Home' The Channel Magazine : May 2010 Contents 24 National Newsagent May 2010
Innovations in Magazines 2010 features
retailer MagNation as an example of how to
sell magazines effectively. The format was
developed in New Zealand in 2007 and has
since crossed over to Australia. Some of
the key features are...
• The store environment is very hip with an
extravagant art deco style on two floors.
Comfy chairs, a coffee bar and free Wi-Fi
encourage long dwell times and browsing
is actively encouraged. One of the in-store
slogans is "Everything can be touched, felt
and browsed... except our staff." There is a
returns box where browsers can place their
magazines if they do not want to put them
back on the shelf.
• The product range is huge with over
4,000 titles displayed. Mass market
weeklies are treated as loss leaders in
order to draw people into the range of
higher cover-priced monthlies which are
geared towards an urban savvy audience.
• Unlike a traditional press retailer,
the magazine displays are constantly
changing. There is a Favourites section
at the front of the store which is updated
twice a day depending on current EPoS
sales data. Displays are changed daily
and the category divisions and layouts are
altered every six months to keep the store
interesting for regular customers.
• Theme weeks sponsored by publishers
are a regular feature and have included
T-Shirt Week, Trainer Week, Stencil Art
Week and a sponsored knit-in. Food and
wine evenings are also put on for regular
• Postal subscriptions are offered in-
store and on the retailer's website (www.
• Consumer marketing is centred on social
media and online viral marketing.
Campaigns include offers of free coffee
o those who quote secret codes,
birthday emails, and e-newsletters.
The retailer found a location for a new
store by commissioning a group of
Twitter followers to scope out spaces
for lease. A print catalogue is now
m not a supermarket that people walk
into because they have to. People come
to MagNation because they enjoy it and I
have to be a better option for them than
the other things they could be doing with
their time. So my main competitors are
Facebook and Sunday afternoon picnics
and romantic candle-lit dinners."
Sahil Merchant, Managing Director,
Source: Circulation Briefing UK
Key retail trends
in the UK
• Value and values. Recent IGD shopper
research has shown that customers
continue to seek value for their values.
Ethical shopping has remained popular
despite the recession, but shoppers
are aware of price and want to stick to
their values within their budget. In 2010,
retailers can drive their businesses
forward by focusing their communication
strategies to demonstrate price, quality
and commitment to values such as ethical
sourcing, fair trade and sustainability.
• Clear prices. Pricing will remain important
this year with retailers focusing on clear
signage, simple promotional mechanics
and clear communication.
• Social networking. This new area of
media has rapidly gained momentum and
many retailers are now experimenting,
uploading recipes, videos and creating
discussions to reach new audiences.
Further developments in new technology
will feed this trend.
• Engaging the shopper. As the range and
depth of communication channels with
shoppers increase, retailers will continue
to engage the shopper in new and inventive
ways, such as in-store events, online ideas
forums and competitions.
• Building loyalty. As shoppers shop
around to find the best deals, retailers will
place a greater focus on loyalty initiatives.
For some this will involve full-scale loyalty
card re-launches, while for others it will be
about changing the offer.
Is there a Tesco
Sarah Mason who runs the village post
office and general store in Wales reports
that once Tescos opened in nearby
Newtown supplies of her magazines were
cut. "This week I have had no Radio Times
or bella, and deliveries were late," she said.
"I believe Tesco is starting to rule the world
as far as magazines are concerned."
Turning the tide
Business was bad in the Kent village of
Charing and many shops were closing, until
an independent retailer with passion and
ideas came to the rescue.
Independent retailers are vital to their
communities and this community was
no different but was dying nevertheless.
By encouraging retailers to band
together, Vineet Patel has proved that the
commercial life of an entire village can be
saved from the grave.
A lifelong news and convenience retailer,
Patel set about to change the culture.
"We went through a phase where there
were a lot of shops closing down in the
village and people were hearing rumours
that Charing was dying in terms of retail so
we really needed to reverse that and get a
positive image going.
They formed a Charing Business
Association to revitalise the business
community. The first and so far the most
effective move was to site a banner on
the busy A20 road, depicting the village's
picturesque high street behind a large
"Charming Charing" message.
Footfall in the village increased.
Customers make their way to Patel's store
which is packed to the gunwales with
interesting and appealing stock.
"We have embraced the side of things
that the people of Charing want and Patel
is able to stock high-end French wines and
international lines. The thing is to remain
proactive, he said, and the Association has
many more plans to keep the village strong
Source: Retail Newsagent UK
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