Launch of the week

This year’s bumper annual Radio Times Christmas special has 292 pages of festive TV and radio highlights and offers every reader a free copy of classic children’s book The Snowman

Radio Times

On sale 11 December (8 December in some regions)

Frequency weekly

Price £4.90

Distributor Frontline

Display with TV Choice, What’s on TV, TV Times Master

Retailers know it’s Christmas when the annual bumper issue of Radio Times arrives. This year’s 292-pager is out on 11 December, and promises the most comprehensive TV and radio listings for the entire Christmas and New Year period, from Saturday 22 December 2018 to Friday 4 January 2019. It also includes interviews with stars from the best festive programmes this year and next.

The magazine is also offering every reader a free copy of Raymond Briggs’ classic children’s book The Snowman (worth £7.99), which is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

Your Horse 

On sale 13 December 

Frequency monthly

Price £4.25

Distributor Frontline

Display with Horse & Hound, Gallop 

  • This issue celebrates the best of 2018 with a review of the year and includes a free winter products guide. 
  • Show-jumping star Geoff Billington features in the big interview, while eventing legend Sir Mark Todd reveals the three exercises you can do to improve your horse’s shape over a fence.  

Truck & Driver 

On sale out now

Frequency 13 per year

Price £3.95

Distributor Marketforce

Display with Trucking, Commercial Motor

  • This monthly magazine for truckers features everything drivers need to know about the latest models, legislation and campaigns alongside truck reviews. 
  • This issue features the Smiths S580 V8 heavy haulage truck, a Scania V8 competition and a free Scania V8 2019 calendar. 

Grand Designs

On sale out now

Frequency 13 per year

Price £4.40

Distributor Marketforce

Display with Build It, Homebuilding & Renovating

  • Grand Designs accompanies the popular aspirational TV series of the same name to inform readers of everything they need to know to build and renovate their dream home.  
  • This issue looks at 10 innovative concrete houses, built-in storage ideas and features a Cornish home inspired by an iconic design.

Take a Break's Sudoku 

On sale out now

Frequency monthly

Price £2.70

Distributor Frontline

Display with word search and puzzle titles 

  • Take a Break’s popular magazine for puzzlers features variations on sudokus for all skill levels. 
  • This issue has 16 extra pages of Christmas puzzles and comes with a free pen and a chance to win £500. The publishers predict a 15% increase in revenue.  

This is Enid Blyton 

On sale out now

Frequency one shot

Price £4.99

Distributor Marketforce 

Display with children’s titles 

  • The adventures of The Famous Five and The Secret Seven feature in this one-off special, celebrating Enid Blyton’s best-loved characters.
  • This 36-page magazine includes features, quizzes, recipes and puzzles, a Famous Five mini mag plus free gifts including pencils, stickers, an extra puzzle magazine and a full Secret Seven book.

Star Trek 

On sale out now

Frequency bimonthly 

Price £4.99

Distributor Marketforce

Display with Star Wars, SFX 

  • The latest issue of Star Trek previews Discovery season 2, set to launch in January, unveiling the new Spock, Number One and Captain Pike. 
  • Alongside interviews with cast and crew of the TV shows there’s the chance to win Star Trek: Lost Scenes art books.  

Classic Tractor 

On sale 21 December 

Frequency monthly 

Price £4.10 

Distributor Seymour 

Specialist Choice

David Woodrow, 
Woodrow’s Newsagents, 
Bishopton, Renfrewshire

Who buys it?

Agricultural workers, so people such as agricultural engineers and wood cutters come in on their breaks to buy it. 

How do you display it?

We position it front and centre and make sure we have availability. We have built up a reputation for stocking it. 

Helena Drakakis

My week in magazines

The Christmas gifts newsagents don’t want

Subscription shopping is on the rise. From beauty products to clothes to healthy snacks, the monthly package arriving through consumers’ doors has risen 800% since 2014. 

As any newsagent or convenience retailer will tell you, magazine subscriptions are part of that same push for convenience. This only intensifies in December, as publishers tout for Christmas gift opportunities. So, how do retailers combat this growing trend? 

“There’s no real way other than impressing on customers the benefits to local businesses of collecting their magazines in-store – great customer service is key,” Carl Pickering, of Top Shop News in Lancashire, told me. 

Other retailers, however, have taken to more desperate measures – extracting subscription flyers from magazines whenever possible. 

With the multiples increasingly having first dibs on magazines, subscription sales are another way in which indies are feeling the pressure, with a ‘them and us’ mentality further developing. 

This year’s Press Pause campaign, organised by the Professional Publishers Association, went some way to providing PoS to retailers to highlight the benefit of buying magazines in stores and was largely welcomed. Retailers, too, understand that to engage customers, they need to become specialists in the category and offer an unrivalled personal service. However, there is only so much they can do. 

Naturally, publishers love subscriptions as they lock in regular sales. But wouldn’t the best Christmas gift be to work more effectively with all component parts of the news and magazines ecosystem so everyone benefits?