Publisher’s Letter, December 2015–January 2016: All Hail 2016!



It is truly amazing, but we are now halfway through the second decade of the 21st century! I still remember people talking about the 21st century in the ’70s as some sort of futuristic utopia.

Of course, I imagine if my 1976 self could see 2016, I’d be bowled over by revolutionary technology like the Internet and the iPhone. And indeed, while we’re not driving in hovercars or wearing Jetsonian space suits, daily life has fundamentally changed. These technology-based changes affect us at every level, including here at JCK.

In 2016, JCK will further its evolution from print to digital to align resources with current media trends and media consumption. JCK owner Reed Exhibitions has invested significantly in the redesign/relaunch of JCKOnline.com, already the industry’s “book of record” online. Simultaneously, the frequency of JCK magazine will change to seven issues per year. While JCK Online will increasingly be the industry’s source of news and information, JCK magazine will continue its evolution as a beautiful, oversized, glossy showcase for original photography, market editorial, inspirational retail images, and long-form journalism.

Despite these changes, the editorial team we all admire and trust—led by editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky—will not change. The team will remain intact and will continue to be the largest editorial team in the industry by far. The reduction in frequency of print issues corresponds directly with our increased investment online, and the increased amount of original editorial to be placed there.

JCK Online has been completely redesigned to be more on-trend with the leading online publications. Fewer links, better graphics, more white space, and a cleaner design combine to give the new JCK Online a more current look. The site is now truly responsive, with a design that adjusts for desktop, tablet, and smartphone viewing. As more and more readers visit us with their mobile devices, this new design will increase engagement dramatically.

The advertising units on JCK Online have all been enlarged and have more white space surrounding them, to provide greater impact. As the value of online advertising shifts from click-throughs to branding, these units are ideal. Our JCK Content Studio is growing in size and scope. We look forward to even more native content, sponsored by the industry’s best brands and written to help our retailer readers.

We hope you—our readers—appreciate the changes we’ve made. We also hope that our new media mix accurately reflects your use of print versus online content, the ways in which you consume online content, and the overall information needs you have to run your businesses more effectively.

January will kick off the annual travel and event season for me, so I look forward to seeing you all at the 24 Karat Club weekend of events in New York City, at the VicenzaOro show in Italy, and at the AGTA and JCK shows in Tucson!

Top: Eric, Nolen, and I wish you all a happy and healthy new year!

Smelzer photograph by Michael Falco