The Australian Newsagency Blog, an excellent blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally posed the question "Where do customers look when browsing magazines?"
Blog comment were:
"Most magazine publishers prefer their titles to be displayed on the flat stack-the flat shelf at the base of the magazine display. It is the only place, in traditional magazine fixturing, where the whole front cover is on display. Publishers prefer this because they think this is where customers look. Newsagents regularly receive bulletins from publishers and magazine distributors asking for this location.
Some publishers even go as far as asking merchandisers to move their magazines to the flat when in-store. This creates tension in some retail situations - it is the retailer's shop after all.
Observations from newsagent owners are that the majority of customers navigate to an area of a shop by what they see at or close to eye level. Once they are in the area they want, around 70 per cent browse by what is in the fixture and 30 per cent browse by the flat stack.
While this will vary from newsagency to newsagency, it is a mistake for publishers to primarily focus on the flat stack when guiding newsagents as to product placement."
Other comments on this topic were, "I know of a newsagent in Adelaide city who won't use flat stacks. Woolworth et al make eye level space pay only. I always though flat stacking was only about high volume mags, not prominence."
Another stated, "Eye level sales are on average 84 per cent better than floor level sales. The waterfall arrangement i.e. vertical merchandised runs that you find in a typical, well run agency is ideal as a customer scans from left to right in a slightly ‘wavey' pattern until they find the item of interest. THEN they will scan vertically to find the assortment item."
Another commented, "For what it's worth, I request a flat stack from merchandisers as the image is the most important thing in travel - images sell holidays and therefore travel magazines is the thinking."
OPINION/FEEDBACK TO THE EDITOR