Independent and symbol group retailers have the opportunity to sell £2.6m worth of puzzle magazines this summer.

The forecast comes from Frontline, whose recent data analysis showed the total puzzle market was worth £44,500,000 in retail sales from April 15 to March 2016.

During that period, the summer seasonal peak, from June to August, contributed around a third of total revenue.

Melanie Hyde, newstrade marketing manager for Bauer at Frontline, said: “Last summer alone puzzle magazines generated £8,743,702 retail sales value, which is 28% of the total annual revenue, and was up 1% versus the same period in 2014.

“With around 30% of sales going through independents and symbol groups, we can expect a similar performance this summer, and retailer support with this key seasonal period is vital to the overall success.”

“With around 30% of sales going through independents and symbol groups…retailer support with this key seasonal period is vital to the overall success.”

Both Puzzler Media and Bauer Media, which together own about 85% of puzzle magazines in the UK, have confirmed they will be launching promotional drives throughout the summer to take advantage of the peak, including covermounts and competitions.

This summer also marks Bauer’s 25th year in puzzle publishing, and to celebrate it has additional retail activity planned.

Spike Figgett, publishing director at Bauer, said: “Puzzle magazines are often covermounted through the summer, which increases sales by up to 15%. In addition to this puzzlers love competitions and these are a proven incentive for customers to buy puzzle magazines, so retailers should make sure promoted titles are clearly visible.”

Puzzler Media is also offering National Trust passes and picnic hampers in 18 of its titles in July, with more activity planned for late July and August.

Puzzle titles continue to outperform the magazine market average, declining just 2% year on year, compared to the total magazine market which is down 3.6% year on year, according to Frontline data.