Magazine return periods should be reduced

I was talking to one of the magazine distributors today, when the subject came up of what we could do to help get more magazine sales in newsagencies. My suggestion was that magazine return periods should be reduced.

Now magazines are sent to newsagents and held there until the new issue arrives. The problem is that magazines have a very high sales decay rate. Almost all the sales are at the start of its selling life. After that, sales drop dramatically. Surely the best use of valuable shelf space would be to remove these magazines that sell badly and replace them with new magazines that will sell. This is particularly true now that many newsagents are cutting magazine space.

If this were done, newsagents would have a slightly higher return rate but they would be selling more.

What I do suggest to our clients is run a sales reports over the past few days to see what is selling now. A bad seller over the past few days will probably sell badly tomorrow. It should be replaced.