Retail deliveries are done through a network of 220 independent contractors operating from the 23 branches. The distribution cycle commences on a Monday to be done by Wednesday, however priority outlets like Airports, C N A’s and Exclusive Books stores at the bigger branches receive stock on a Sunday. This ensures that new stock reaches shelves on time and it creates the capacity for secondary deliveries if required.
Contractors are incentivised by a commission paid on sales, because the task of getting product accepted at the back door (after listings have been put in place) rests squarely on their shoulders.
Specialised (niche) Distribution
- Due to the vast number of niche publications and the ever-increasing amount of more specialised retailers, RNA has entered into partnership with Ezweni Magazine Distribution cc.
- Ezweni’s principal focus is on sourcing, developing and maintaining niche outlets with special needs. These retailers cannot be handled in the same way as the bigger groups and need personalised attention and deliveries suited to their needs.
- One example of a niche outlet that is being very successfully managed by Ezweni is Incredible Connection.
- RNA supplies Ezweni with the required copies to service their clients. They are responsible for their own allocations and deliveries.
Distribution into Africa
- RNA supplies magazines to other African countries via local agencies. Countries include Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya, Mozambique, Malawi and Mauritius. RNA has their own branch in Namibia and supplies to Swaziland and Lesotho from Nelspruit and Bloemfontein respectively.
RNA has two well-established Distribution Centres in Cape Town and Johannesburg responsible for the bulk receiving, re-packaging and transporting of all products. They are all situated in close proximity to major printing factories, airports, harbours and railway stations to ensure fast, efficient handling. Each DC has the capacity to dispatch stock directly to branches or via the Johannesburg DC.
A third point of despatch operates from the CTP Gravure printing factory in Durban and handles most titles with large volume print runs, among others most of the Caxton magazines. Finishing is done by the printers before the first trucks leave by Thursday.
RNA makes use of numerous local transport companies, to collect and deliver magazines. Vehicle sizes range from 32 ton Superlink tautliners to smaller configured eight ton vehicles. Continuous relationship building leads to a smooth and timeous delivery.
The Cape Town DC manages all international brands as well as local titles printed at CTP Web, Paarl Post and a few smaller printers in Cape Town. The premises has been adapted to accommodate containers received directly from the harbour. In addition to its normal responsibilities, this DC also offers a finishing service that handles price stickering, all promotional labelling and repacking for promotions like 2 for 1 packs.
The Johannesburg DC is situated next to RNA Head Office and handles all publications printed in Gauteng as well as shipments from Cape Town and Durban. Some finishing can be done by this DC
- The Merchandising team mainly looks after the availability and visibility of magazines at store level.
- The team looks after the top 30% of all outlets, generating about 80% of the RNA turnover, with the biggest focus high density urban areas.
- The team has substantial knowledge of the products distributed by RNA and is constantly supplied with information about the latest trends, ABC figures and any information facilitating their relationships with store managers when it comes to negotiating for the best possible placement of the RNA products in store and on shelf.
- The merchandising team assist the retail stores in the layout of their magazines and ensuring the magazine are merchandised in the correct category to make it more visible and appealing for the customers.
- The merchandising team assists with the execution of all promotions at branch level.
- They are also tasked with the checking of stock levels (supported with sales figures acquired from retail) to feed back any shortages or requests for re-supplies to the Branch Manager.
- The department constantly works with stand manufacturers to come up with fresh ideas and new display units, which then has to be sold into retail.
Marketing & Promotions
- The RNA Marketing department has built strong relationships with retailers by seeing buyers and category managers regularly and by supplying them with market-related information to keep them up to date with magazine trends and ABC figures.
- Business reviews are held quarterly to re-evaluate the magazine category by removing non-performing brands and opening up shelf space for new and existing titles.
- The Marketing team functions as the liaison between RNA and the retail groups. We endeavour to do whatever possible to present every publisher's best interest while at the same time ensuring that the best interest of RNA and the retail group is looked after.
- Presenting new products and negotiating the acceptance and listing of these products
- Monitoring of sales and trends.
- Negotiating trading terms and discounts.
- Negotiating for exclusive promotional floor space and placement of promotional units in retail.
- Assisting the finance department in maintaining price catalogues for various retail groups and in resolving account queries and outstanding payments.
- Informing retail about category performance and trends while feeding retail information and trends back to RNA.
- The on sale and off sale data from both local and international departments is compiled and communicated to retail.
- Monitoring of allocations done to retail by the product managers to ensure that it matches the listings.
- The RNA Promotions Department manages all RNA promotional stands, in conjunction with the Merchandising team who is tasked to action the promotions at store level.
- Constant contact with local and international Publishers – either directly or via the Portfolio Manager / Product Manager – is crucial to ensure assistance is given to all Publishers who wish to promote their brands.
- A close relationship with RNA Marketing facilitates the implementation of new concepts in retail, and a monthly meeting with the C N A Marketing Team constantly drives promotions via this key newsstand agent.
- The Department arranges the printing of point of sale material and distributes it to the applicable RNA branches in time for the promotion.
- The Department also deals with all administration regarding ordering and payment in conjunction with the Finance Department.
- All shows and exhibitions (like the Cape Town Book Fair and Decorex) are managed by this team.
- New concepts are always sourced to keep promotions fresh and eye-catching.
- RNA now also offers some digital marketing on social media channels, via web letters and press releases to applicable online publications.
- The Marketforce account is handled by the International Liaison Manager, together with a dedicated Portfolio Manager and two Product Managers.
- The Portfolio Manager has the following responsibilities (always in conjunction with the International Liaison Manager):
- Establish allocation and distribution strategies.
- Identify and monitor retail footprint and explore promotional opportunities.
- Agree performance targets and efficiencies with the MF representative.
- Advise and manage print orders.
- Always act on behalf of the publisher.
- Liaise with the RNA marketing department to manage retail listings.
- Liaise with the RNA promotions department to arrange retail promotions.
- Work with product managers to ensure the correct allocations process.
- Monitoring and reporting sales performances to publishers and product managers, and adjusting strategies accordingly.
- Maintain clear and regular communication with the Marketforce representative and / or publisher to ensure expectations are met.
- Allocating all copies of the negotiated print order according to agreed strategies ensuring good coverage of the potential market, but mindful of not over- or undersupplying outlets. (Allocations are done utilising RNA’s own product management system MAGMA, together with DNAP.)
- Allocations are done according to the sales history of the title, or in the case of a new title, the history of a similar title in the category. However, new outlets are canvassed on an on going basis to make sure the footprint covers potentially lucrative selling points.
- Allocations are always done with promotions, seasonality or special events in mind.
- On sale dates are monitored carefully to compensate for late shipments.
- On and off sale information is put together on a weekly basis and sent to all retailers. This makes it easier for retailers like C N A, stocking a vast number of titles, to keep track of new issues are landing on shelf and assists in the alleviation of late returns. The list also goes to the RNA DC’s with clear instructions regarding the finishing of imported products.
- The Product Managers work closely with the Portfolio Manager to establish print orders and share sales trends.
RNA Subscriptions Department handles the complete fulfilment of subscription magazine copies on behalf of our publishers.
- We currently handle subscriptions for over 40 local magazine titles as well as over 300 top selling international titles.
- We provide an excellent contact centre solution that effectively handles the fulfilment of existing subscriptions, together with a sales team that targets new subscribers.
- Our skilled staff provides a seamless interaction with various subscribers, providing every subscriber with the very highest level of service.
Subscription services include:
- Providing of a telephonic contact centre service – both inbound and outbound.
- Responding to all written and telephonic subscription enquiries.
- Offering of an after-hours “call me back” service.
- Sending out of renewal letters via email and post, as well as telephonic reminders.
- Mailing of magazine subscription copies - both locally and worldwide.
- Providing the facility of an online shopping cart; where electronic payments for subscriptions are accepted.
- Providing of a dedicated email address, fax number and SMS number for subscription enquiries.
- Providing various payments (credit card, monthly debit orders and direct deposits) on behalf of the publisher.
- Providing of monthly reports detailing subscription movements, feedback from subscribers, source effectiveness, renewal percentages and many other important statistics that are helpful in taking action to increasing subscriptions.
- Providing a full ABC (Audit Bureau of Circulations) audit trail.
- The ability to send out mass communications (email or SMS) to subscribers.
- Bagging of labelling of magazines if required.
- The ability to accommodate promotional inserts into subscription magazine copies.
- Address verification via the South African Post Office twice a year to eliminate invalid addresses.
For more information please visit our subscription website
RNA Entertainment was setup in 2010 to specifically cater to the distribution needs on behalf of record labels and film studios within the local entertainment sector. The principal focus is to provide a fully comprehensive solution to the industry which includes warehousing, stock management, the processing of orders, financial management (debtors), reworks and the distribution to retail and independent outlets. Leveraging off the strength and proven track record of RNA’s existing distribution network resulted in RNA becoming a competitive player in a field traditionally dominated by one entity.
The current client base includes:
- Next Entertainment who manages the MGM and Fox studios in South Africa and who recently acquired the Dreamworks studio, Next distributes ± 4500 products and holds approximately R8.5 mil in stock.
- Sony Music Entertainment, the most recent acquisition. Sony joined RNA in Aug 2011 and is the second largest record label in South Africa. Sony’s portfolio consists of both international artists as well as some of the most prominent and successful south African artist. Currently distribution entails ± 13 500 items with a stock holding in excess of R12 million.
To strengthen the CTP group’s position in the entertainment sector, investments were made in both the printing of “paper parts” (sleeves and booklets for CD and DVD covers) via House of Print and the replication and manufacturing of CD’s and DVD’s through CTP Digital Services. Once again offering a “one stop solution” within the CTP stable.