Retailers are fearing for the news and magazine category following a continuing decline in sales and a major title exit.
According to ABC figures, UK magazine print sales dropped 6.3% in the second half of 2013, which is a further decrease on the previous year’s decline of 4.9%.
Adam Hogwood of Morrison’s Budgens of Broadstairs in Kent believes that the magazine category will continue to struggle. “It’s a shrinking market with more and more of us using mobile devices to browse magazines, or even to get the same content for free online elsewhere,” he said. “I think more and more titles will struggle, and more and more newsagents will have to work harder and focus more on being a destination shop that has as broad a range as possible to get the sales.”
Andrew Jones of Morton Post Office and Store in Lincolnshire cut back on his news and magazines offering due to declining sales. “Sales in the category have been dropping for some time now and that space can be put to better use,” he said.
This comes as the last ever issue of men’s weekly magazine Nuts went on sale at the end of last month. The magazine was first published by IPC Media in January 2004 and at its peak had a weekly circulation of over 360,000 copies which dropped to 53,342 in December 2013, a fall of 82%.
Yvonne Cashin of The News Shop in Market Weighton, Yorkshire said sales in the men’s lifestyle sector in particular had dipped. “We used to sell over 20 of the monthly titles but now we only sell about four or five,” she said.
Emma Spencer of Emma’s Newsagents in Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire said that sales of men’s magazines in general had been quite poor of late. “We only had one copy of Nut and most times we send it back,” she said. “Men’s magazines don’t sell at all.”