Christmas magazines

As I was researching my list of 10 magazines every retailer should stock for Christmas, one tip came up time and time again from retailers and distributors.

If you have the space, creating a special Christmas section is the best way to draw your customers’ attention to your festive selection.

The other option, if you are a bit short on magazine shelf space, is to incorporate them into any Christmas displays you are making of other products. That means placing them proudly among your wrapping paper, ribbons and labels – or indeed any festive food displays you are making, with Halloween now behind us.

Frontline group sale development manager Dean Russell told me the best Christmas display he’d ever seen in a store involved a whole shop window decked out with different titles as well as plenty of decorations, which shouldn’t take too much time to create.

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, with Immediate Media’s Simply Christmas being the highest-selling title in the UK, followed by Kelsey Media’s The Christmas Magazine.

Aside from these one shots, there are also the TV magazines that are essential for planning festive viewing. The front covers for Radio Times and What’s On TV are yet to be revealed but will be being worked on behind the scenes as we speak, with the aim of creating something as eye-catchingly merry and enticing as possible.

When I approached Radio Times publisher Richard Campbell for advice on maximising sales of this year’s edition, his suggestions were simply to use as much promotional space as possible and ensure multiple facings showing the full cover.

Everyone has a different size and style of shop space to work with, but taking the time to work out the best Christmas display you can create should pay off in the run up to the big day.