TAMPA, Fla. — Women who buy magazines have the potential to be retailers' best customers in tough economic times, according to research presented here this month at the 2008 Retail Conference of the Magazine Publishers of America, New York.
Wendy Liebmann, founder and chief executive officer, WSL Strategic Retail, New York, told the meeting that people who buy magazines are less price sensitive, and enjoy browsing more than the average shopper.
“Magazines bring shoppers to stores. Forty-six percent say they will go to the store that they know will have the magazine that they want,” she said. Meanwhile, if stores don't have that publication, 51% won't buy any magazine, 26% will go to another store, while 23% will buy another magazine, she said.
While customers enjoy browsing magazines, as much or more than any other category, they also buy more. For example, in supermarkets, 66% of magazine browsers are also magazine buyers, compared to 59% in mass merchandisers, and 37% in drug stores, she said.
They also value their time and are more willing to pay a premium to get in and out of a store quickly, she noted
At a time when shoppers overall are cutting back on weekly shopping trips, Lieb-mann noted that people who buy magazines — particularly women — shop in substantially more channels than the typical American shopper. These results, and others in the presentation, contrasted women surveyed in WSL's “How America Shops” survey to research done for specially for MPA. Women who buy three magazines in three months frequent 12.5 retail channels in that same time period, compared to 8.6 for the larger sample.
“In a time when people are cutting back on trips, and when shoppers want more control, this is a stunning number. Magazine buyers shop that much more than the average shopper,” Liebmann said.
Meanwhile, magazines are No. 1 on the list of favorite affordable treats that women buy for themselves, beating out beverages, food, candy, cosmetics, music and videos, she said. Also, magazines are the top item women want to see at checkout, ahead of candy, gum and mints, beverages and newspapers.