Shop owners are stocking more current affairs magazines and Private Eye has broken into the top 20 most-stocked titles in independent stores, according to Smiths News.
Ranking reports data from Smiths News shows that 16 history and current events titles appeared in the top 300 titles most-commonly stocked in independent retailers, compared with 14 in 2022. The new arrivals were National Geographic and The Week Junior, while Private Eye made it into the top 20 most-commonly stocked list for the first time.
Other segments increasing their share in the top 300 include motoring (+2), sport (+1), adult (+1) and teenage (+1) titles, while general interest, home improvement, leisure, men’s fashion and trade were all down by one title.
In the top 100 most-stocked titles, there were eight new arrivals and eight departures. Real People was the only closure, but it was joined by L.O.L. Surprise!, Andy’s Amazing Adventures, Mega, My Little Pony, Mr Tumble, Amateur Gardening and Prima in exiting the top 100.
The new arrivals were Hello Kitty, Bob The Builder, Classic Tractor, That’s Life Monthly, Take a Break Fate & Fortune, Girl Talk, Kick and Take a Break Seasonal Puzzle Collection.
Overall, the results show specialist interest titles gaining a greater share of space on shelves. Trudy Davies, of Woosnam & Davies News in Llanidloes, Powys, confirmed that she had seen increased consumer spend on current affairs and hobby magazines, especially history, crafts and farm machinery magazines.
She said the figures were being driven by magazines moving from an habitual to a treat purchase. She explained: “People don’t want to spend money on a TV magazine that goes in the recycling every week,” she said. “But they are willing to spend on their favourite magazine once a month because it’s a treat. They don’t have to feel guilty about it.”
No TV listings magazines saw a fall in their number of stockists over the past year, but several popular impulse titles in children’s and women’s interest did disappear from some stores.
For Davies, the switch is better for the store’s overall sales. She explained: “People are thinking of these magazines as a treat. I noticed people were buying them with a packet of sweets, so I started stocking sweets near the magazines that were popular with the same customers, and it really worked.
“If you situate your chocolates near a monthly knitting magazine, they’ll buy them with it. If you put the fruity sweets near the motoring titles, they’ll buy a packet that they don’t intend to share. It’s one of those trends I had never realised.”
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