September 1, 2005, 12:00 AM

Internet Retailer Continues Its Expansion

Our aim is lofty indeed and guided by a clear long-term vision for our publishing enterprise: to establish the largest and most credible magazine, e-mail newsletter, directory and conference in the entire retailing industry.

By Jack Love

To achieve excellence in an endeavor, you must aim high. At Internet Retailer, our aim is lofty indeed and guided by a clear long-term vision for our publishing enterprise: to establish the largest and most credible magazine, e-mail newsletter, directory and conference in the entire retailing industry. During the summer, we have made some important strides toward this goal which I would like to share with you.

Editorial Resources: Our magazine is known for its objective and comprehensive journalistic coverage of the web-based retailing industry, and that is achieved only through a major commitment to editorial resources. We increased our editorial investment in July by hiring on a full-time basis Mark Brohan, the part-time editorial consultant we relied on to research and write the Top 400 Guide, which each year profiles and ranks America`s largest web retailers based on their annual online sales. Mark will contribute regularly to Internet Retailer`s editorial content and edit our fourth and latest weekly edition of IRNewsLink--the Top 400 Watch--which each Wednesday reports on all developments related to the 400 largest e-retailing businesses that account for 54% of online retail sales in the U.S. The first edition of the Top 400 Watch was published July 20. Mark`s addition brings to five the number of full-time editors on the Internet Retailer team.

Circulation Development: We make no secret about our goal to have the largest direct-request, qualified and BPA-audited subscriber base of any trade publication aimed at the retailing market. Our 2006 Media Kit, copies of which are being distributed this month to advertisers, contains our newest BPA Circulation Statement for the six-month period ended June 30, 2005. It reports an average qualified, direct-request circulation of 36,621 for the first six months of the year, up from an average of 35,047 for the prior six months. I advise all advertisers seeking to reach the broadest range of retail chains, catalogers, and web-based and other direct merchants to carefully compare our statement with the audited circulation statements of competing magazines, because I`m confident ours will win that analysis. Our new Media Kit also reports that our e-mail newsletter--IRNewsLink--has increased its average circulation to 35,000, up from the 28,000 level we reported just a year ago. Meanwhile, traffic to our web site (InternetRetailer.com) also hit a new high in June with 365,000 visits, an increase of 54% from the prior June. It takes a substantial marketing investment to achieve this type of circulation growth and market penetration, and we are extremely aggressive on that front as well.

Investment in Conferences: Last June we held our first conference, the Internet Retailer 2005 Conference & Exhibition, which became the largest show in e-retailing by attracting 1,140 total attendees. Soon afterward, we began planning an even more ambitious Internet Retailer show for next June 5-7 in Chicago. Our goal for IR2006 is to draw more than 2,000 attendees and host more than 150 exhibits, the largest exhibition of e-retailing solutions in the history of this business. To help us achieve that goal, we have hired Eileen O`Neill as our full-time Conference Coordinator, promoted Steve Rogers from Classified Sales Manager to Exhibition Coordinator, and hired Michelle Suchomel to replace Steve in classified sales.

If you`re wondering how we spent our summer, I can tell you it wasn`t on the golf course or at the beach.

Jack Love, Publisher

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