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This week I rubbed shoulders with the great and good of the publishing industry at a relaunch event for Menzies’ Superleague promotion club. And the message from Fore Partnership MD Colin Mullins, who now runs Superleague, was ignore independent retailers at your peril. Top independent news retailers are as good as WHSmith high street and travel stores, he said, but they don’t get enough support to fulfil their potential.
Mr Mullins told a room of publishing industry leaders they were guilty of neglecting the independent channel and assuming that because the average level of decline across the independent estate is greater than the multiple channel, that there aren’t great businesses out there. “People have been writing off independents for years,” he said. “But good independent retailers are growing their magazines sales and are a major growth area.” He said 20% of independents are experiencing high magazine sales growth, while 3,000 stores are pushing WHSmith in newstrade turnover. Superleague aims to provide them with the type of support platform the multiple groups expect to get by right.
RN was singled out as crucial to the health of independents, with 35% listing it as their main source of trade information. As Superleague steps up its recruitment drive, magazine experts in Menzies territory should expect a call from Fore. You’ve got to decide if it can help you grow sales, but on the basis of this week’s event, it is well worth listening to what they have to say.
To hear a prominent figure like Mr Mullins talk so positively about our channel and champion the opportunity you present to suppliers is refreshing.
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