Publishers should invest more in promoting their titles through independent retailers, industry experts have told RN, as figures show supermarkets’ share of RSV in the category has grown.

New figures compiled by the Wessenden Briefing using data from Seymour and Kantar Worldpanel show multiples now account for 43% of total magazine RSV in the UK.

But Richard Lamb, chairman of consultancy Lucid, predicts publishers will need to focus more on independents as supermarkets reduce the space they give to magazines.

 “The days of 12, 14 or 16-metre supermarket magazines displays are over,” he said.

“Supermarkets taking space out is a big challenge for the industry. A lot of titles are good sellers, but not so good that they’re guaranteed to be in the top few hundred titles stocked by supermarkets.”

Frontline’s national account manager for independents Mark Webb said the distributor remains focused on promoting titles through independents after setting up a dedicated team 10 years ago.

“Perhaps the most exciting development of late has been the success of store specific ranging. Our ‘Local Ranging’ system provides bespoke ranges for retailers based upon the unique characteristics of each store. Results have been very promising and we are working to increase the number of retailers using it throughout 2018 which is sign of our ongoing commitment to the independent channel,” he said.

Marketforce’s group circulation manager for publishing services Rob Humphrey said the distributor is keen to support independents with investments in PoS support, incentives and merchandising. 

“Independents are important for specialist titles, particularly those with a rural bias such as country pursuits and hobbies,” he said.

Meanwhile, Redan managing director Julie Jones said the publisher sees “a lot of opportunity” in the independent sector.

“We are working closely with our distributor Seymour to identify the stores and locations with potential to reach our young audience. The challenge is to drive sales with minimal waste and to educate independents of the value of the children’s sector,” she said.