Going through sizable changes

Notice anything different? After kicking the idea around for years, we’ve finally taken the plunge and changed from a tabloid to a standard size. We’ve also implemented a redesign that’s cleaner, more contemporary and enticing to help get you through the articles quickly and easily.

It wasn’t an easy decision — a major change never is. But we’re feeling the same pinch in the rising costs of postage and paper as you are. Printing a smaller-size publication will be more cost efficient, not to mention more earth friendly.

And because the other publications in the marketing group of our parent company, Penton Media, are roughly standard size, the change will enable us to comail with our sister books.

Not that it’s all about saving money. The Internet enables readers to peruse the issue online, so a key reason for the print magazine is portability: You can bring the issue where you can’t or don’t want to bring your laptop.

And let’s face it, the tabloid size isn’t easy to cart around — it will be nice to tuck Multichannel Merchant in your briefcase without mangling it.

The smaller-size format may take some getting used to — especially after 25 years as a tabloid. But just as the catalog business has changed during the past quarter century, we have changed and evolved to meet new challenges. And just as we have advised you to consider trim size and comailing opportunities, we’re practicing what we preach!

Another way we’re walking the walk: Multichannel Merchant is on Twitter. (The article “All atwitter” on page 28 explains what Twitter is and why you might consider using the service.)

Is it worthwhile for us? It’s too early to tell, but senior writer Tim Parry is monitoring our Twitter progress. We’re also looking into other Web efforts from blogs to videos.

Back to the print product: Kudos to art directors John Herr and Kate DiMarco for making the redesign process as painless as possible, and for turning out a great looking product.

I am thrilled with the result. What do you think of it?

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