“I’d like to have more magazines in my shop, but I don’t have the space” is a comment I’m sure many independent retailers can relate to. With more small shops veering towards grocery products and alcohol, the magazine category is often overlooked, and, even if retailers do have the room for a fair-sized display, they don’t always make the most out of it.

The PPA’s Just Ask initiative may have been around since 2004, but it has recently been relaunched with the aim of making every independent a range retailer, regardless of their size. The scheme uses eye-catching point-of-sale material to promote a retailer’s ability to order more than 3,000 titles from their wholesaler for their customers, and really make the most of their shop save facility.

Last week’s Retail Newsagent (26 March) showed two retailers who are doing just that –and reaping the benefits. Two of the stores who are taking part in a trial of the relaunch have grown sales 10% and 5% respectively – an impressive increase for a modest amount of effort. And this month, the trial is spreading further to those served by Smiths News Birmingham branch.

But it’s not exclusive to these parts of the country. Anyone who is serious about selling more magazines should really get involved by contacting Kate McElroy at the PPA on 020 7400 7529 or kate.mcelroy@ppa.co.uk.