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Leaflet exits: it doesn't work without print

Discussions about leaflets are more topical than ever, not least due to regular reports about the abandonment of the haptic medium. The EHI Marketing Monitor at the end of January also focussed on the change in retail advertising last year. However, the conclusion is: "The exit from paper brochures will take much longer than expected." In recent months, there has also been a move back towards the classic brochure. Similar developments are also emerging beyond Germany's borders.

It is a well-known fact that more and more retail companies have abandoned the classic print brochure in recent years - whether Mäc-Geiz, OBI, Müller or REWE. There are many reasons for this: from cost increases (e.g. paper) and sustainability to changes in user behaviour in the context of increasing digitalisation.

Some time has passed since these brochure withdrawals - what does the situation look like now? Has the OBI brochure really disappeared? No! In many regions, OBI franchisers still regularly use the brochure to communicate their offers. The discounter Mäc-Geiz has also been fully back on haptic brochures since January 2024, having only abandoned them at the beginning of 2023. And the Müller drugstore chain? Last year, it started to rely more heavily on promotions and advertising brochures again in order to increase footfall in its stores.

REWE is still sticking to its policy of phasing out brochures. However, the grocery chain continues to invest heavily in print advertising. According to the gross advertising expenditure surveyed by Nielsen, the group has increased its expenditure on print adverts by over 300% since phasing out brochures (compared to the same period last year), making it the leader in terms of advertising expenditure on printed newspapers and magazines. This clearly shows that offer communication in print media is and remains a revenue and frequency driver - especially in the current inflationary times.

And how has the topic developed beyond Germany's borders? Although, according to a recent study by the European Letterbox Marketing Association (ELMA), the total volume of flyers in Europe is declining overall, there are also developments in the opposite direction. We at MEDIA Central have been active in the Czech Republic and Poland for over 10 years and support numerous customers there with their leaflet distribution. Our Polish customers in particular - including OBI, Action, Rossmann and ALDI - are experiencing a similar trend to that in Germany: OBI Poland, for example, has also temporarily abandoned leaflets, but continues to use local distribution today. One particularly exciting development: since December 2023, Biedronka, Poland's largest food retailer, has been using print brochures regularly and in larger print runs to communicate its offers, relying on MEDIA Central to do so.

So could we be talking about a comeback of the print brochure? In any case, it can be said that whether in Germany or other European countries, the print brochure has never really gone away and will not disappear any time soon. It is and will remain a popular and important part of the media mix. Ultimately, the right targeting of brochures and an intelligent, data-based media mix are important for successful offer communication. Every location has its own requirements and challenges that need to be taken into account during distribution. In the MEDIA Central Group, we bundle our 360-degree expertise for this: from the classic print business and unique geo-intelligence to the digital expertise of Offerista and ShopFully and the use of current study data from Yagora (e.g. on advertising effectiveness). This makes us your decisive partner - in Germany and throughout Europe.


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