bad for Women,” that triggered his exit. The article, you remember, stirred up a hornet’s nest of controversy among feminists even before it hit newsstands over whether it planned to publicly name the originator of the Sh***y Media Men list"...

Anna Wintour’s Successor: A Tip Sheet
WWD: "Will she stay or will she go? We mean Anna Wintour, of course. While the Page Six item in The New York Post that Wintour will step down in July as artistic director of Condé Nast and editor in chief of American Vogue after her daughter Bee Shaffer’s wedding has been firmly denied by Condé--and dismissed by many others — other sources tell WWD that the speculation might not be totally fanciful and that, indeed, Anna could be eyeing the exit. But only she, the Newhouse family and perhaps a handful of others know for sure. Regardless, the item immediately sparked a wave of speculation and, inevitably, comments among the back-biting fashion world... And while some observers have painted Wintour’s departure--whenever it comes--as apocalyptic in nature...  there is no doubt that even she will step down one day. So who might succeed her? (Not that anyone ever could, naturally.) WWD handicaps the candidates," including a slew of current and former Condé and other fashion editors, plus Oprah, Hope Hicks, Meaghan Markle and Joanna Lumley (as Patsy Stone in "Absolutely Fabulous").


Retail News

Walmart Launches From-the-Floor Checkouts in Hundreds of Stores
TechCrunch: "Walmart announced on Thursday it’s beginning to test new technology that arms store staff with mobile devices for checking out customers from the floor. The devices will first be put into use in Walmart’s “Lawn & Garden Centers” in more than 350 U.S. stores, where there’s the most need for a mobile checkout experience like this. Before, customers shopping for items like mulch, soil or flowers may have had to go inside the physical store to pay for their Lawn & Garden purchases, which was often challenging due to the size and weight of these items. Now, they’ll be able to pay on the spot with store staff’s help. The service, called “Check Out With Me,” involves store employees wearing a small carrying case equipped with a Bluetooth receipt printer. Their cellular device works as the barcode scanner and the credit card swiper for the transactions. Staff assists the customers by scanning large items--like bags of mulch--while it’s still on the shelf, so customers don’t have to load heavy carts and push them through the store or to one of the Lawn & Garden Center’s fixed checkout stations. They can just carry them straight to their car parked nearby. The service will help Walmart with its sales that take place outside the Lawn & Garden Center, too... The retailer says it’s not hiring additional staff for Check Out With Me, but will use existing employees for the service. Walmart also offers Walmart Pay for in-store checkout, which involves scanning a barcode on customers’ phones to pay at the register. And its Sam’s Club warehouse club offers Scan & Go, which lets customers skip the checkout line by scanning items as they shop, then showing their e-receipt at the door on their way out"...

Target Readies Shipt Grocery Delivery in Colorado
SN: "Through its Shipt subsidiary, Target Corp. is expanding same-day grocery delivery to Colorado. Target said Thursday that its stores in the Boulder, Colorado Springs, Denver and Fort Collins metropolitan areas will offer delivery via Shipt for more than 55,000 grocery items, essentials, home, electronics, toys and other products starting on May 3. The move will give approximately 4 million households across Colorado access to Target products through the Shipt online marketplace and app, with delivery in as quick as an hour"...

Amazon's Growing Grocery Sales Come at a Cost
MNB cites a Bloomberg report that "even as Amazon integrates Whole Foods into its operations, data shows that it is selling more groceries than ever on its website--$650M worth during the first quarter, 48 percent more than during the same period a year ago. But, the story says, an analysis of the data suggests that these sales come at a cost: 'Despite the boon in sales, Amazon’s grocery push is taking a toll as the company looks to compete with big-box retailers like Walmart Inc. on price and delivery. Amazon has been willing to absorb losses of millions of dollars a year on certain products to make sure it has the items in stock and to be competitive. But those costs are rising as the company sells more low-margin household goods. Fulfillment expenses--the cost of storing, packing and shipping goods--surged 43% in 2017 to $25B, outpacing annual revenue growth of 31%.' And, there’s more work to do, as Bloomberg writes: 'A separate study released this week from Coresight Research found that shoppers frequently use Amazon for small grocery purchases of a few items, while most people still go to brick-and-mortar retailers like Walmart to fill online shopping carts and then retrieve them at the store. Smaller orders of household goods are more difficult to deliver profitably because the shipping cost makes up a bigger percentage of the overall order.'"

Clich Here

Opinion: What Walmart Gets Right About Online Grocery
Bloomberg's Sarah Halzack writes: "Of all the ways Walmart Inc. will do battle with Inc., I suspect none will be more important than their face-off in the grocery business.It's a fight Walmart simply can't afford to lose; groceries made up 56% of its U.S. sales in its latest fiscal year. Along with the revenue the grocery department generates, it is key to driving foot traffic to Walmart stores and building customer loyalty. As Gadfly's Shira Ovide has pointed out, we've likely hit a tipping point in which this category of shopping -- long insulated from the threat of e-commerce -- is about to become much more digital.Investors recently have gotten skittish about Walmart's wider e-commerce business, after its once-sizzling sales growth in that channel cooled significantly in Q4. But they should take at least some comfort in recent survey data suggesting Walmart is getting some things right in online grocery. It's true that, in a study by Coresight Research, more shoppers reported buying groceries online at Amazon in the past 12 months than reported buying them online at Walmart... But there are different types of online grocery shoppers: There are those for whom this is a routine, preferred way of filling their pantry and refrigerator. And there are others who just occasionally toss dish soap or a box of granola bars in their digital shopping carts.Walmart, notably, has a higher share of shoppers who are true converts to online grocery shopping. As Coresight puts it, more people appear to be doing "full-basket" shopping online with Walmart than with Amazon. It's a good sign for Walmart that early adopters of online grocery shopping are choosing the retailer for this service -- and that the user experience is apparently satisfactory enough to keep them coming back.Over the years, one of the knocks against Walmart's e-commerce efforts has been that it tended to move too slowly. (Remember Shipping Pass, the membership-based free-shipping program it briefly tested some 10 years after the debut of Amazon Prime?)But, lately, when it comes to online grocery, Walmart has been hustling. It offers store pickup of online orders from about 1,200 of its stores and is set to add 1,000 more locations this year. By the end of this year, it has said it will offer grocery delivery in more than 100 metro areas, covering 40 percent of U.S. household"...


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