I am told that a reason for the increase in supply of Bauer magazine titles to newsagents beyond what is justifiable in the sales data has its roots in a change in how allocations are managed for these titles.
ACP Magazines used to do their own allocations for ACP titles and had done so for many years – closely aligning supply to net sales. Undersupply was a common complaint by newsagents for ACP titles.
Since the Bauer takeover of ACP, I am told there has been a structural change affecting supply allocation. They have split circulation management into two areas, separating the circulation manager from those analysing sales data. Circulation reports to finance. This change sees less focus on sales data and it is this that is resulting in newsagents receiving a significant increase in supply of Bauer magazine titles.
If my information is right and these changes have occurred at Bauer and they are feeding the consequences we are experiencing in our newsagencies then we as a channel need to consider a plan of action. Oversupply at the current level is commercially unfair to newsagents.
Newsagents who are not in the elite Connections Emerald group have to return full copies of unsold stock most of the time. This acts as a penalty on oversupply, taking cash from businesses as a result of an action over which they have no control.
With the staffing changes at Bauer it is no wonder people from inside and recently departed from the company are talking.