How many magazine titles are available in your store? Are you stocking the right range? There is a great opportunity for retailers to make siginificant profit in the category, when it’s done right.

magazinesThis photo shows the typical range of magazine titles you will see in a drug store in the US, the type of retail business which most closely resembles a newsagency. The unit holds 156 regular sides titles. In Australia, where subscriptions account for a lower proportion of overall circulation than in the US, I think 156 titles is too few for a destination magazine store.

Australian supermarkets carry around this number, sometimes up to 200 titles while convenience and petrol outlets carry considerably fewer.

Considering sell through rates, the cost of retail space and the opportunity cost of this, my feeling is that the ideal range for a city or suburban newsagency is between 500 and 700 titles – around four of the units in the photo. In regional and rural areas the number could be somewhere between 800 and 1,000 titles depending on the costs of the business.

A good step we can take to controlling supply is controlling space allocation. This is best done with flexible deep magazine shelves on which we allocate one pocket per title and advising the distributors in writing of the total number of their titles we have space for. The type of fixture in the photo is ideal for this. It is what I use in my shops.

While this is a view of the Australian magazine market I think that where independent retailers have a passion for the category such as Graham Hales in Portsmouth, Mark Dudden in Cardiff and Martin Skelton in Brighton, magazines can be a valuable source of income for UK retailers.