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Home > Topics & Tools > Audience & Circulation > Single-Copy Strategies > Merchandiser of the Year

Tony Mineart Merchandiser of the Year Awards

UPDATE: Winners have been announced!

 

4 Learn more about this year's winners 

4 Learn about winners from past years

Each year, the Newspaper Association of America honors retailers that have demonstrated a long-term cooperative effort to sell and market newspapers in their stores, and who model the industry's cutting-edge approach to single-copy promotions, with the Tony Mineart Merchandiser of the Year Awards.

The rewards are many. For example, newspapers will receive personalized letters of recognition and press releases to share with the retailer, as well as great promotional ideas for future partnerships compiled from other nominations.

Judges look for retailers that are open to ideas such as co-promotions, newspaper-specific promotional marketing programs, and the retailer that does the best overall and ongoing job of promoting newspapers in its stores.

In the past, winners have been judged in areas such as product promotion, creative, sales and overall results for the newspaper and the retailer. Several other newspapers were recognized for demonstrating a specific marketing expertise in display, POP, signage or out-of-the-box thinking.

These awards are given annually to retailers from the following categories: convenience stores, grocery stores, drug stores, mass merchandisers, restaurants and other nontraditional retail outlets. The NAA Single Copy Committee reviews nominations and selects the final winners.

2012 Winners Announced

Home Depot was recognized as a newspaper partner for the first time in this year’s NAA’s Merchandiser of the Year awards program. Dunkin’ Donuts, Circle K, and Hy-Vee are winners of category awards in this annual program honoring retailer-newspaper collaborations. RaceTrac was recognized for its close partnership and a unique program with the Dallas Morning News surrounding the presidential elections. Each retailer earned national distinction based upon successful partnerships with local daily newspapers in retailing newspapers and increasing store traffic.

GAS AND CONVENIENCE

Circle K partnered with the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer in a “Great Gas Giveaway” promotion geared toward readers’ concerns about gas prices. More than 40 local Circle K stores participated in the event, which was a prime example of a successful promotion where both partners devoted resources and the relationship turned out measurable results. The newspaper contributed store signs, drop-off boxes, buttons for cashiers, in-paper and online promotion while Circle K contributed prizes and encouraged store personnel to support the effort at the point of sale and with key positioning of displays.

DINING

Dunkin’ Donuts was recognized for co-sponsorship of a market-wide “Pink Donut” promotion designed to coincide with Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Asbury Park Press started with 38 stores that sell the paper year-round, and increased to 89 participating stores when the program launched October 1. Each time a customer purchased the paper they received a pink donut, courtesy of Dunkin' Donuts. The partnership included Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and a portion of the single-copy sales were donated to the foundation. Sinage promoted the pink donut program, and included a message about breast-cancer awareness and Susan G. Komen. The newspaper ran a thank-you ad at the end of the program, sales were up throughout the event and all the participating stores agreed to continue sales through Thanksgiving weekend. This was the second year for this promotion, and all the franchisee owners from 2011 participated again in 2012.

GROCERY

Hy-Vee is one of the fastest growing chains in the midwest, and has maintained an outstanding relationship for many years with The Des Moines Register. Hy-Vee is the newspaper’s largest advertiser and has the highest circulation sales in terms of the grocery segment. Together, they continue to move forward in new initiatives to increase newspaper sales and store traffic. Most recently, the newspaper responded and introduced a Hy-Vee Sunday roll-away cart to be positioned in pre-checkout lanes. Each cart is branded with the Hy-Vee logo and accommodates custom signage. The newspaper’s staff worked with each individual store manager to increase store traffic and reinforce Hy-Vee brand awareness and support of local promotions. The store directors have been very supportive with the new pre-checkout program and the effort has increased in-store newspaper sales by 20 percent, along with store traffic.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Home Depot is a new single-copy retail partner with the Chicago Tribune. The main objective of the Home Depot promotional partnership was to create a new revenue stream for the retailer while increasing the Sunday Chicago Tribune circulation.

After months of cooperative planning, the two partners launched a newspaper sales program on September 8, 2012. The Sunday Chicago Tribune edition became available for purchase at 61 Home Depot locations throughout the Chicago area, retailing at the full cover price of $1.99.

Sales increased consistently during the first few months. The newspaper provided in-paper promotions, in-store signage and displays, while Home Depot provided the Chicago Tribune with display space at the front entrance of each location. The prime positioning allowed consumers to see the Sunday newspaper rack at the point of entrance. Since the launch, the partnership has included a Halloween bag promotion and consistent meetings to monitor the partnership. Home Depot has long been a vital advertising client of Chicago Tribune. As a result of the new partnership, the relationship with Home Depot and Chicago Tribune has strengthened.

MOST INNOVATIVE

RaceTrac was recognized for its close partnership and a unique program with The Dallas Morning News surrounding the presidential elections. The promotion capitalized on the 2012 presidential election, and the proven high demand for newspapers commemorating the election of Barack Obama. The Dallas Morning News partnered exclusively with RaceTrac allowing their 90+ Dallas-Fort Worth locations to be the destination retailer for all pre-sold editions ordered from the website. As the partners had done in previous promotions, The Dallas Morning News and RaceTrac focused on the consistent availability of the newspaper to drive sales of both the impulse and long-term customer.

For the presidential election pre-sale promotion, RaceTrac allowed their brand/logo to be placed on the newspaper's website as well as in in-papers ads, Twitter, Facebook and e-mail blasts to help promote the program. RaceTrac also allowed The Dallas Morning News to place point-of-purchase materials on all in-store displays as well as displaying ordering information next to their registers. During the implementation of this program, and successful program to increase Sunday sales, both parties agree they have strengthened a mutually beneficial partnership.

About the Tony Mineart Newspaper Merchandiser of the Year Awards

NAA renamed this honor for Tony Mineart to recognize his dedication to the newspaper industry, as well as his leadership in fostering expertise in newspaper merchandising and growing readership. Mineart helped conceive and launch the award program in 2001.

The judging panel that selected these outstanding partnerships was comprised of newspaper marketing executives from NAA-member publications throughout the country. Judges chose category winners from dozens of nominations submitted by individual newspapers.

Partnerships recognized in this awards program all yielded positive results for the retailers as well as the newspapers. In each case, the promotional program was supported by effective newspaper advertising designed to drive readers into stores, along with distinctive point-of-sale materials and eye-catching merchandising displays. All of these promotions resulted in significant increases in single-copy sales and store traffic, plus additional revenue for the participating stores.

NAA will profile the winners and many of the finalists, along with details about their local newspaper partnerships, in an upcoming series of articles and as a part of a publication for NAA-member newspapers featuring the best single-copy success stories.

Last Updated: May 14, 2013
First Published: December 08, 2011