In 2007, 1.21 billion magazines were sold in the UK. In 2010 it was less than 1 billion. In 2013 it will be 781 million magazines.

“Fundamentally change or it will be below 0.5 billion in three years,” DC Thomson CEO Ellis Watson told publishing industry leaders at last week’s PPA Reinvented conference.

After his presentation, I chatted to Stephen Hirst and Adrian Hughes, Marketforce’s managing and publishing services directors, about what fundamental changes they were making to secure the long-term success of their magazine distribution business.

I told them about last week’s leader column, which was due to hit their desks the next day. Supermarket promotions aren’t profitable, local shops are the future and it’s time to return to the entrepreneurial zeal of independent retailers who love selling magazines, I said, and RN can help you.

[pull_quote_right]Marketforce has faith the independent channel has a future selling its products[/pull_quote_right]

We support independents, Adrian said, and are launching a promotion with Premier Club soon. How can promotional clubs be the answer if retailers are mistrustful of mediated schemes, I asked.

You need to improve RN’s return on investment, Stephen said. Aha, I covered this as well, I replied, and ran through my sums: 10% of readers; 1,300 retailers; two extra sales in month one; one extra sale for a year; a £50,000 return from one advert. How does that compare to the return you get from the supermarkets, I asked.

I told them about our 125th anniversary issue on 18 July, in which we are looking at the future of convenience retailing in 125 objects. Do you want to advertise to show the magazine is one of them, I asked. Yes, count on our support, replied Stephen.

Marketforce has faith the independent channel has a future selling its products. Find out which publishers agree on 18 July.

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