The CSNA outlines the measures newsagents should take to maximise their profits in the face of newspapers' declining circulation figures.
21 March 2011
The most recent circulation figures for newspapers and magazines confirmed our concerns that the decline in sales of both products has not abated.
The CSNA analyses these figures from a retailer’s perspective, and focuses upon the profitability of the product in our shops. When a customer chooses a newspaper with a selling price of €2.70, it is worth a lot more to us than a choice of a €1.50 paper.
However as retailers we are obliged to provide a wide range of choice to offer to our customers. It does, however, make sense to maximise sales opportunities for those titles that are providing us with the highest cash value, by positioning and facings.
Where there are differences between sales and circulation data, these are due to CSNA analysis of Newstrade sales, rather than accepting circulation that include sales in NI/UK and bulk sales to hotels, airlines and food outlets.
The Sunday sales in Republic of Ireland are detailed below. These figures do not include the Sunday Tribune, as this title has recently ceased trading.
The total annual value to retailers of the Daily and Sunday newspaper market is currently €83 million.
A further 400,000 copies of provincial papers are sold every week, realising profit to retailers each year in excess of €6 million.
Decline across the board
The decline in sales across the board needs to be arrested. As retailers, we need to consider our offering; is the display appealing, should I consider extending my range, could I offer home delivery, do I have a niche market that I don’t currently cater for etc.
The decline in sales of 15% (2007-2010) in daily newspapers and 13.4% for the Sunday newspaper market for the same period gives every retailer cause for concern. With the unfortunate demise of both the Irish Daily Star and Sunday Tribune, our tills are suffering an additional blow. We should concentrate on halting the slide, and audit our own offerings in the first instance.
Newspapers and magazines are a unique category, but they are not so unique that lessons learnt in category management and merchandising couldn’t be put to effective use to improve your news business.