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February 25, 2020

Publishing News

Good Housekeeping Sees 1200% Spike in Ecommerce Revs
MediaPost: "Good Housekeeping has built a solid digital foundation for its 134-year-old brand as an editorial authority in the women’s magazines sphere.In December 2019, the magazine's website reported an increase in traffic of 104% year-over-year and broke its own search traffic record eight times during the entire year.Across ecommerce, Good Housekeeping has made huge strides, experiencing a 1200% increase in revenue between February 2019 and December 2019.These gains are the result of an aggressive digital growth strategy around search for product reviews and gift guides implemented over the past year.“At the end of the day, what’s really key for us is understanding what our brand stands for, or what our audience looks for,” Jane Francisco, Good Housekeeping EIC-editorial director, Hearst Women’s Lifestyle Group, said... The concept that centers GH: “Home is the place where you get ready to face the world, where you invite your friends and family, where you take care of your own family and where you express your creativity whether through cooking, design or decorating. That has been a guiding principle for us in how we create content,” said Francisco.The digital execution of this principle followed the integration of the print and digital Good Housekeeping teams, focused on digital first.“One of the great things about this brand: The type of content that works really well for us in the video and digital space is the same type of content that works really well in the magazine,” Lauren Matthews, group digital dontent director, Good Housekeeping, said. “It’s not trying to speak to the two different audiences or trying to create two different types of content.”Across those teams, Good Housekeeping counts scientists at its Good Housekeeping Institute, in-house writers and editors, functional and editorial experts and a data team. Since integrating, it has doubled its content output, resulting in traffic increases across every vertical.Matthews noted Good Housekeeping’s ecommerce success is a result of its traffic success.“The biggest growth we’ve had in the last year was in search traffic,” Matthews said. “We look at it as an opportunity to know when our readers have questions, and we want to be able to offer them solutions.”Through the support of its SEO team, Good Housekeeping developed a strategy around keyword opportunities, focusing on search intent behind product review keywords.Capitalizing on its search advantage, the team updated 45 gift stories and created over 70 new gift guides over the holidays. Currently, the Good Housekeeping team is creating more gift guides for men — 30% of its online audience — and teen guides. They’ve also worked closely with the Institute to steer what they’re testing toward popular search topics.The brand attributes around 85% of its affiliate revenue to organic search.To further support its digital and search success, Good Housekeeping hired its first SEO editor, Juliana LaBianca, in October 2019 to help the brand’s editorial insights team with strategy development and implementation. She also focuses on growing and improving content.Looking toward 2020, Francisco and Matthews are excited about Good Housekeeping’s video push lead by John Gara, supervising video producer. “We have a new team that started in late fall and already they’ve gotten some great momentum,” said Francisco.The brand is also focused on its newsletter strategy. Up next month: a daily spring cleaning challenge from Good Housekeeping delivered through a new organizing specific newsletter"...

Entertainment Weekly Names Mike Fisher VP, Publisher
MediaPost: "Entertainment Weeklyhas tapped Mike Fisher as its vice president and publisher, the outlet announced today.Fisher, who directed sales and marketing development at EW earlier in his career, joins the brand from Apple, where he's led marketing initiatives as head of publisher partnerships marketing. In his new role at EW, Fisher will lead the sales staff while focusing on the development of multiplatform programs to grow revenue and business. The marketing and events teams are also slated to work with Fisher to create experiential initiatives.During his career, Fisher spent time at Conde Nast, serving as director of sales and marketing at Vanity Fair, executive director of network sales and corporate partnerships and vice president of revenue and Chief Industry Officer. In the last role, Fisher led sales and marketing initiatives across all Conde Nast magazine brands.Fisher begins his new post March 23, reporting to Carey Witmer, EVP-group publisher of Meredith’s People Entertainment Group. Last summer, EW became a monthly title with the intent to invest more deeply in At the time, Henry Goldblatt stepped down as EIC and JD Heyman was promoted to the post. Heyman had previously served as deputy editor of People."

Bloomberg, Principal Financial Group Team For Sponsored Room
MediaPost: "Bloomberg Media is launching an immersive experience called the “Principal Room,” part of a multiplatform integrated sponsorship with financial services company Principal Financial Group. The custom-built Principal Room will serve as a lounge for Bloomberg’s on-air guest, business leaders and experts, inside Bloomberg Television’s broadcast facilities at the company's headquarters in New York City. The room contains Principal-branded decor and design elements in the brand's colors, as well as large, HD monitor screens with Principal Financial Group imagery and messaging.“Combining organic branding moments with custom design and messaging creates a powerful platform to drive awareness for our partners,” stated Stephen Colvin, global head of marketing and advertising for Bloomberg Media. “The Principal Room will serve as a catalyst for leadership conversations and allows Principal to seamlessly integrate within the fabric of our trusted global news brand.”

Time, Nickelodeon Launch 'Kid of the Year'
Variety: "Nickelodeon and Time will launch a “Kid of the Year” honor, a year-long effort that will include a TV special simulcast on both Nickelodeon and CBS, each part of ViacomCBS. Trevor Noah, the host of “The Daily Show” on the company’s Comedy Central, will host the proceedings, which will recognize five young people judged to be making a positive impact in their communities. Time will feature a “Kid of the year:” in both Time and Time for Kids. As part of the program, each of the honorees will be offered the chance to work as kid reporters for Time For Kid,s with exclusive access to Nickelodeon events throughout the year.Details on the nomination and submission process for the awards will be announced at a later date.“This special will showcase real kids’ achievements in a fun, unique way, and we are thrilled to extend its reach significantly further by simulcasting it on CBS, which is the most watched broadcast network,” said Rob Bagshaw, Nickelodeon’s executive vice president of unscripted content, in a prepared statement.Nickelodeon has created several awards initiatives in the past, including its annual Kids Choice Awards (a sports-centered version launched in 2014).The TV special will shine a spotlight on five standout kids who have worked to shift culture and inspire others, culminating, with one kid being recognized as Kid of the Year. The special will also feature stars from entertainment, sports and pop culture surprising the honorees, as well as musical performances"...

Playboy Enterprises Restructures Under PEI Holdings
MediaPost: "In a restructuring that will see its brands umbrella themselves under new consumer categories, Playboy Enterprises is restructuring under a parent company called PEI Holdings.The new categories include sexual wellness, apparel and accessories, home and hospitality, and beauty and skincare. The newly named company will act as owner, incubator and investor for a portfolio of brands, while looking to product development, marketing and distribution infrastructure to bolster new and existing brands."Establishing a holding company allows us to take advantage of the tremendous power of the Playboy brand to serve as a platform to launch and nurture other brands," said Ben Kohn, CEO of PEI Holdings and CEO of Playboy Enterprises.With the restructuring, PEI Holdings announced it had acquired online intimates retailer Yandy as it expands it direct-to-consumer product sales and ecommerce capabilities. Yandy, whose audience is largely female and U.S.-based, claims fulfillment of more than 50,000 monthly orders"...

Paul Hamrock, Former Businessweek CD, Dies at 80
Paul Hamrock, a longtime circulation director for Businessweek who also served as a president of Distripress, and was a member of the 25 Year Club, died in Canton, Mass. on February 22 at the age of 80. A native of Boston, Hamrock is survived by two sons and two sisters. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Thursday, February 27th at 12:30 PM at St. Clare Church, 1244 Liberty St., Braintree. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Paul’s name to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215 or to Tea Town Lake Reservation, 1600 Spring Valley Rd., Ossining, NY 10562.


Retail News

Amazon Opens Cashierless Grocery Store
SN: "Taking its Amazon Go “Just Walk Out” retail technology to the next level, Amazon on Tuesday opened its first Amazon Go Grocery in its hometown of Seattle.The newest concept from Amazon is a small-format supermarket offering fresh meat and produce, local favorites, ready-to-go meals and traditional groceries to shoppers with the cashierless convenience the company created for its Amazon Go grab-and-go stores. The 25 smaller Go stores are currently in areas including Seattle, New York, Chicago and San Francisco. Amazon Go Grocery uses the same technology as those stores: an array of cameras and sensors that detect which products customers pick up off the shelves. Customers scan a code from the Amazon Go app when entering the store, shop and then walk out as the app charges their credit cards and sends a receipt.However, in an interview with The Verge, Dilip Kumar, Amazon’s vice president of physical retail and technology, noted, “This is not a bigger Amazon Go store. It’s a separate format. We worked backwards from what constitutes a neighborhood grocery store.” For instance, he noted, “We have a section for pet food, household items, health and personal care, oral care, skin care. ”Nor is it intended to be competitive with Whole Foods, Kumar told The Verge. “Customers shop in many different ways, in many different locations. Sometimes you want it to be delivered, sometimes you go to the store, sometimes you go to Whole Foods. Our job is to be able to figure out how to add value.“Because the customer has different needs... and different things that they look for at different stores, what is it we can we do here in this type of format in this neighborhood to add value? That to me is the selection we carry, the pricing we have — plus the convenience of just being able to walk out.” According to the company, Amazon Go Grocery shoppers will find everyday ingredients and essentials on their shopping list, along with ready-made meals to help make dinner tonight easier"...

New NGA Head Sees 'Tremendous Opportunities" for Indie Grocers
Excerpts from an SN Q&A with new National Grocers Association president/CEO Greg Ferrara: "I'm very bullish on independents. Our industry is obviously going through change. But change is good sometimes, and that's important to remember. As the marketplace continues to change independents are going to be really well-positioned to take advantage of that. They are the ones that have diverse stores. They have formats that are not cookie-cutter. They are unique and well-positioned to serve the communities they are in. They are nimble and able to diversify the product mix based on the store location, as opposed to a national chain approach where everything has to be the same standard set.So I think there are tremendous opportunities, and customers are looking for that. Customers are looking for local; they are looking for main street. They're looking for that unique experience, and independents can take advantage of that. I'm really excited about the future... A lot of independents are already positioned for those markets. Their stores are right-sized for the neighborhoods that they're in, for the most part. And I think that's great. What's neat about NGA is that we define independents by ownership, so we have a very diverse community of retailers. We have single-store operators. We have multi-store operators with five, 10, 15, 20 stores. And we have a large number of members that have 100-plus stores.We’ve seen some of those companies continue to grow, and NGA has been helpful and supportive of that. And then we've had other members that have come into the organization, including some regional operators, and said, ‘Hey, we might be large by some standards. But you guys are doing a really good job in serving private businesses, and we want to be part of your community.’ So we've been really excited about that growth and bringing in new people into the organization. And our numbers reflect that"...

Target Now in Top 10 for Online Sales
TechCrunch: "Target’s investments in store remodels, same-day delivery and drive-up services are paying off. The retailer, which used to rank No. 11 in U.S. e-commerce sales, is now forecast to jump three spots to break into the top 10 list as the No. 8 retailer, according to a new report from analyst firm eMarketer. This puts Target ahead of declining businesses QVC and Qurate Retail Group (HSN’s owner), as well as No. 9 Costco and No. 10 Macy’s, the new forecast says. The top 10 are Amazon (38.7% of US ecommerce sales); Walmart (5.3%); eBay (4.7%); Apple (3.7%); Home Depot (1.7%); Wayfair (1.5%); Best Buy (1.3%); Target (1.2%); Costco (1.2%) and Macy's (1.1%).

Will Recruiting Challenges Slow Grocery's Digital Transformation?
RetailWire: "According to McKinsey’s study, “Digital Disruption At The Grocery Store,” recruiting digital talent will be a major hurdle for grocers as consumers increasingly adopt home delivery and omnichannel options such as curbside pickup in the years ahead.Large technology companies and tech start-ups, according to the study, continue to have first dibs on graduating data scientists, tech engineers and other specialists. McKinsey wrote in the study, “We believe that is a major issue, since digital talent may be the single most important determinant of a company’s likelihood to succeed in the grocery market in the next few years.” The study noted that while retaining and training existing talent should be emphasized, several additional steps can be taken to better compete with Silicon Valley for talent'...


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