Retailers should use Asda’s decision to remove 222 bays-worth of magazines across 61 of its stores as an opportunity to review their consumer offer, according to the NFRN.

It comes as Asda revealed it has reduced the maximum number of bays a store can have from 20 to 11. Asda told RN that 72% of the 186 titles it delisted (only eight tiles were added) were made up of men’s lifestyle and leisure titles, particularly niche sub-segments such as computing, hobbies and entertainment. Titles including Web Designer, The Blues Magazine and Yachting Monthly were cut.

Hayley Whittaker, newspaper and magazines buyer at Asda, said: “Our customers are telling us that that our range is too big in our larger stores. Reducing space means we have a more focussed customer-led range that is easier and clearer to shop.

“Our key areas of focus are growing our women’s interest categories, such as craft, home and health and beauty, and we continue to outperform in our children’s category.”

This announcement comes at the same time Sainsbury’s and WHSmith Travel have refined and adjusted their own magazine ranges. While Sainsbury’s delisted 93 titles (and added 34) with a “real emphasis on food and children”, WHSmith Travel introduced a new ranging system that will allow it to tailor individual store ranges to local demand.

Brian Murphy, head of news at the NFRN, said: “The reduction in space shows how supermarkets have always had a different agenda. Independent retailers should see this as an opportunity to review their consumer offer and promote their unique selling point to fulfil all of their customers’ needs.”

He added that retailers should use NFRN services including JUST ASK, Store2Door and Newspro to help them take full advantage of this opportunity.

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