WOODBRIDGE, N.J. -- To boost its beauty care sales and image, Pathmark Stores here will begin merchandising a customized beauty magazine in its supermarkets this summer.
The magazine, Beauty Handbook, published by Compendium Systems, Greenwich, Conn., is similar to other beauty magazines, but it features a retailer's logo on its cover and an assortment of retailer-specific coupons inside. Pathmark's drug stores already merchandise the magazine, but its food stores will begin testing the magazine in June, according to Stan Sorkin, vice president of public affairs. Beauty Handbook, published four times a year, will be merchandised on floor stands in the cosmetics departments in food stores where the cosmetics aisle is wide enough to accommodate an off-shelf display, said Sorkin. Where there is not enough room for a floor stand, other merchandising arrangements will be made, he said.
"Obviously the magazine has produced good results in our drug stores or we wouldn't be expanding the program [into our supermarkets]," said Sorkin. Lauren Franchella, director of merchandising at Beauty Handbook, said Pathmark's logo will be "on the magazine cover [for the edition of the magazine sold in its stores]. Plus, Pathmark will have manufacturer coupons on the back cover of the magazine from branded [beauty care] manufacturers, not private label, so there will be added value to the magazine [for consumers.]" According to industry sources, other supermarket chains that have carried or plan to carry Beauty Handbook include:
H-E-B Grocery Co., San Antonio; Ralphs Grocery, Compton, Calif.; Meijer, Grand Rapids, Mich.; Fred Meyer, Portland, Ore., and Albertson's, Boise, Idaho. Many major drug chains have merchandised the magazine as well.
Franchella said her company sells the magazines to retailers for 55 cents. The cover price of Beauty Handbook is 99 cents, yielding a 44-cent profit per magazine for the retailer. She added Beauty Handbook is a guaranteed sale; unsold issues are returned to the publisher and the retailer is credited for unsold products. According to Keri Ann Ammerman, editor in chief of Beauty Handbook, the magazine covers only products from manufacturers whose brands are sold at mass retail outlets. Those manufacturers are the only advertisers allowed in Beauty Handbook.
"We like to think what we're doing is twofold: We're attracting the readers, the women, to buy the magazine because of the beauty tips and advice," said Ammerman. "And, we're helping the retail chain stores by getting these women to go back into the stores and buy the products that we are writing about and use the coupons that are in the magazine."
Franchella said many stores that carry Beauty Handbook have noticed an increase in health and beauty care sales, though she could not give figures for any particular retailer.
Pathmark's decision to carry the magazine, she added, was a natural one, as more people than ever are heading to supermarkets as a beauty destination.
The magazine has two sister publications, Black Beauty Handbook and Health Handbook, both of which Pathmark will carry this year, Franchella said. Those publications are produced twice yearly.