Better Circulation



Hy-Vee has found a new way to deliver its weekly circulars in Kansas City. Instead of placing them in the weekly food day edition of The Kansas City Star as it has done for nearly 20 years, the chain is now sending them direct mail with the help of the U.S. Postal Service and Sales Focus Inc.



According to a Hy-Vee official quoted in the Kansas City Business Journal, the move isn’t a cost-saving measure, but rather a way to make sure that ads reach customers. Sales Focus promises Hy-Vee that the circular, along with those of other retailers, will arrive in 611,000 homes each Tuesday. It will be interesting to see if Hy-Vee still feels the same way when postal rates once again increase next year.



Interestingly, in northern New Jersey, where I live, the supermarket industry took the opposite tack. Earlier this year the leading chains ditched the direct delivery routine and opted to place their circulars in The Star-Ledger every Thursday. As a Star-Ledger subscriber I think this is a great idea. Prior to this plan circulars were delivered by Advo and quite frankly the quality was hit-or-miss. Sometimes I would go for weeks without seeing a circular. I assumed either the delivery person quit or came up with the brilliant idea of dumping them in the woods or a brook somewhere while still collecting their delivery fee. 



I’d have to call A&P or ShopRite to complain. The next week I’d get a circular; sometimes my neighbors still did not. They’d arrive regularly for a few weeks and then the delivery would mysteriously stop again. At least when the circulars are being delivered with the newspaper I am assured that I am receiving the latest sales. I also find the Star-Ledger is doing a better job making sure that I get the circulars from all of the area chains, along with Sears, Kohl’s, Target, Home Depot and a few other area retailers too.      



Those households which do not subscribe to the newspaper still receive their circulars every week as well. Instead of being wrapped inside The Star-Ledger yellow bags they are encased in white ones, and thrown by the friendly Star-Ledger carriers on their walkway, lawn or in their hedges.  


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