Magazines and Books at Retail (MBR) Conference Canada Takeaways

…”one of the best yet!”
… “valuable shopper insights”… “

These are just a few of the comments that came out of the recent Magazine and Books at Retail (MBR) conference in Toronto on October 23. The conference packed in some powerhouse speakers who had real value to offer.

Dr. Dave Williams, astronaut, aquanaut, pilot, surgeon, CEO and author of Defying Limits: Lessons from the Edge of the Universe, was so inspiring with the message that we all want to make a difference and we just need to step up to do it. Jeff McNulty, Vice President at Presse Commerce spoke passionately about how magazines continue to take a central role at their retail stores and how they are important to consumers. Amar Sing from Kantar Retail provided some valuable insights into the Canadian retail landscape.
So many nuggets of information and value provided that we could write a book. (or at least a lengthy paper). However, we know people are busy, so here are the Industry Action Group’s Top 5:

Magazines are still very important to retail
It was great to see that magazines are still very important and relevant to retailers in Canada. This was evident in listening to Jeff McNulty of Presse Commerce and looking at the pictures of the winners of the IAG Retailer of the Year Awards. Retailers appreciate recognition of their efforts. The category responds when there is a supportive supply chain and engaged retailer. And yes, category has legs but it requires attention. We as an industry have a publicity issue. Magazines and books, must find a way to celebrate and publicize their successes.

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Canada and English Language Magazines, Really Eh?

Geographically, Canada has a larger land mass than the United States, however the reverse is true in terms of population density. Canada hosts 10% of the entire North American population, with 36.4 million people country-wide, but produces 12.8% of the English language sales on the newsstand! This becomes even more impressive when you add in the fact that French is the mother-tongue of about 22.3% of the Canadian population or about 7 million Canadians. The majority of the French language population reside in the province of Quebec and of that 7 million, 4.5 million only speak French and as such are not consumers of English language magazines!