I remember back 15 years or so ago, when visionaries proclaimed we’d all be living paperless lives by now. At that time, I could see it happening for some, but not for me. Well, I’ve been proven a prophet myself by the latest survey on Food Store Flyers. And what I see on my doorstep every week…
I thought it might just be my imagination, or an illusion. But I’ve been thinking, for the past year or so, that while newspapers are shrinking, the stack of flyers that comes with them every week is growing. I was right.
The Retail Council of Canada’s latest report shows that supermarket chains are still relying heavily on paper advertising in spite of the predictions that shoppers in the developed world would be relying heavily on electronic flyers and other digital advertising methods by now. I’ve always said that older people, in particular – the over 50s – will always prefer information they can hold in their hands over something that flashes on a screen one minute and is gone the next.
On Thursday, the daily paper is almost reduced to the status of an insert in the Flyer stack. Flyers make up four-fifths of the substance of the combined bundle. It is Food Store Flyers Day! Also, Pharmacies and related personal goods such as cosmetics and home health care products.
Are you seeing what I’m seeing?
One food store flyer I received last Thursday was 14 pages long in full colour. That’s no small cost to print and distribute. But, since the stores keep sending them, I must assume the effort to push paper to our doorsteps is paying them a handsome return on the investment. And here are at least seven supermarkets thus represented every week.
And this is not counting the doubles and triples. Some weeks we get the same bundle of Food Store flyers twice or even three times over, once in the daily paper, again in the neighbourhood weekly and, sometimes again in a bundle of flyers with no newspaper of any kind involved.
Why a paper flyer flood only in the Supermarket sector?
Simply, flyers work for the Supermarket Sector. Toronto marketing research firm Brandspark says 91 per cent of Canadians read at least one Supermarket flyer every week. And supermarkets see sales spikes for specials featured in their flyers. That proves they work.
What of the future?
The Retail Council says paper flyers could all but disappear in the next five years as consumers and retailers migrate to the electronic means. But I predict that paper flyers will persist at least until everybody who is 50 or older today dies off before paper advertising can be dispensed with all together.
~ Maggie J.