Sainbury’s has some Front

26 Jun

Sainsbury’s has hit its feud with lads’ mag Front on the head by finally agreeing to put it back on the shelves of its supermarkets as of next month.

For years it (hypocritically) shunned Front for its commercial mix of BFG (booze, fashion and girls), but had no problem with putting FHM, Zoo and Nuts through the tills, providing the girls’ were covered.

It seems ludicrous that one of the ‘big four’ supermarkets would give its rivals – Tesco, Asda and Morrisons – an easy win by failing to stock it. There may have been some complaints as to the nature of the magazine being on display, but the business’ response of taking the publication off the shelf was not the right one. A well-written notification would have been far more productive, explaining that:

… although Front may cause some offence, we have a responsibility to serve our diverse range of customers – providing them with the sought-after products and services they want…

It doesn’t matter how many wrappers Sainsbury’s package the magazines in or how high up they are, if there’s a demand for them the store should make the magazine available and accessible. I can only presume from its U-turn decision that their original approach of ignoring the situation lost customers, sales and damaged its reputation.

Newspapers and magazines are already climbing up-hill to maintain readers in a digital world. For them to survive in conditions swamped with mobile phones, tablets and netbooks etc, supermarkets must play their part in supporting this important industry.

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