COOKING BY THE BOOK

Cookbooks and magazines offer retailers an easy way to incorporate the know-how and resources that are important to offering a complete kitchen solution into their housewares departments, sources told SN."We combine quite a bit on the information side by integrating our restaurant and cooking books, and offering an extensive variety of magazines and books in the Essentials department," said Russ Ruby,

Cookbooks and magazines offer retailers an easy way to incorporate the know-how and resources that are important to offering a complete kitchen solution into their housewares departments, sources told SN.

"We combine quite a bit on the information side by integrating our restaurant and cooking books, and offering an extensive variety of magazines and books in the Essentials department," said Russ Ruby, vice president, sales and marketing, Larry's Markets, Kirkland, Wash. Having the cookbooks in the Essentials culinary and housewares sections of Larry's stores helps tie the section together by providing the "know-how" component of the process, he pointed out.

Cookbooks also help connect the housewares section to the rest of the store.

"Sometimes we'll promote a cookbook -- whatever is popular -- and that helps to sell [other products] at the time, or if there's a great issue of a magazine that focuses on trends. It's fun to get all the aspects of food together," said Merrilyn Tauscher, manager of the FoodE in-store demonstration and expert program at Lund Food Holdings, Edina, Minn.

Lund also uses an in-store cookbook library as a resource for its Food call center. Food experts staff the center, which offers consumers a hotline for any food-related questions, including recipes and special orders for products like fresh turkeys during the holidays, Tauscher said.

Lund has held in-store cookbook signings in the past. Most notably, Food Network chef Rachel Ray came last year for a book signing that was a huge success, said Dan O'Rourke, culinary and general merchandise category manager for the retailer.