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The value-add purchase that drives magazine sales

Mark Fletcher
November 14th, 2017 · 30 Comments

This Pacific Magazines value-add purchase supporting several of its titles and exclusive to newsagents in the nexus marketing program is terrific. It will sell out.

There are multiple layers to the promotion we can leverage to maximise the opportunity, beyond the usual magazine focus.

There is a counter unit for pitching the amazing value Model Co. make-up products. This can bounce people to the magazine.

The there is the excellent social media collateral that is ready to use, making pitching the offer on our social media pages, something we can do in seconds rather than minutes.

The folks at Pacific have put a lot of thought into the campaign, giving us an offer that is compelling and supporting g it with materials we can leverage to make it work for us.

This is much better than asking for an aisle-end display that only leverages in-store traffic. this is the type offer that we can use to bring in new traffic or shoppers who do not shop with us frequently.

It is especially useful where one competes with supermarkets, as they will not have this offer.

I have dived right in, promoting this on Facebook and in-store, making the most of it at every touchpoint possible. I don’t often do this anymore with magzines. This offer, however, is different, well worth promoting. I want to sell out, early.


Category: magazines · newsagency marketing

30 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Amanda // Nov 14, 2017 at 8:48 PM

    Mark, how do you feel about Pacific magazines giving away subscriptions at ludicrous discounts (up to 60%) to the consumer but giving the same old 25% discount to retailers.?

    Personally I think Nexus is a tool Pacific Magazines uses to make excuses not to give newsagents a better deal.

    I would much rather get 60% discount on Who magazine than to continue the Nexus program.

    47% New Idea
    47% InStyle
    47% Men’s Health
    42% Women’s Health
    37% Better Homes & Gardens
    37% Girlfriend
    32% That’s Life
    32% Diabetic Living

    …..the list goes on.


  • 2 Mark Fletcher // Nov 14, 2017 at 8:52 PM

    Amanda I feel good. Pacific, like any publisher, needs a mix of customers for their products. Subscriptions are an important part of the mix.

    Your 25% is not a discount. It is your margin, in a sale or return model.

    Nexus is not what you say. rather it is a useful tool.

    The option you have is to not stock magazines.


  • 3 Amanda // Nov 14, 2017 at 8:57 PM

    Once upon a time you wrote articles about a 25% margin not being sufficient. Now it is?


  • 4 Mark Fletcher // Nov 14, 2017 at 9:02 PM

    Amanda, years ago in a different marketplace I think a higher margin would have been better. Today, I don’t think the case is there. Publishers are in a world of pain. The only way to get a better deal would be to do things for them that cost justify a higher margin.


  • 5 Jim // Nov 14, 2017 at 9:05 PM

    I havent promoted it. I havent sold one. Why should i? Its christmas i have gift lines with 60% margin id rather focus customer’s attention on. Pac mags can stick their lipsticks where the sun don’t shine!


  • 6 Mark Fletcher // Nov 14, 2017 at 9:07 PM

    That is a poor attitude Jim. They have invested to give you a product major competitors do not have. Your actions are costing them money. Newsagents who don’t engage and early return on this offer send Pacific the message to not try things like this in the future. Careful what you wish for.


  • 7 Amanda // Nov 14, 2017 at 9:08 PM

    The margin is there Mark. They wouldn’t be giving it away to subscribers if it weren’t.

    Do things for them that would justify a higher margin? The greatest thing that can be done for any publisher of a magazine is to give it a free shelf space to sit on so consumers have access to purchase it. There is no greater thing that could be done for any magazine or newspaper publisher.


  • 8 Mark Fletcher // Nov 14, 2017 at 9:15 PM

    Amanda unless you are publisher with their internal financial results you would not know. That they offer a considerable discount suggests to me that the number of customers getting the discount is small compared to full-freight sales.

    I think your last paragraphic is a simplistic view of magazines in retail.

    I have seen early return data for excellent issue-specific offers from a range of publishers. Newsagents are their own worst enemy.


  • 9 Jim // Nov 14, 2017 at 9:30 PM

    Who are you to decide what is an “excellent offer”? Your arrogance is astounding. My decisions are guided by profit. Nothing else enters the equation.


  • 10 Amanda // Nov 14, 2017 at 9:39 PM

    The discounts I have quoted go through the iSubscribe website. Pacific magazines run their own website Magshop. SO the iSubscribe website would need to be run at a cost and draw an income also. So there is a considerable discount / margin how ever you want to word it.


  • 11 Colin // Nov 14, 2017 at 9:40 PM


    Why not publish the early return numbers for all publications ? The reason why not is simple .. because the edifice of magazine distribution is based on hidden return numbers and inadequate margins for newsagents.

    I’m with Amanda. 25% is crap and way below what the publishers/distributors allow for other channels. Magazines are the worst return on investment, even lower than newspapers who at least need minimal space.


  • 12 Mark Fletcher // Nov 14, 2017 at 9:44 PM

    Amanda, Magshop is not run by Pacific, it is run by Bauer.

    Jim, I am someone with an opinion, as are you. You say I am arrogant. That is your call to make. I say the offer is excellent because I see the bigger picture, the competitive opportunity and based on my decades in this channel.

    Colin, newsagents usually take one stance on the topic of magazine margin, anger. 99.9% of newsagents will do nothing other than vent anger.


  • 13 Colin // Nov 14, 2017 at 9:57 PM

    “99.9% of newsagents will do nothing other than vent anger” ….so so wrong

    More likely this is the % taking action by exiting/reducing.

    No anger here, just a quiet, methodical planned exit.


  • 14 Jim // Nov 14, 2017 at 9:57 PM

    Bigger picture? Selling a $2.50 tip on for 25% margin. Its a generic product. It will not create customer loyalty. It won’t build goodwill. Decades of experience should tell you that. Perhaps you need to spend more time behind the counter than globetrotting. Just an opinion.


  • 15 Mark Fletcher // Nov 15, 2017 at 6:06 AM

    Colin, my 99.9% comment relates to this promotion. The alternative is to engage and enjoy good results.

    Jim, sorry to disappoint. My experience is different. You have no idea how much time I spend in my businesses or the businesses of other newsagents. Sad for your ignorance.


  • 16 Mark Fletcher // Nov 15, 2017 at 6:10 AM

    For the record, in one of my stores, in a competitive marketplace, magazine sales are in twelve of the twenty MPA categories. In six, the growth is double-digit.

    magazines benefit from management by the retailer. Treat them as an agency line and you will exit, often with anger.


  • 17 andy // Nov 15, 2017 at 7:52 AM

    Hi Mark
    What do you put the growth down to?and is what is the growth across all mag?


  • 18 Colin // Nov 15, 2017 at 8:27 AM

    Mark … 99.9% clearly referred to newsagents and magazine margin. A pity your stella sales numbers will never show up in future circulation numbers, these being so bad the publishers themselves have sought to obscure by no longer participating in circulation audits.


  • 19 Mark Fletcher // Nov 15, 2017 at 9:14 AM

    No, Colin, my 99.9% referred to this offer and newsagent responses. My sales n umbers do show up, but there are 3,000 newsagents so it is lost. Plenty of newsagents are seeing growth in some categories, if they look.

    Andy, over magazine unit sales are down. The growth is coming from focussing on special interest and gift with purchase titles, like this offer from Pacific.


  • 20 Paul S // Nov 15, 2017 at 10:48 AM

    Magazines. There are no upsides.
    The sooner the feckers die after the mistreatment by them and the distributors of newsagents the better.

    BTW, if there was no room for much better margin then why are they paying Coles and Woolworths what I am led to believe is closer to 40% for what is effectively and agency line there ?


  • 21 Jim // Nov 15, 2017 at 11:16 AM

    I recommend you do a pocket count at your nearest supermarket. Youll find they have less than 100 mag pockets in most cases. Thats a pretty clear signal.


  • 22 Mark Fletcher // Nov 15, 2017 at 4:08 PM

    Paul the margin for the supermarkets is the same. While there are rumours, there is no evidence of higher margin. What the supermarkets are paid is slot fees for some locations. That is valuable. However, publishers would argue that i return they are paid sooner, have guaranteed specific location placement and have no need to fund channel specific marketing like Connections or Nexus.


  • 23 colin // Nov 15, 2017 at 7:27 PM

    Mark you are right tip-ons create extra sales I sold out of home beautiful on the first day, tried to order extras on line from Gotch only to reject order due to no stock , I phoned waiting 20 minutes to have my call answered again told sorry no stock Woolworths next door have ample stock I bet if they would called for extra stock they would have no problems obtaining them. I think Pacific Magazine management should look at Gotch and its unsatisfactory tacticts.I appreciate that some of us prefer high margin goods we all do but Christmas comes once a year magazines sell all year long.As a newsagent we need to keep magazines for customers who will call back regularly to purchase them from us providing we maintain stock.


  • 24 Mark Fletcher // Nov 16, 2017 at 6:42 AM

    Colin, floor stock for sell out situations can be challenging to access for individual newsagent. This is where group level relationships can assist.


  • 25 Colin, Malvern SA // Nov 16, 2017 at 8:41 AM


    Comment 12 is very clear, it is about margin. When making a point you should own it. Not be Trumpesque and subsequently claim to be referring to something else.

    You might be accepting of the margin from magazines. The evidence is the majority of newsagents think and act otherwise. Indeed, tackling the magazine issue is key to an overall gross margin that shop sustaining.


  • 26 Eric // Nov 16, 2017 at 12:07 PM

    it is hardly seen more than 3 customers browsing mags in our shop. if it ever hits 6 customers browsing in our shop ,i will provide them sofa and coffe and give them a back massage for free.


  • 27 Amanda // Nov 16, 2017 at 5:37 PM

    Mark what proof do you have of supermarkets having to pay earlier than newsagents?
    I find this extremely hard to believe having family members with a background in the supermarket industry at a national level.


  • 28 Mark Fletcher // Nov 16, 2017 at 5:43 PM

    Colin, thanks for the label. I know what I meant when I made the comment. Don’t judge my intent.

    On the issue of margin, margin dollar benefit depends on what you leverage from a magazine shopper visit.

    I think I visit more newsagency businesses than you. I have a good idea of what newsagents think.

    Amanda, on scanned based trading the terms are different to what we have.


  • 29 Paul // Nov 17, 2017 at 3:47 PM

    Love to hear how this sells


  • 30 eric // Nov 18, 2017 at 12:17 PM

    we have sold quite a few on the counter without selling the mags


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