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MPA RETAIL CONFERENCE 2006

ORLANDO, Fla. - H.E. Butt Grocery Co., San Antonio, was honored here this month with two Retail Best Practices Awards by Magazine Publishers of America and International Periodical Distributors Association, both based in New York, at the Retail Conference 2006: The Marketing of Magazines and Books.This year's awards were for excellence in cross-merchandising and innovation. Last year, H-E-B was a

ORLANDO, Fla. - H.E. Butt Grocery Co., San Antonio, was honored here this month with two Retail Best Practices Awards by Magazine Publishers of America and International Periodical Distributors Association, both based in New York, at the Retail Conference 2006: The Marketing of Magazines and Books.

This year's awards were for excellence in cross-merchandising and innovation. Last year, H-E-B was a winner in the promotion/cross-merchandising category.

Awards were also given to Kroger Co., Cincinnati, for excellence in promotional programs; Meijer, Grand Rapids, Mich., for excellence in checkout merchandising; Target Corp., Minneapolis, for excellence in book marketing; and the Hudson Group, East Rutherford, N.J., for excellence in mainline merchandising.

"Cross-merchandising throughout the store is not easy," Jim Dahlen, business development manager, publishing & tobacco, H-E-B, told SN after the award ceremony. "The products need support from the entire supply chain because merchandising can be a real challenge for the retailer."

It is especially important for retailers to think about cross-merchandising techniques when planning to build a new store, Dahlen said. "If you don't build places where the customer can connect with the product, the concept will disappear."

"H-E-B understands the value of magazines," said Steve Leach, vice president, Comag Marketing Group, Princeton, N.J., in presenting the award. He described the retailer's acrylic magazine fixtures in the cosmetics aisle, waterfall-style magazine displays in the wine department, entertainment titles in the DVD department, bridal titles in the floral department, as well as related magazine displays in the garden and craft departments.

While presenting the innovation award, Leach noted the integration of H-E-B's magazine and book plan into overall plans for the chain, as well as its promotion of new authors and consumer-focused category management.

Meijer was recognized for its aggressive coverage of all opportunities for the magazine and book category. "Meijer shows effective checkout design and display solutions including 37 stores with cigarette corrals," said presenter Jay Wysong, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Distribution Services, Inc. Delray Beach, Fla.

For promotional program best practices, Kroger, Cincinnati, was recognized for the creation of a holiday resource center that featured crafts and recipes for the holiday season and included a custom header card with Kroger recipe cards.

Presenter, Drew Wintemberg, executive vice president, Time Warner Retail Sales and Marketing, New York, highlighted the need to make magazine and book marketing a year-round effort that includes the entire supply chain, and to facilitate customer choice and ease of selection. "We are in the fight of our lives against other categories. The only way we will win long term is if we work together," Wintemberg said.

TAGS: Kroger