Morrisons to launch first regular in-store magazine

Morrisons, the supermarket chain, is to launch its first regular in-store magazine with a distribution of one million copies.

Entitled Morrisons Magazine, the advertiser-funded publication, which will be free of charge, will be launched on 3 March across the supermarket's 375 stores in the UK.

The title's launch is part of the retailer's drive to boost sales following its multimillion-pound rebrand last year.

The 92-page magazine will be published bimonthly until the November edition. There will also be a one-off December edition before the title reverts to its bimonthly status from January 2009.

The title, which will be racked near supermarket tills, will feature a range of dietary and recipe advice, customer features and advertising from third parties.

It will not, however, initially be supported by a major above-the-line marketing campaign.

Advertising, which is being handled in-house, is understood to have been secured from fast- moving consumer goods brands, such as PepsiCo and Coca-Cola, for the first issue.

In a bid to lure further advertising, food and drink brands that are stocked in the supermarket will be encouraged to advertise in the publication through special deals.

It will be published by Result Marketing, which has published some of Morrisons' one-off customer publications in the past, such as Let's Eat Smart. Overseeing the launch is Morrisons publication manager, Jennifer Cooper.

The roll-out of the publication comes as the country's fourth-largest supermarket retailer looks to better compete against rivals, such as Tesco and Sainsbury's, and establish itself as a national brand.

Morrisons follows Tesco, Waitrose and Asda, which also offer customer magazines.

Morrisons was one of the few supermarkets to enjoy robust Christmas trading. In the 12 weeks including Christmas, its like-for-like sales jumped by 9.5%, beating rivals such as Tesco, which reported a sales dip over the period.

Morrisons' performance was partly attributed to its Christmas advertising campaign, which featured pop star Lulu and cameos from Denise Van Outen and former football international Alan Hansen.

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