New Magazine Gets Wal-Mart’s OK

Jun 26, 2003

By George Anderson

Right on the heels of its decision to ban and cover up a number of titles deemed too racy for its customers, Wal-Mart has approved a new wholesome family magazine for distribution in 1,500 of its stores.

Mignonne Wright, founder, editor and publisher of American Magazine told The Associated Press, “It was just such a natural fit. When I think of a Wal-Mart customer and I think of our readers, they’re one and the same. We worry about our families, we have kids with soccer games – and we shop at Wal-Mart.”

American Magazine made its way to Wal-Mart’s shelves in an unconventional fashion. Distributors told Ms. Wright it would take months before deciding if they would handle her new magazine, so she went directly to Wal-Mart.

She described her first meeting with Wal-Mart. “We had a very detailed version of what the magazine was going to be and a whole lot of enthusiasm. They had a lot of questions. They wanted to know if it was family oriented and what we meant by that.”

Wal-Mart agreed to test American Magazine in 500 stores. After two issues, the publication’s rollout increased to 1,500 stores. Barnes & Noble and Borders have also agreed to put the magazine published every other month on sale.

It is estimated 15 percent of all newsstand sales in the US are done in Wal-Mart stores.

Moderator’s Comment: What is your reaction to the display
of power demonstrated by Wal-Mart in the case of American Magazine?

The distributors who pooh-poohed Ms. Wright’s magazine
have got to be feeling queasy. Wal-Mart has skipped the middleman, something
it does better than any other, to give American Magazine its start.

Anderson – Moderator

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