PR Magazine

The precursors to today's PR magazines include Hotan Zasshi, published by pharmacist Morita Jihei in 1878, and Gakuto, launched by Maruzen in 1897. These magazines not only carried advertisements and catalogs for company products but also functioned as literary magazines with writing by famous authors. While PR magazines have been published by companies across a wide range of industries, they were especially important as a core sales strategy for clothing stores in the latter half of the Meiji period as they transitioned into department stores. In particular, Mitsui Gofukuten, which was among the first to extend its sales channels to remote areas, placed order forms inside its PR magazines to facilitate purchases. They aggressively pursued this method of what, today, would be called mail-order sales, and other clothing stores soon followed suit.
These PR magazines, which were very much like catalogs, uncovered latent demand among readers by suggesting new everyday lifestyles.
Part magazine and part catalog, these PR magazines initially cost money. As they became more widespread, they were eventually made available for free.

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