Used and abused by wedding magazines?

“I feel used and abused by publishers of wedding magazines…”

“The wedding magazines are so big they take up space on the shelves, in storage out the back and delayed billing means nothing as we have to early return lots for space reasons…”

Some newsagents have singled out wedding magazines as a problem area because they are so thick and take up so much space, but their cover price is not that high as the publishers get their revenue from advertising. “We should be paid $5 per book,” one agent said. “They are just using us and we lose money handling them.”

What do you think of wedding magazines? Is it a profitable category for you?

What needs to be done to make this category more profitable for newsagents?

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4 thoughts on “Used and abused by wedding magazines?

  1. I feel used and abused by publishers of part works
    Over recent times with part works launches, I note we are getting many customers start the collection with us, but within a few issues they cancel it from us preferring to subscribe as the companies offer huge incentives for them to do thi.
    Which newsagents can not compete with

    This is an obvious strategy by the publishers to use the newsagency distribution chain to obtain initial buy in to the partworks and then steal the customers away from them by offering these customers huge advantages to subscribe.

    I like many newsagents are concerned with this as the only benefit we are getting from this is selling a $2.99/$4.99 initial issue then losing the next 40/50 issues at $10/$15 to subscription sales

    We do the work getting the customers and they get the ongoing sales (screw the newsagents)

    The question I have is with this blatant strategy, whether it really worthwhile to continue to support the launch of partworks?

    As a industry Newsagents need to be raising these concerns with these companies as I feel it is a major issue

    Should we be supporting partworks if the only benefit we receive is an initial $2.99 sale?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Peter, I’ve often asked the question with Partworks category myself and I completely agree with you that those partworks publishers are using us as the platform to spearhead their campaign only to steal our customers and abandon us with cranky customers.

      The latest example – Star Trek Spaceships. First issue included a large flyer for subscriptions and guaranteeing customers of a copy of each issue. Now, after just two issues, we are only receiving two copies (from the initial 10 for issue 1). Disgusting.

      So what have I decided? To sell the first couple and let the customers know what the publishers will do (and the drama that will come) and allow them to decide what they want to do. If we do not sell, then we have stock that has arrived in our store only to be returned – costing us for the returns and labour costs. Better to make some money then to lose.

      As for the publishers, it is without doubt in my mind that this is the tactic they are using and I believe that the distributors should allow retailers to decide whether or not they want partworks (before the first issue even comes into the store) in their normal supply. This way, it would allow retailers the option.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Partworks are a really difficult issue. Some love them and some hate them. They bring people in to the store, but can severely damage your relationship with your customer if you can’t get supply. Newsagents should be confident that if they ask for 4 they get 4 and they get them on time.
    If the publishers can’t do that then they shouldn’t be offering the title to all. Perhaps they restrict the area they distribute to and do it well rather than supply everyone and have frustrated newsagents and customers.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wedding magazines are predominantly much bigger in size than any other magazine. They are thicker and require more space – in many instances, only one magazine will only fit one pocket. This means they are taking up more valuable retail space for the commission they are returning. They are not volume high sellers. In fact, they would be on the other end of the spectrum – depending on where you are.

    In my experience, the retail prices of wedding magazines average about $14.95. This means that if we were to sell a copy, we would receive less than $4 a copy. In many instances, these magazines have a shelf life of 6+ months and in many cases, you would be lucky to sell 1-2 copies. Not to mention that the high wedding seasons are in September, October and November. This then makes it inefficient and a burden for the retailers that carry them throughout the year. But retailers cannot afford not to carry them.

    We carry most of the wedding titles in our stores. Knowing our sales data, we hold a maximum of only two copies per title and in instances where the magazine is larger and require more pockets, we only hold one copy. We DO NOT keep magazines beyond the two month (sometimes one month) period from the day we received them. We allocate a number of pockets to the wedding category and when there are more titles than this number, we return the title that has been there the longest. Of course, putaways is always an option. This is how we are efficient and effective in maintaining this category.

    I would note that some publishers are ‘delay billing’ some titles to help retailers with cash flow, while others are using distributors (such as IPS) who force feed and make retailers pay and carry the titles until the recall date (usually months later and sometimes until the end of year). In my view, both of these models do not work. By delay billing, retailers are still having to carry the stock and may not even sell any copies whilst still paying rent. By force feeding, publishers get their revenue (from advertising and distributed copies) and distributors get paid for their services while the retailers are losing out. No one wants to lose out. So it’s up to retailers like myself, to do what we need to make a profit – because we can.

    Liked by 1 person

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