After I posted this photo of a sign at a Fort Worth-area Dollar Tree store, one of my Facebook friends wrote on my wall:
I’m no Circulation Director, but… shouldn’t the S-T be delivering MORE papers there? Buy as many as you want, people!
I asked Star-Telegram circulation operations director Keith Vick about that, and he told me he’s tried to get more papers into the store. The store manager, he says, doesn’t want them.
“We talked to her. We said, ‘What kind of marketing plan is this?’ I’ll take a thousand papers to that store if they need them.”
Vick continues: “She just said, ‘I don’t want to mess with this.’ We’ve talked about pulling out of the store to teach them a lesson,” and force them to deal with customer complaints about not having the paper.
I talked to employees at three other Fort Worth-area Dollar Tree stores and they told me that the 3-papers-per-customer edict came from company headquarters in Chesapeake, VA. (I’ve put a call into their media-relations department.)
One employee told me his store had been selling “20 to 30 papers at a time” per customer because of the coupons.
The manager of the Ridgmar Mall Dollar Tree said:
I get maybe 40 Sunday papers and I have customers here at 9:15 or 9:30, and I don’t open until 10. They’ll get 10 or 15 of them, I’m going to say for the coupons.
She added that customers sometimes leave the news sections behind.