One-Stop Shopping: Growing Children's Book Sales at Target, Walmart, Costco, Toys R’ Us and Beyond (Tara Catogge, ReaderLink)

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Tara Catogge heads the marketing efforts of the leading supplier of books to non-traditional book markets, including department, grocery and drugstores, as well as all the major mass merchants. Children’s books are the fastest growth category for mass retailers, particularly as parents move away from traditional bookstore shopping.


Tara is at the forefront of this shift, tackling the challenges of converting general shoppers to book buyers. She has developed some keen, data-driven insights into the kinds of displays, categories, and content shoppers respond to most, and she will help children’s publishers understand how they can continue to grow this increasingly critical channel for print sales.

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  • Combined these retailers have 48,000 store fronts in the US and over 9,000,000 shoppers per day in their stores.
  • Books compete with corn flakes and bug sprayReaderLink manages the most comprehensive, relevant, and profitable bestseller program through a proprietary Title Information Planning System (TIPS) and buying expertise. Planogram title assortments are created based on space to sales analysis down to the fixture, shelf and facing level
  • One-Stop Shopping: Growing Children's Book Sales at Target, Walmart, Costco, Toys R’ Us and Beyond (Tara Catogge, ReaderLink)

    1. 1. Tara Catogge, SVP Marketing
    2. 2. ABOUT READERLINK ReaderLink is the LARGEST DOMESTIC FULL-SERVICE DISTRIBUTOR of hardcover, trade and paperback books to non-trade channel booksellers  Sells 1 out of every 4 trade books sold in the USA.  Diverse customer base includes Online Retailers, Mass Merchants, Clubs, Grocery, Drugstore, Specialty, Department Store, Airports and Military base locations  ReaderLink ships to over 23,000 non-traditional book retail locations weekly  1600 part-time merchandisers that work RDS shipments as well as product for other suppliers in and out of the book departments  Three distribution centers spanning 20 acres of distribution space capable of serving 90% of the U.S. within 2 business days. 2 1
    3. 3. ABOUT OUR CUSTOMERS Quick Stats      Services all leading mass, club, grocery and drug accounts Retail customers account for 65% of U.S. retail GDP Over 275 million shoppers per week 1% – 2.5% in-store book purchase conversion rate Customers make up 20% of physical trade book market 2
    4. 4. All Mass Retailers Have Space Planning Requirements  There are 2 major change overs per year for “in-line” product with promo space and endcaps changed out weekly/monthly.  Assortment “tweaks” are done twice a year in May and October to catch title expansions, drop ins and MTIs  License trends and media event schedules dictate out of department placement where books compete with general merchandise Presentation to RD January line review August line review Titles Arrive at RDS September/October January/February 3
    5. 5. PLAN-O-GRAM REAL ESTATE—PRE-K PRODUCT An average 28’ at a mass merchant account includes 4’ Seuss & Flex, 8’ Baby Toddler, 4’ soft license, 4’ girls licensed, 4’ boys licensed, 4’ hard boy (i.e. LEGO, Skylanders, and Marvel). Picturebooks only have 2 shelves as part of the autograph program. Licensed product dominates in limited space 4
    6. 6. CATEGORY EXAMPLE: YOUNG ADULT Across its retail partners, ReaderLink sold over 8,100,000 UNITS of Young Adult titles last year  Total outbound units exceeded 8.8M  Top 20 average ship quantity 122K  The average ship quantity per title is 10K  Purchased 880 YA titles last 12 months  Total sell through: 86.5% 33% BOOKSCAN MARKET SHARE! Top 20 Young Adult titles alone sold 2.5M UNITS, with 100% sell-through. 95
    7. 7. CATEGORY EXAMPLE: CHILDRENS PICTURE/BOARD/NOVELTY Across its retail partners, ReaderLink sold over 33,000,000 UNITS of kids titles last year  Total outbound units just under 44,000,000  Top 1500 average unit ship quantity 18,000  The average units shipped per title is 7,000  Purchased 6,600 kids titles last 12 months that sold 100 or more units POS  Total sell through: 75% Est. 20% BOOKSCAN MARKET SHARE! Top 20 Kids titles alone sold 2.4M UNITS 6
    8. 8. BABY TODDLER SECTION The Baby Toddler section is the MOST PRODUCTIVE area, and equally the MOST COMPETITIVE. Formats include: • • • • • • Board Padded Board Soft Books Interactive/Novelty Sound Books Touch & Feel HMH Little Blue Truck RANKED NO. 2 RDS Children’s Business Review 7
    9. 9. Top 10 Baby Toddler in 2013 50% of the revenue of the top 200 kids titles are from board book formats 8
    10. 10. Sales of Christmas Themed Product (11/2 – 12/28) Sales up 21% over prior year! 2013 2012 9
    11. 11. License Market Share by AccountSeasonal and Major movie releases give us the biggest opportunity for out placement 5% 4% Target 5% 32% Walmart Toys R Us 9% Meijer Kmart BJ's Wholesale Kroger 16% Other 26% RDS Children’s Business Review 10
    12. 12. PREVENTING FURTHER SPACE LOSS • Overhaul sign packages so consumers can easily find what they want • Create congruence between purchasing physical and/or ebooks online and in the departments • WARNING! Unless publishers can decrease the value differential between hardcover and digital editions the mass retailers may continue to reduce shelf space 11
    13. 13. What Retailers Want From Publishers (generally speaking) 1. Commitment on in-stocks when titles are in plan-o-grams 2. Custom Editions and First to Market Opportunities 3. No Price Changes without an EAN Change 4. Support Temporary Price Reductions (TPRs) 5. Work with Licensors to get corporate support for feature shops 12
    14. 14. The Future of Books in Big Box Retail (If the past is any indication) 1. Books will remain an important margin category for retailers • • • 2. Consolidation with electronics and media Space loss is a given Big phenomenal “hits” drive conversions Kids books will gain space from adult categories as retailers can show a better value in the assortment without as much showrooming • Category is growing YOY and returns are decreasing • Young adult and young reader categories continue to grow • High impulse purchase with lower shift to online physical purchasing 3. Market consolidation has historically been good for Big Box retailers when they can show a value 13
    15. 15. questions or review samples can be directed to John Norris, Director of Product Management (708) 547-4502 jnorris@readerlink.com 14

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