The RN team’s end of week news wrap

1. Regional papers risk entering dire straits

The latest circulation figures for daily titles show an average decline of 13.5%. Papers which have fared the worst are the likes of the Bolton News, which hiked its price to 65p. Unless publishers match price increases with improved quality and an incentive for retailers to promote them, their future looks bleak. We’ll have a full roundup in next week’s RN.

2. Technology will help independents compete with multiples

Appflare’s beacon technology is the latest innovation to tempt customers into promotional deals without the need to redeem paper vouchers. There’s no shortage of similar companies but Appflare is the first to throw down the gauntlet in terms of investment as it prepares to install 4,000 units in the independent channel by the end of the year.

3. Retailers are looking for more category education from e-cigarette manufacturers

Indies have made it clear they need more support from the e-cigarette industry if they are to become destination stores. VIP and VAPESTICK confirmed they would send sales teams to work with retailers and train staff. Customer service, including product knowledge, free samples, and a solid range of stock, are the key to edging out specialist vaping stores, according to the manufacturers.

4. Slimming World to target new market with section launch

The bestselling slimming magazine in the UK is launching a new section called M in its October issue. The section will be specifically designed for overweight men trying to lose weight. Two in every three men in the UK are considered to be overweight or obese.

5. Indies could be missing out on £13m in sales opportunities around premium spirits at Christmas

Pernod Ricard believes independent stores have the potential to drastically increase their share of the festive market on premium spirits. It has designed a five-step guide for independents, which includes tips and advice on offering spirit gift lines, bringing more spirits out from behind the counter, and offering clearer pricing.