Tyler Brûlé Of Monocle Fame To Magazine & Book Retailers: “Cut The ‘Digital Transformation’ Bullshit.”

November 1, 2018

In the November 2018 issue of Monocle magazine, Tyler Brûlé, the magazine’s editor in chief, “wants to know why (book and magazine) retailers insist on watering down their print offering — literally — and has a few ideas about what they can do to turn it around.”

Call it a cry from the heart or a call to action, Tyler Brûlé’s sensible and dare I say, spot-on advice should resonate with every magazine and book retail manager at any store, big or small, chain or indy. If more publishers and editors follow Tyler Brûlé’s approach, I am willing to bet that we will see a reverse in the trend of shrinking retail space for the many great magazines and books that are out there.

So, without any further ado, here are Tyler Brûlé’s five thoughts on “what’s the industry to do?”

1. Cut the “digital transformation” bullshit. We’re in the business of selling print so let’s not dress it up as something else.

2. Follow the lead of the luxury-goods industry and improve the overall retail experience – less strip lighting and bargain bins and more wooden shelves and lamps.

3. Surprise the consumer with an exciting offer. This might be stating the obvious, but the offer is so dumbed down that there’s little reason to visit most kiosks.

4. Airport and rail-station operators need to seize the cultural high ground and not pack concourses with Subways and Starbucks. Consumers need intellectual nourishment – give it to them. Demand more of tenants.

5. Move away from the idea that people on the go only want to read from screens. Sure, a mobile device is part of our daily news diet, but there is a drive to move our eyes back to paper.

Thank you Tyler Brûlé.

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