Target makes the scene with a magazine

You know how it is when you take a trip to Target: You’re going to buy just that ONE THING that you need, and you’re going to keep it cheap. As you leave the store, you wonder how you dropped hundreds of dollars on things that you didn’t realize you needed until you walked into the store.

Target is hoping to spawn a similar phenomenon on its website, where it has begun offering a magazine newsstand. Rather than starting from scratch, it has signed on Zinio, a digital publishing company that offers magazines and books from more than 350 publishers.

Zinio will sell electronic versions of magazines on a page on Target’s website, either as single editions of current and older issues, or as annual subscriptions – usually at a discount. People can read them in a Web browser version or through an application that Zinio offers for download. This is similar to what they’ve done on other websites, like the one operated by Barnes & Noble.

Yes, you can already look at online versions of magazines, Zinio Chief Executive Richard Maggiotto said in an interview. This is different, however, he said: “It’s a high-fidelity, robust magazine.” In other words, these titles, ranging from Elle to Woman’s Day to Seventeen, are meant to look — if not feel — like the print magazines they are replacing. Zinio and Target will share the revenue they get from each sale.

Maggiotto declined to reveal specific goals, but said that he would be happy to see 1,000 or more new subscriptions (a month) come in during the first year of the Target partnership. So far, he said, Zinio sees about 60 percent of its magazine sales coming from archival or current issue sales, and about 40 percent from subscriptions.

Frankfurt Motor Show tickets going once… going twice…

Some say the Frankfurt Motor Show, which started on Sept. 15, has lost a bit of its lustre amid the crisis that has hit the global car industry with an economic baseball bat. But there are still people out there who are willing to shell out the big bucks to go see the new car launches. One lucky bidder, identified only as i
l on paid 158 euros ($232) for two tickets to get into the car show today, days before other mortals are allowed to pass through the big white doors leading into the halls of the show. There are 150 separate auctions for tickets to the car show, with sale prices starting at 7 euros for tickets valid on the days that are open to the public, which start on Sept. 19. So it looks like there are still plenty of people out there who are just wild about cars even though the government has to pay tightfisted consumers to buy a new one with their cash for clunkers programme. Would you pay that much to get a glimpse of  what the automotive industry has in store before others can?

from Shop Talk:

Whole Foods CEO healthcare Op-Ed spurs boycott

wholefoodsMaybe Whole Foods Chief Executive John Mackey should stay away from the keyboard and stick to selling gourmet groceries.******The CEO's recent opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal suggested alternatives to healthcare proposals being batted around in the nation's capital.******Among other things, he asserted that healthcare is not a right and called for "less government control and more individual empowerment."******His view got some of the chain's historically liberal customers so hot under the collar that they have threatened to go elsewhere for their organic apples.******The company's own healthcare reform forum has more than 14,000 posts. Twitter users are opining on the subject.******And the Boycott Whole Foods group on Facebook, which has attracted more than 20,000 members, is planning to picket stores in Washington, D.C. and the company's hometown of Austin, Texas, on Friday.******According to the Facebook group, which also dings the company for not having unions, Mackey is "suggesting that healthcare is a commodity that only the rich, like him, deserve."******In his own blog, published shortly after the editorial ran, Mackey pinned some of the blame on changes made by those darn headline editors.******"I wrote this Op/Ed piece called simply 'Health Care Reform.' An editor at the Journal rewrote the headline to call it 'Whole Foods Alternative to Obamacare,' which led to antagonistic feelings by many."******He continued: "While I am in favor of health care reform, Whole Foods Market as a company has no official position on the issue."******This isn't the first time Mackey, the scribe, has caused a flap.******For several years ending in 2006, Mackey used the pseudonym "rahobed" on Yahoo Finance stock forums to talk up Whole Foods shares and his performance as CEO. He also trash talked competitors like Wild Oats. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigated for nearly a year but eventually ruled out any action.******Whole Foods acquired Wild Oats in 2007 and just recently settled an antitrust case with the same federal government that Mackey says should keep its hands off healthcare.******(Photo/Reuters)

from Shop Talk:

Howard Schultz wakes up and smells the media

 Perhaps he woke up one day and smelled his own coffee shops struggling in the weak economy. So, schultz2Starbucks Corp Chief Executive Howard Schultz is waking up to a fresh brew by percolating new business in the media world.

Starbucks has become the official naming sponsor of CNBC's "Morning Joe" television show. The move is a throwback to the 1950s, when television programs were underwritten by manufacturers ranging from soap to cigarettes, and it comes as traditional advertising dollars are shrinking for publishers, television networks and other ad-reliant businesses. 

Schultz, who has made his own headlines over the years, also is an investor in, a celebrity news blog based in Los Angeles, through Maveron, a venture capital firm he co-founded with Dan Levitan.

from Shop Talk:

L.A. keeps on (taco) truckin’!

kogi211Meet Kogi, L.A.'s newest celebrity.

It's not a buxom starlet or a hunky leading man, it's a Korean-themed taco truck that sells things like Korean short rib tacos to home-made ice cream sandwiches and daily specials.

In a city where taco trucks are as ubiquitous as New York City's hot dog vendors, Kogi has used technology lure fans.

kogi111It has a website, a few Facebook fan pages and diners can track its every move on Twitter.