Independents can grow their share of Christmas magazines and one shots in the craft and home interest sectors by displaying copies as early as possible, distributors and publishers have told RN.

Data from Smiths News and Marketforce shows special Christmas magazines in the sectors – including one shots and additional issues of established titles – generated around £230,000 in RSV for independents in 2016.

This represents just 12% of the total sector RSV, compared to independents’ usual 20% share.

Comag’s group sales development manager Dean Russell said independents should make the most of the early on-sale date of the titles, which are released in time for readers to have time to complete projects.

“Last year the craft titles did really well around Christmas,” he said. “The best thing to do is have a special Christmas section in store but in reality that can be difficult because of space, so they can be displayed with other craft or cookery titles.”

The highest-selling title last year was Immediate Media’s Simply Christmas, at 71,259 copies across all stores, which will go on sale again this year on September 14. Meanwhile Kelsey Media’s The Christmas Magazine, the third highest-selling title last year, will go on sale on 15 September.

Adrian Peel, circulation executive at the title’s distributor Seymour, said 80% of the title’s readers are female, with 70% aged 40 and over. Kelsey’s other festive title, Christmas at Home, will go on sale on 6 October, while a new launch, Easy Christmas, will go on sale on 29 November.

Meanwhile, D.C. Thomson is putting out a second edition of its one shot Your Best Ever Christmas, after a successful launch last year, on 13 September. The publisher’s circulation and trade marketing manager Ashleigh Dennis said: “With everyone’s lives becoming busier and the growing pressure of creating the ‘perfect’ Christmas, it’s these magazines that consumers are picking up on impulse.”