Waterstones has introduced magazine ranges into a selection of its best known stores, according to sources.
One magazine industry insider told Better Retailing that dozens of Waterstones stores throughout the UK, including its Foyles chain in London are to introduce a selection of titles with new magazine racks installed last month.
Eleven of these stores including the Foyles sites will feature a “full range of specialist titles”. Better Retailing understands Waterstones has chosen to avoid working with news wholesalers, instead partnering with Retail Spark, a specialist magazine distributor to alternate retail points such as pet shops and technology stores.
One store taking part is Kingston, London, which bills itself as “the largest specialist book shop in Surrey”. A staff member at the store confirmed: “We’ve got them out and on sale now, it’s brand new. They went on sale yesterday [1 December], it’s a bit more specialist, literary ones like London Review of Books, we’ve got everything from film magazines like Sight and Sound to gardening magazines.”
Asked about the scheme, a spokesperson from the chain confirmed: “We are delighted to confirm that we have introduced magazines to 53 of our bookshops to complement and enhance our existing book and non-book offering. Working closely with Retail Spark we were able to curate a bespoke range of magazines for the shops, which consists mostly of monthly, bi-monthly, bi-annual or annual titles and a small selection of weekly current affairs titles. Initial customer reaction has been very encouraging.”
The news marks the first major retailer to add newspapers or magazines since Aldi removed the category. Better Retailing’s source described the move by Waterstones as a sign of wider retail confidence and interest in the magazine category.
Read more news and advice about the newspaper and magazines category and click here for the latest ABC circulation figures