Your Thursday Flyer Bundle: Going, Going, Gone?

May 9, 2014 - 10:35am Updated: May 9, 2014 - 1:37pm

The days of receiving a pile of printed flyers on your doorstep may be numbered. In March, Canadian retailer Sports Chek ran a two week test and switched entirely to online flyers from its heavily-circulated print advertising flyers. Sports Chek is a wholly owned subsidiary of Canadian Tire.

Sport Chek’s two week experiment that saw it forego traditional flyers resulted in an in-store sales rise of 12 per cent and sales of the specific items promoted in the circular up 23% from a year earlier the company reported.

The shift to online flyers from traditional print circulators could save the retailer millions of dollars. A growing array of merchants are vowing to reduce their print flyers; Canadian Tire distributes about 11 million weekly.

Duncan Fulton, chief marketing officer at Canadian Tire’s FGL sports division, said Sport Chek, which spends about $20-million annually on print flyer advertising, could shave those costs by 20 to 40 per cent by moving to a digital flyer. Fulton told The Globe and Mail it will do more digital tests this year, and if they continue to be successful, Sport Chek will reduce print circulars by 25 per cent in 2015 and scale back “a large majority” of them by 2016, he said. Fulton stated "Eighty per cent of our customers are under 40, only 37 per cent read flyers, and the large majority interact regularly with a digital screen,"

Mr. Fulton emphasized that parent company Canadian Tire, which spends more than $100-million a year on flyers, isn’t close to doing away with them “any time soon … But one day it will be insane to remember the days that we put out 11 million pieces of paper to advertise offers, given where digital is going today.”

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