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UKROP'S LAUNCHES CUSTOM HEALTH MAGAZINE

RICHMOND, Va. -- Ukrop's Super Markets here has debuted Ukrop's Magazine -- a 48-page full-color glossy that focuses on whole-health topics. Rodale Press, Emmaus, Pa., produced the publication, which hit the retailer's shelves several weeks ago.Currently a biannual, the 8-by-10.5-inch light-stock magazine is mailed to Valued Customer cardholders. It is also free to all consumers, available in the

RICHMOND, Va. -- Ukrop's Super Markets here has debuted Ukrop's Magazine -- a 48-page full-color glossy that focuses on whole-health topics. Rodale Press, Emmaus, Pa., produced the publication, which hit the retailer's shelves several weeks ago.

Currently a biannual, the 8-by-10.5-inch light-stock magazine is mailed to Valued Customer cardholders. It is also free to all consumers, available in the chain's 27 stores either on the pharmacy counter or on customer service counters, according to Mike Gillen, corporate director, retail sales at Rodale. Ukrop's officials could not be reached for comment.

Describing the magazine as "a private label custom publication," Gillen said 200,000 copies were printed and shipped to Ukrop's on November 1.

Editorial in the premiere issue covers holiday fare to news on healthy living. The "Ukrop's" logo appears as the cover masthead with a picture of a Valued Customer card. Headlines like "Stop Your Next Cold Now!" and "Holiday Superfoods That Heal" appear on the cover of the Fall/Winter 1999 issue. Gillen said that depending on this "test" issue, the magazine might be published more frequently in the future.

According to Gillen, the magazine and partnership is "the first venture of its kind that we've gotten involved in with a retailer." Gillen said that other chains have expressed interest in a similar private label magazine. "None that I can mention but, basically, it's tying into our whole-health Rodale Academy -- chains that are focused on whole health or the self-care movement." The first Rodale Academy was held exclusively for Ukrop's staff earlier this year. It brought Rodale editors together to explain to Ukrup's staff how best to communicate the whole-health message to their customers. Referring to Ukrop's new publication, Gillen added, "We're going to offer this as another way for retailers to educate their consumers and their staff." Publications also can be topic-specific, he said. Ukrop's has expressed an interest in having "a booklet strictly on diabetes" produced.

In addition to targeting Ukrop's Valued Customer club members, Rodale cross-referenced its own [Prevention Magazine] subscribers in the Ukrop's Market area and let them know Ukrop's has the health publication available in stores, said Gillen.

The signature of Robert Ukrop, president and chief operating officer of Ukrop's, appears below a welcome letter that describes the purpose of the magazine on page 1. Beginning with "Welcome to the first issue of Ukrop's Magazine," the letter goes on to explain that the partnership and the magazine are a result of the first Rodale Academy. The letter also describes whole health as a "philosophy that uses nutrition, exercise, diet and body care to maintain good health."

Full-page photos accompany soup recipes. Advertisements featuring McCormick spices, Tylenol and V8 appear, in addition to Rodale and Ukrop's promotions. A schedule of in-store "wellness days" appears inside the front cover and a stick figure named "Sunny" -- representing the retailer -- appears throughout the magazine.