Home' Local Media Today : March 2005 Contents MARCH 2005
starting March 1. The two main contacts
at NSA for the Mervyn's account are
Rebecca Reilly (630 729-7641) and Julie
Portelli (630 729-7619).
John Casey from Ace Hardware present-
ed next. The vast majority of Ace stores
are independently owned. These owners
are your customers. Ace Corporate offers
support but the decisions are made by the
local store owners. Ace offers 90 differ-
ent preprints for the local stores to buy.
The core Ace circular is 8-12 pages and
runs 18-24 times a year, primarily
Sunday with late week publish days
being second. They advise newspapers to
evaluate how many Ace stores are in your
market and develop a rate structure. Have
one rep deal with the entire group of
stores. They can maximize their efforts
by combining forces (preprints are cus-
tomized with each store name/address
listed in the 3-5 miles surrounding their
store). Smaller stores may run once a
month and the largest stores will run
every week. Ace is in a major growth
mode. By 2009, they expect to open
1,100 new stores. Ace has four national
programs running February, May,
September and November usually dealing
with lawn & garden, paint and
seasonal/holiday items. They don't view
Lowes and The Home Depot as major
competitors. They feel they compliment
the big box stores. Consumers go to Ace
since it is around the corner and they
know they will receive good customer
service. They operate as the local hard-
ware store and offer different
products/services. A SNA member from
Princeton, NJ shared a major success
story. After meeting with John at the
SNA Toronto conference, she went back
and met with the Ace Hardware owners
in her market. Within a matter of weeks,
they signed them to a 52 week preprint
Craig Desens, Chief Operating Officer,
Newspaper Services of America, updated
members on recent changes at NSA and
also on the Sears/K-Mart situation.
Craig is in charge of the SPM division in
addition to his duties as COO. Jeff
Haines is the new president of Alliance
Media and he has a strong merchandizing
background. Dave Walker is in charge of
new business and also the Coldwell
Banker account. Some general trends
that NSA is noticing include: more
involvement from the CFO level in the
retailer's advertising buying process,
awareness from the recent circulation
scandals and the hiring of more market-
ing executives from the broadcast side
than the newspaper side. Many have not
grown up with the appreciation that
newspaper advertising can bring to the
table. As far as Sears/K-Mart goes, the
merger is expected to close in March. No
one knows for sure what the new plans
will be. It was announced that Sears
Essentials are being launched in 24 of
the 59 stores that they purchased from K-
Mart last year. These will be smaller for-
mat stores (80,000 -- 100,000 square
feet). For now, it's business as usual.
Both retailers are major newspaper users
and enjoy strong brand names so this
should bode well for our industry.
Chris Cope and Jason Hicks from
American Communications Group were
next. ACG is a print media management
company; a niche company with concen-
tration on print media. 95% of their
clients are retailers. Their largest client is
JC Penney. They handle their contracts,
negotiations and ad placements. It is a
budget in excess of $200 million. They
are different from their competitors in
that they aren't hired to cut distribution
and they don't ask newspapers for a com-
mission. The client pays them. In addi-
tion to JC Penney, some of the other 20
retailers represented by ACG include:
Tower Records, Petco, Dollar Tree
Stores and many regional retailers in
the California market. They have been
in business since 1987 and have 50
employees. Petco is their newest account.
They are a heavy shared mail user. They
have 700 locations and run 10-15
times/year. Gary Nelson is the marketing
manager for this account. They operate a
proprietary database called Media
Mentor. It is vital for SNA members to
make sure their information is in this
database and updated.
The next meeting featured Jessie
Solomon, President, NSA Media. The
Toys R Us schedule is not finalized yet
for 2005 but it is very close. The compa-
ny is up for sale and may be purchased
by some senior managers with financial
backing. The merger between Sports
Authority and Gart's Sporting Goods
is still not complete. NSA did place all
advertising for both companies in 2004.
Bank of America is now being handled
by NSA (only for newspaper buying).
Their ad agency is still making the media
decisions but Jessie feels that they may
be called on to offer assistance. This may
be a good opportunity for SNA members.
Pier One has struggled lately. Their tele-
vision advertising campaigns have not
worked and they just changed creative
agencies. Pier One has a new advertising
campaign breaking in March. Value City
is showing negative comparable sales.
Value City is still trying to figure out who
their core customers are. Research has
shown heavy Hispanic customer base, but
they continue to focus their advertising
towards "soccer moms." Local store
managers have input. Demos are higher
than you might think.
Tom Bolger, Director of Media for
Michaels finished this
busy day of meetings.
They have 850 stores with
45 in Canada. They oper-
ate in all states except
Hawaii and Wyoming.
Sales in 2004 topped $3.4
billion. 99% of their budg-
et goes into newspapers.
They are very coupon ori-
ented -- 25% of their busi-
ness is coupon-driven.
They use 750 newspapers.
The fastest growing cate-
gory is knitting. Sales of
yarn are well over prior
years. In second place is scrap booking
with seasonal items coming in third.
Every store has a classroom. By teach-
ing consumers how to use the crafts, they
will return to purchase the necessary
material needed. In 2005 they will open
50 new stores and relocate 15-20.
Michael's is the world's largest custom
framer. 12-15% of their distribution is
with TMC's. They tested TMC's with
coupons and found their redemption to be
much lower than their core products.
Their three main competitors are Jo Ann
Stores, Hobby Lobby and AC Moore.
92% of their customers are women. Other
important factors are kids in the house-
hold (for school projects and holiday dec-
orating). Their average sale is $19-$20.
Their stores are almost always in the sub-
urbs but next week they are opening a
store in Queens, NY. This might start an
urban push depending on the outcome.
Michaels is primarily a Sunday advertis-
er. Preprints are placed in markets based
on zip/postal code surveys that measure
where their sales are coming from. They
look to get a 80-90% market saturation,
using paid Sunday first and then turning
to other media as needed to reach that
For more information about any of these
retailers, contact SNA headquarters at
(888) 486-2466. Special thanks to the
SCAN network (Suburban Classified
Advertising Network) for sponsoring
these valuable and informative meetings.
As always, the meetings and meals were
provided at no charge to SNA members.
continued from page 12
Jason Hicks from American Communications Group talks with
Cary Gill of Patuxent Publishing about the Petco account.
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