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Islander Group steps in to keep magazines in stock


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POSTED: Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Islander Group Inc. has stepped up to fill pukas in magazine racks left when Tennessee-based Anderson News LLC abruptly shut down last month.

Companies you have never heard of have been fighting over shattered pieces of the magazine distribution business, but you likely have heard of Islander Group. You may own many things delivered to the retailer from whence said stuff was purchased.

“;Hawaii's largest book distribution company will be partnering with the nation's largest magazine distributor to handle all the distribution needs”; for magazine titles in Hawaii, said Jeff Swartz, Islander Group president.

Upon hearing of the demise of Anderson, a national magazine wholesaler and distributor, Islander Group contacted Canada-based the News Group LP to facilitate connections to publishers it sought to represent. Additionally, News Group has “;national contracts with a couple chains,”; for which Islander Group can act as its Hawaii agent, Swartz said.

Swartz anticipates handling 500 to 600 titles for Hawaii.

“;In all cases, product can be pulled, packed, shipped and merchandised right here in Hawaii.”;

The Mililani-based company already has a statewide sales force that calls on most of the retailers that will need new magazines delivered and old ones carted off.

Its shipping costs will rise “;significantly,”; but it will be incrementally, rather than “;from ground zero,”; Swartz said.

Islander Group is purchasing new vehicles and material handling equipment and is hiring additional drivers, said Swartz.

“;We're really excited about the opportunity to keep jobs here in Hawaii.”;

Anderson “;had a virtual monopoly”; on magazine distribution in Hawaii, said Brian Melzack, owner of Bestsellers Books & Music.

The racks of retailers sent scrambling by Anderson's demise are at “;about 80 percent,”; but will fill out as more get back into the rotation for deliveries, he said.