A Store To Go With That Newspaper

The nation’s top-selling newspaper is making headlines in convenience stores this week after announcing that it’s opening a convenience store called USA Today Travel Zone at three airports across the country.

The first USA Today Travel Zone opened Sept. 17 in the North Terminal at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, though two more openings will soon follow – one at LaGuardia Airport later this year and one at Indianapolis Airport in November, the company said.

The USA Today stores are the first retail operations to be opened by the newspaper brand.

The stores are full-service concepts that will carry a number of products for travelers, including reading materials, sundries, travel accessories and other convenience items.

The Detroit location will include a Caribou Coffee kiosk with grab-and-go snacks and coffee drinks.

USA Today representatives said the store will be visually appealing and easy to navigate, with sections of the store being clearly identified by using colors reflective of USA Today’s signature newspaper sections: News (blue), Money (green), Sports (red) and Life (purple).

Additionally, USA Today’s iconic infographic, Custom Snapshots, will be incorporated in the decor of each retail location, creating a fun and memorable shopping experience.

"USA Today is synonymous with travel and convenience," said Christy Hartsell, director of brand licensing for USA Today. "USA Today Travel Zone stores create a new opportunity for travelers to get the news and information they need when away from home."

The new stores have been developed by HDS Retail under a licensing agreement, and they’ll be operated by HDS Retail as well. HDS is the world’s largest travel retailer with more than 4,000 stores in 18 countries.

"HDS Retail knows certain brands connect with specific consumers and USA Today aligns very well with HDS’ target audience," said Gerry Savaria, president and CEO of HDS Retail North America. "USA Today wanted to create an extension for their brand and HDS is well-suited to help grow the USA Today Travel Zone concept."

USA Today said the concept is the latest addition to its expanding brand portfolio. Through a series of licensing agreements, the brand has launched several new products in 2008, including USA Today Crosswords for Nintendo DS; Election 2008, USA Today Txtpert by Namco; USA Today Crosswords/QuickCross for mobile devices; a multi-puzzle calendar; and more than 20 books.

In 2007, the newspaper brand introduced USA Today Readers reading glasses, sudoku magazines, calendars and seven book titles. Published by Gannett, the newspaper itself is one of the most widely read worldwide, with total average circulation of 2.3 million each day.

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