PHOENIX -- Bashas', Chandler, Ariz., last week completed a program where different selections of magazines are merchandised on the front ends in each of the company's four divisions.
This change has been gradually rolled out to the company over the last nine months as the retailer installed new front-end fixturing, Bryon Roberts, vice president, general merchandise, told SN during the annual Retail Conference of the Magazine Publishers of America, New York, which was held here last week.
Bashas' operates four unique supermarket formats addressing different customer bases in Arizona: conventional Bashas' stores, Food City stores for the Hispanic market, Bashas' Dine stores on Native American reservations, and the upscale AJ's stores. These formats were described in a conference presentation by Mark Barnett, Bashas' senior vice president of merchandising, who said its knowledge of the local market gives the retailer an edge over the competition.
Each division "has a different mix on their front-end fixtures. Certain titles carry over, but other than that, it is a different mix based on their clientele and the titles that are successful in those stores," Roberts said. Bashas' worked with its wholesaler, Anderson News Co., Knoxville, Tenn., on the project, which was based on scan data.
Some of the differences are striking:
- For Bashas' conventional stores, the top magazine categories are women's, personality/celebrity titles, tabloids, home and garden, cooking, and fitness and health.
- In Food City stores, Spanish-language magazines are most popular, followed by automotive, tabloids, women's, personality/ celebrity and teen.
- Customers of Bashas' Dine stores prefer tabloids, women's, automotive, teen, music and personality/ celebrity.
- At AJ's, regional publications are on top, then cooking, women's, personality/celebrity, home and garden, and business.
Bashas' considered such factors as trade allowances in determining the selections, but, Roberts said, "you have to look at the titles first. As a retailer, our primary purpose is to make sure we put the titles that make sense for our customers on the front end of those stores. We are going to make more money off sales than anything else, so that is our focus."
The biggest change came to the Bashas' Dine stores, which were formerly merchandised like conventional Bashas' stores, he said. "Once we got into the numbers, we found that the titles preferred by the Bashas' Dine customers were more like those of the Food City stores, with the exception of the Hispanic titles. They were big on automotive; they were big on teens," Roberts said.