Before I get into my revised advice on how to do a magazine relay in your newsagency I remind magazine publishers and our only magazine distributor that newsagents are treated poorly by you – poor margin, out of date management practices and no ability for us to reasonably control the titles we have. We are time-poor because of your out of date practices.
I first shared advice on how to relay magazines to drive growth in sales back in 2006. Over the years I have shared updated advice here. The advice below is considerably modified.
How to do a magazine relay in your newsagency
A magazine relay is the process of recasting, improving, the layout of magazines in your business, with the main goal of increasing sales and a secondary goal of improving retail space efficiency.
Take all the titles off and put them on the floor. Clean the fixtures.
Start at the end closest to the front of the shop and rebuild, making careful choices as to what titles go with what as you go along. Try and not place as they were placed before. Change is important. Don’t overthink it because no layout is permanent. Don’t consult your data. Rio with your gut.
At the top of a column have the title people will recognise the most. Consider allocating two pockets to this same title. This is what they call beacon branding.
Adjacency placement is where you can make editorial decisions, business decisions to guide your shoppers. What works best with what. You don’t know, not for sure at least, how can you. Ok, there is basket data you could read … but that only tells you what is happening. What about what could happen? Who knows. Experiment!
For example, should you put model plane magazines next to flying magazines? Or, should model plane magazines be in a distinct section of all model titles? Do puzzle shoppers shop by brand or puzzle type. Publishers want you to layout based on their brand whereas your shoppers are, in our opinion, more likely to shop by interest. For example, all sudoku titles could work better together, or all large print titles could work better together.
Here are some adjacency suggestions.
- Cricket, golf and swimming go well together. Wrestling, boxing and buff-type fitness go well together.
- Soccer is not rugby or AFL. Don’t mix them together.
- Classic car titles need to be distinctly separated from regular car titles.
- Classic car titles work well with classic trucks.
- Car lovers do shop by brand. Place branded magazine titles together.
- People interested in home renovation could be interested in any renovation title.
- Creative arts go well together: painting, writing, craft.
Once you have completed the relay, walk staff through it so they know what’s what.
Next, watch shoppers and listen for feedback and, after a couple of weeks, look at the sales results. The results could guide adjustments, or not.