Retail Week takes to streets to launch its new format

Hand out: Copies of the new design (inset) are handed to Sainsbury staff

Over 100 staff from Emap’s retail division used ‘guerrilla’ marketing tactics to get the newly relaunched Retail Week into the hands of its readers.

Everyone from managing director to junior reporter, around half the staff at Emap Retail, braved the elements to hand out free copies outside the headquarters of the UK’s top companies to the staff on their way to work.

Around 30,000 magazines were given away, according to marketing director of Emap Retail, Mark Jenkins, who was part of the team that dreamed up the idea. He claimed the usual circulation trebled on the day.

Jenkins said: “It’s certainly better than direct mail. We want to get the magazine into our readers’ hands rather than just let them know about it in a letter or email.”

At Sainsbury’s HQ in London, where Jenkins joined forces with Retail Week’s editorial and brand development director Ian McGarrigle, news and associate editor George MacDonald and Emap Retail’s managing director Steve Newbold, they shifted around 14,000 copies.

Over the last two years the magazine has gone from controlled circulation to full subscription which has seen circulation drop. In June 2002 circulation was 15,301 and now is 11,808 but it is hoped that the relaunch will address this.

The format is slightly smaller, there is a brand new masthead with a red background, new typefaces and page layouts. According to editor Neill Denny the new design “allows for more flexibility and makes it less formulaic.”

Denny’s last day as editor of Retail Week coincided with the launch of the new magazine.

Denny, who is leaving to become editor-in-chief at Bookseller magazine, said: “Retail Week has more of a newspaper style, it is more readable and has better features content. Before it was formulaic with a similar design each week. We now have double page spreads, pictures have been run bigger and the features are more in depth.

“It has been a great team effort and I am delighted to be leaving the magazine in such great shape.We have created something with real longevity, given it the clout it lacked before.”

A group of top retailers will now write regular columns including Dixon’s president, Lord Kalms, and Jacqueline Gold, chief executive of Ann Summers. Two store managers, from one from John Lewis and one from Ikea, will alternate columns.

Over the coming weeks experts will rank the stores that “change the world” culminating in a vote for the best store.

The website is also revamped and there is a new online editor, Julian Goldsmith, who was previously technology editor on the magazine.

Among the new features are data feeds from suppliers and stock market reports every 15 minutes.

By Sarah Lagan

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