MARKETFORCE AND WHSMITH JOIN TO TRANSFORM MAGAZINE SALES

Marketforce, the UK's leading magazine distribution company, and WHSmith High Street, the UK's leading magazine range retailer, have rolled-out a ground breaking initiative that will transform the way WHSmith ranges and merchandises magazines. Throughout the summer, WHSmith's 535 stores are switching from selling magazine ranges linked to store size to individual ranges that Marketforce has tailored to suit each store's sales profile and its shoppers. To further drive magazine sales, Marketforce has planned how each store can best display its magazines, which the store will implement using pictorial step-by-step guides. The stores will also receive supporting point of sale material to promote their new tailored range. Christina Hartley, Marketforce marketing services director, says: "This initiative is truly ground breaking and the investment from both WHSmith and Marketforce demonstrates a real commitment to growing the magazine category. The launch of the project has involved collaboration across the industry, including wholesalers and distributors, and I'm confident it will drive sales and efficiencies within WHSmith's magazine business." In 2005, WHSmith identified the need to put shoppers' magazine preferences at the heart of its magazines strategy and appointed Marketforce to implement this unique initiative. It has been in development for more than 18 months, seeing a 10-strong Marketforce team set up in WHSmith's headquarters in Swindon, with further analyst and supply chain support from Marketforce in London. The project was trialed for 10 months in 18 WHSmith stores nationwide. -ends- Editors' Notes: Marketforce is a world class newstrade sales, marketing and distribution company and the single largest distributor of magazines in the UK. It boasts an unrivalled portfolio of magazines and newstrade products, which gives it a market-leading share of some of the UK's biggest magazine market sectors. As well as being responsible for ensuring IPC Media's titles are on sale in the right place at the right time, Marketforce also provides a full range of independent services for an expanding list of titles published by blue-chip independent companies, including Hachette Filipacchi, Reed Business Information, Future Publishing and Archant Media. For further information contact Victoria Higham, senior press officer Tel: 020 3148 5401 or email victoria­_higham@ipcmedia.com For high-res cover images go to www.ipcmedia.com/press/imagebank.php