Death knell for circulars sounded years ago, yet they remain key to the marketing mix

Twenty years ago, Sandy Salmon, director of advertising at Staples Canada, heard retail experts predict the end of printed flyers… in 20 years. “I’m still working at Staples and I’m still doing a lot of flyers,” said Salmon.

“Believe it or not, people still like that tangible piece of paper. Our number-one complaint through customer service is, ‘I didn’t get my printed flyer…’ It’s moving towards digital, but not as fast as any of us in the business would have thought.”

In fact, most Canadians still like to read circulars the old-fashioned way. According to the 2015 BrandSpark Canadian Shopper Study, 74% of grocery shoppers said they preferred print flyers and 26% said they preferred digital flyers, an increase of 6% from 2014.

The survey found 91% of Canadians read printed flyers from grocery stores at least monthly, 81% read flyers from mass merchants such as Walmart and Costco, and 76% read flyers from drug stores.

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