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Retail Stocking Successes in a Pandemic

It is as though every single day brings a new piece of magic. Could be a lovely message on one of the many platforms now available to us. Could be efficiencizing (is that a word?) one part of the business. Could be learning something new. Could be getting a fabulous contribution from a talented artist. Could be a retailer asking to stock FOLKLIFE. Could be a beautiful order coming in. And could be one big step forward for the business. These sorts of things happen every day. Bad news happens too - that’s business - but nothing to dwell on, especially as compared to all the good from our beloved communities and from publishing professionals from afar.

These few days have been no different. We woke to several fabulous things. A good chat with editor Chuck, a good review from an important person in the publishing industry, and a phone call from Disticor, a big North American magazine distributor, who says that 'we’ve done a good job, it could do well, and he’d like to represent us'. He discussed how distribution works (a lot of learning there), that we’d basically make maybe 35% of the cover price (we knew newsstand sales made no money so we can just get a loan or something to make this growth happen haha), and what types of places they’d stock FOLKLIFE right now for covid times, and once stores are open. And finally, how about we start by shipping him a box and he’ll get it into Whole Foods for starters. Uhm WHAT?!?!?!?!

To be completely honest, Whole Foods was the end goal in our mind. The aha moment. But to START in Whole Foods??! Utterly amazing. And once open, FOLKLIFE will be on the BC Ferries (also an end goal for us), and in newsstands across North America, plus Chapters/Indigo/etc.

Stocking newsstands in closed times is tough for sure, but FOLKLIFE’s longevity of each issue is a big benefit for us, amidst others. Disticor even took the time to answer so many unrelated questions, as it is REALLY hard to get anyone familiar with magazine publishing to mentor us or just answer a question here or there along the way. Magazine publishers are super busy and some are kind of scary mean, so every chance we can get to bend someone’s ear in the industry, who doesnt think our questions are naive or scary or something we should already know, is amazing. We look forward to being able to pass along the favour one day, when we, too, know things. SO: we are excited for this next step, and hope you are too!

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