The sales of all weekly magazines declined in the first three months of 2014 the latest circulation audit reports. The results marsh what I reported in the newsagency sales benchmark report earlier this week except that in my benchmark I get down to a store level and see some newsagents bucking the trend.
Zoo Weekly dropping 36% has to be a concern not only for the title but the lads mags genre. That’s Life dropped 5% while Take 5 dropped 7.4%.New Idea dropped 4.1% while Woman’s Day dropped 5.5%. OK! dropped 16.3% while Who dropped 7%. Famous dropped 21.8% while NW dropped 16.7%. The Famous result notwithstanding, Pacific Magazines would have to be happy in these head to head competitive situations with Bauer.
In my own newsagency weekly magazine sales for the same quarter were up 4%, giving this business an eight percentage point break ahead of the average for weekly magazines. Warning as I’m about to toot my own horn. My result against the average shows that I am doing something right since my weekly magazine performance is ahead of the newsagency traffic result and ahead of other measures. Specifically, there are things I am doing with and for weeklies that is working well for them and magazines overall where my unit sales are up 11% year on year.
I am certain that other newsagents doing what I do with magazines and in the business overall as obsessively as I do it could achieve a similar result.
Newsagents can grow magazine sales. While some titles and some issues of some titles respond better than others there are moves we can make at the store level that grow our sales.
While I leverage some national campaigns by publishers, I rely more on what I do in store. I obsess about it because for the next few years at least magazines are vitally important to the traffic plan for my business.