A distributor issue that has left many magazine stands empty at the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) stores is in the process of being fixed, officials with AAFES told me last week. Magazines should return to the stores later this month, they said.
If you frequent one of 215 AAFES locations in 14 states that had a magazine distributor problem recently, you've probably seen a sign like this one found at the Fort Campbell, Ky. Exchange:
AAFES officials said the issue was caused when Source Interlink, their distributor for Fort Campbell and 214 other stores, went out of business.
"Retailers rely on wholesalers to distribute magazines and books from their warehouses to stores. As newsstand sales have dramatically declined over the last few years, many distributors have gone out of business. Source Interlink was the latest to cease operations, resulting in a lapse in delivery of magazines to retailers throughout the country, including the Exchange," they said. "The Exchange is working with newly contracted distributors to restore the delivery process of books and magazines. Shelves are expected to be in stock at most Exchanges the week of August 18."
This is just the latest interruption in AAFES magazines and books for both that company and the commissary. In 2009 the Exchange's primary distributor, Anderson News, ceased operations. In 2012 commissary officials decided to eliminate overseas magazine sales entirely thanks to the rising cost of shipping. And in July of last year AAFES announced that they would not longer be stocking over 890 magazine titles, including 90 titles from newsstands, including Playboy and the Saturday Evening Post, because of poor sales.