Going Out of Print

This article is contributed by Debra Johnson.

In case you are not aware, print media is on its way out. Those magazines and newspapers that used to be the foundation of businesses everywhere are now going the way of the dinosaurs – extinct. They are not going down alone, however. Those small magazine shops that once populated malls and strip centers are closing their doors, taking the owner’s hopes and dreams with them.

vintage magazine shop in soho london

Magazine Store Closes in Kitsilano

Take, for example, Kent McKenzie’s Vancouver magazine store, Does Your Mother Know. Through the past thirteen years, McKenzie and his business partner Dennis Topp built Does Your Mother Know into an adored neighborhood hangout, but sales have plunged as social media and online content have soared.

“It’s a different world than it was 13 years ago,” McKenzie said, “Not everybody had a computer.”

Sales of celebrity gossip magazines such as People and Us have fallen radically as customers get their news instead off of websites like TMZ.com.

“It’s no longer viable. It just can’t work,” McKenzie said. “All around, sales are down.”

Even sales of conventional glossy magazines such as Cosmopolitan and Glamour have fallen by more than half, McKenzie said.

“The smaller, independently owned neighborhood magazine store might be in trouble,” said Kate White, associate professor of marketing at the Sauder School of Business at the University of B.C.

Customers nowadays are receiving their entertainment news from instantaneous social media sources instead of waiting a week for print magazines, and when they do frequent physical stores, they are more likely to frequent volume sellers such as grocery chains or airport kiosks with a captive audience. The chain stores have a leg up on the competition as well with deep discount pricing.

So, another segment of mom and pop stores have been hit by the age of instant access and discount pricing. Now, McKenzie and his partner have to find some other way to make a living.

“It was exciting. It was an adventure. You couldn’t make a lot, but could pay the bills,” said McKenzie, “I’ve made so many friends. This is like a bar, a local bar, only nobody’s drinking. It’s part of the community, it really is. I’ve got people actually welling up in tears.”

Could internet marketing have saved his store? Maybe not, but it might have helped. It has long been understood that diversification is the first step towards keeping a business afloat during hard times. If McKenzie and company had invested in the technology that eventually brought them down, do you think their story would have ended differently? Or, in fact, never ended at all?

Original Source Article: B.C’s magazine stores casualty to online media.

Author Bio:  Debra Johnson is a blogger and editor of full time nanny. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: – jdebra84 @ gmail.com.

Image Credit: Courtesy of Mark Hillary via Flickr

Enhanced by Zemanta