Keesing Media UK – publishers of Puzzle Life – has joined forces with the NFRN and its NewsPro Group to help independent retailers streamline their puzzle category and increase sales. 

As part of the move, Puzzle Life will send field representatives to stores to help retailers with merchandising and maximise their ranges. 

Keesing Media UK sales manager Matt Holbrook said retailers increasingly find it difficult to know what to stock after being sent a large variety of puzzle magazines. 

“You’ll often find that independent stores stock six or seven word-search or crossword magazines,” he said.

“Over the years, we came up with the idea to help retailers streamline their ranges and help their displays look more appealing to customers.”

A representative will begin visiting stores in the Midlands from July. “We want retailers to feel like they aren’t being bombarded with different titles,” added Holbrook. “If we all see some growth from this, then there is no reason why we wouldn’t roll out the process nationwide.”

NFRN’s head of news and magazines, Brian Murphy, confirmed the partnership would help retailers overcome overcrowding issues. 

“The puzzle sector is well established and can be lucrative, and publishers’ desire to be in store is highly competitive,” he said. “But, due to supply chain overcrowding, mixed consumer messages and losses due to missed returns, it has led to continuous dissatisfaction with this sector.

“Through this relationship we hope we can overcome these problems and help reposition puzzles as a key magazine category on the display.”

Holbrook reinforced the importance of independent retailers to their business, highlighting the reason for the partnership. 

“While magazines in general are in decline, puzzle publications are showing growth within the category, so it is an important sub-category for retailers,” he said. 

“We don’t believe there is anyone telling retailers the importance of this.”

Find out what magazines you should be stocking by reading our weekly magazine guide