Eighty-four years ago this month, Godfrey Lebhar and Arnold D. Friedman published the first edition of Chain Store Age, the founding publication of our information company.
Through the Great Depression, a World War, the Korean War, the Cold War, the Vietnam War, two Gulf Wars, assorted military actions, countless economic bull and bear markets, 15 president of the United States, and myriad social revolutions, Chain Store Age came out every month with articles that served the ever-growing chain store industry. Every year we produced a profit. We still do.
But as any even casual observer of the publishing field can tell you, the printed word ain’t what it used to be. From the venerable New York Times to business magazines such as BusinessWeek, print has been under assault. Chain Store Age is no exception. Stung by an unrelenting economic tailspin, and buffeted by the Internet, advertising revenues have evaporated for many publications.
Unlike other publishers, we have been fortunate. Our objective of bringing buyers and sellers together through meaningful and actionable information on the retailing industry does not rest on the printed page alone. We have vibrant Internet and face-to-face event businesses.
This anniversary month is an appropriate time to launch the latest iteration of our mission, a digital edition of Chain Store Age.
By now you’ve probably seen some of the rationalizations advanced for digital editions. They save trees. They have other carbon-saving benefits: Snail mail consumes energy; No longer dependent on the post office, your need for information can be instantly met by downloading the issue at the beginning of each month. You’ll also be able to use keyword search tools, click on hyperlinks and e-mail addresses, and share articles with colleagues without making paper copies.
Just as the retail industry has been affected by the Internet, publishing has, too. Where once we published but one print magazine a month, today we supplement that endeavor with a Web site that updates news at least twice a day. We publish four e-newsletters, with more to come. We conduct Webinars. We’re on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You can access Chain Store Age with an RSS feed. You can get our daily news feed through Google, My Yahoo or My AOL. We blog. Indeed, we have three blogs, including a video blog from Marianne Wilson, our editor, and a blog called The Y’s Choice, the retail view from Generation Y, from our own Gen Y’er, Samantha Murphy. Through CSA TV we bring you video news from important industry functions.
Publishing is not the same from the days I began at Chain Store Age more than 30 years ago. Back then, our staff wrote almost everything we printed. Today, our Web site frequently carries guest commentaries from notable experts. We upload pictures of new stores as they arrive. Our daily stock ticker tracks public retail company performances. The CSA Composite index can be judged against the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the NASDAQ Composite and the S&P 500 Index. For employers looking for fresh talent, and executives looking for new placements, RetailCareersNow provides a wealth of opportunities. And one of the key benefits of the Internet is the ability to search our digital archives back to 1999.
This month we immerse ourselves deeper into the digital age. Join us by subscribing to our new digital edition at