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22|Retail News|March 2014|


The Paper Trail Irish newspaper and magazine sales remain a vital part of your product offering in-store. We examine the latest readership and sales figures for the sector and advise on hot categories for 2014. FOLLOWING a number of tough years for print media, the latest figures for the newspaper and magazine sector in Ireland make for interesting reading, with most industry commentators predicting that the news-rack will break out of recession in 2014, which should make this the most interesting and profitable year for the sector in a long time. Over three million people in Ireland read newspapers regularly, according to the Joint National Readership Survey (JNRS) 2013, which was released at the end of February. This figure includes readers of print and online newspaper products. 2.9m people read printed newspapers regularly (either a daily newspaper yesterday, or a Sunday/weekly newspaper in the past week). Almost 500,000 people


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The newbies making their mark

The RTÉ Guide is still Ireland’s best-selling magazine title, selling more than 57,000 copies each week.

Retail News|March 2014||23

News-Stand Top Tips For Bigger Sales • Ensure that one third of your magazine space is given over to comics, and make sure you have ample space to display the cover-mount, which drives the sale. • Rotate your magazine and comics stock daily. • Block your magazine stand into sections that are appropriate for your customer base. “For example, you should have a section of magazines

accessed newspaper titles online yesterday (for daily brands) or in the past week (for Sunday/weekly brands). Indeed, online newspaper readership has grown by 40,000 (9 %) in just six months and is very positive news for the newspaper industry. “This is the first JNRS report that allows for comparison of online

geared towards men to include all men-related titles, from health and fitness to music, film, sport, computers, cars and gaming. “Men don’t want to have to root around for magazines and they don’t want wedding titles right beside their favourite music magazines,” smiles Karen Meenan. “No man in Ireland is ever going to buy a wedding title.”

readership figures with a previous report and thus, it provides evidence of emerging trends. It is very positive, but not surprising, to see that online readership is growing at such a healthy pace. Our members have invested heavily in digital media and we believe that readership will continue to grow well in this area,” said Frank Cullen, Co-ordinating

Director of National Newspapers of Ireland (NNI). Consistent Print Readership Meanwhile, print readership has remained relatively consistent, with no change to the topline figure for all newspapers. In fact, the research found a high crossover in readership between print and online,

Top Performance from Harmonia

U Magazine, Irish Tatler and Woman’s Way: three of the top performing women’s magazines in Ireland. HARMONIA, Ireland’s biggest magazine publisher, retained the top three positions for magazine sales for Irish female titles in the latest ABC figures (JanuaryDecember, 2013). U Magazine, Woman’s Way and Irish Tatler are 1, 2 and 3 when it comes to actively sold women’s magazines in Ireland in 2013 and the full Harmonia portfolio sold 2.2m magazines over the course of 2013. That’s a staggering 646.8km of magazines – enough to lay a glossy trail from Malin Head to Mizen Head! In a year when publishers closed their doors, fortnightlies

became monthlies and longstanding magazines ceased publication, Harmonia maintained their loyal customer base. Harmonia also increased the frequency of their award-winning food and drink bible, Food & Wine Magazine to 11 issues per annum, proving strong brand loyalty in a tough market. Food & Wine is the Consumer Magazine of the Year (under 15,000). And Harmonia’s cover sales contribute over €3.1m to retail sales in Ireland – a testament to the strength of the magazine market and its contribution to the economy in these tough

times. “In the current economic climate, what really matters is when people put their hands in their pockets and actively buy magazines,” commented Harmonia CEO Ciaran Casey. “In 2013, we maintained our top three positions for magazine sales to Irish women, proving once again that Harmonia’s titles are strong brands that can triumph during tough times,”

Ireland Of The Welcomes, another of Harmonia’s best sellers.

with the majority of readers who report that they read newspapers online reporting that they also read printed versions. Behind the topline figures, there is evidence that while 2.9m people continue to read newspapers regularly, occasional readers (readers who do not read a daily title every day) now make up to one in two Average Issue Readers (AIR) of daily newspapers, which is a higher rate than that recorded pre-2012. This is one factor that has contributed to print newspaper readership remaining strong, while circulations have declined. Magazine Titles Irish magazine titles too are very much holding their own against international magazines. In spite of intense competition on the news-stand from imported titles, the Irish magazine market is doing relatively well and the latest ABC figures show Irish titles holding their own. “While individual titles will have their own ups and downs, as a broad based organisation we’ve seen those before and while the print market is under pressure in general, we’re happy to see that not only have several titles recorded increases, but that Irish magazine brands continue to lead in their markets, despite the difficult trading conditions they faced

24|Retail News|March 2014|

News-Stand Irish magazine publishers are working hard at retail and Magazines Ireland has been active in promoting all its members’ titles with the multiples and with independent retailers’ associations. By joining forces, Irish magazines are ensuring that Irish titles have a competitive edge on the newsstand. Brands are being promoted much more aggressively than previously, just to maintain sales. LinkSave promotions for complementary magazine titles, as well as newspaper and magazine bundle offers, have worked well and offer great value to the customer.

Frank Cullen, Co-ordinating Director of National Newspapers of Ireland (NNI).

in 2013,” notes Grace Aungier, CEO, Magazines Ireland.

A Virtuous Circle According to Magazines Ireland, it isn’t just about the hard graft though: there’s a genuine virtuous circle between Irish magazines and their retail trade partners. “We shop in their shops: therefore, we support our retailers,” Aungier states. “Similarly, Irish retailers understand that Irish magazines connect with their customers in a way an import never can.” John Whelan, Chairman, Magazines Ireland, explains that “Irish publishers continue to focus on delivering high quality and engaging content across multiple platforms. Their strength is in understanding the uniquely engaging role magazines play

Panini Kicks Off World Cup Trading Card Game PANINI has been granted the exclusive rights by FIFA to produce and sell the official sticker album, collectable trading cards and trading card game for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Having been creating FIFA World Cup sticker albums since 1970, Panini’s official licensed FIFA World Cup Adrenalyn XL Trading Card

Game is sure to be hugely popular this year. The exclusive trading card game based on this exciting event will include striking imagery and action shots of the world’s best footballers. Collectors will have the chance to get involved in the spectacular tournament, with all the player images, statistics, bios and special info for the competing teams. Collectors can manage their virtual binder online using the codes on the backs of their cards, compete against other players around the globe and challenge their friends. There are 416 cards to collect, including 124 special cards to look out for. Collectors can kick-start their collection with a starter pack which includes a collector’s binder, 18 trading cards, a game board, rules sheet and limited edition card. The trading card game will be backed by a multi-channel marketing campaign, including TV advertising, cover-mount activity with Strike-It Magazine, press and web advertising, nationwide sampling, as well as national and regional newspaper activity. The collection will also be backed by investment at retail across all key listings.

Grace Aungier, CEO, Magazines Ireland.

in readers’ lives and in continuously striving to maintain editorial excellence and relevance in an increasingly diverse media landscape.” Describing 2014 as an exciting time for the magazine business, Aungier stresses that Irish magazines continue to dominate their respective markets. “For example, none of the UK imports can match anything like the impact of the Women’s Fashion Trifecta of U, Image and Irish Tatler. Innovative new product launches in 2013, including Taste from RTE Guide and BASH from Image Publications, as well as exciting developments on digital platforms, enable us to deliver the highest quality content to our audiences and advertisers across every dimension. With the market showing signs of positive momentum and 2014 anticipated to be the year when the market will finally move out of recession, we look forward to new launches and more brand extensions from our members.” Comics: No Laughing Matter Comics are still big business, according to Karen Meenan, retail consultant, whose company, The Daily Profit helps retailers to maximise returns from their newspaper and magazine section ( and www.facebook. com/ There have been a number of new, high profile launches in comics over the last few years, mainly from the UK – there are still no Irish-produced comics on the market. “New comics need to be TV-based,”

Retail News|March 2014||25

News-Stand Irish Consumer Magazines - Sales & Circulation Title

Active Sales

Average Circulation

RTE Guide



TV Now!



U Magazine



Ireland of the Welcomes



Woman’s Way



Irish Tatler



VIP Magazine



Easy Food






U Magazine Ultimate Girls Guide to Absolutely Everything



Social & Personal






Xpose Magazine



Irish Country Magazine






Hot Press



Irish Field



Woman’s Way Cookbook



Image Interiors & Living



The Irish Garden



Food & Wine



Irish Tatler Man



Easy Parenting






Business Plus



GCN (Gay Community News)



(Source: ABC, Active Sales figures, plus Average Circulation by Product, January-December 2013) Meenan explains. “The two biggest launches in recent months were Doc McStuffins and Sofia The First [both Disney Junior TV shows] which are high profile TV shows. Kids drive demand for them, because they watch the show on television and then want the magazine and, invariably, the free toy.” Indeed, cover-mounts

have improved greatly in quality and remain a huge selling point for comics, according to Meenan, which continue to drive sales. “Kids still want the free toy,” she says. “Teenagers, however, are more sophisticated than that and teenage titles are beginning to drop, because the go-to reference point for

any teenager is an iPad or smart phone,” she says. “One recent title, called Nails Ink, sold really well on issue one but issue two didn’t sell because kids realised that they could just google ‘nail art’ and get information for free. This is the challenge.” Cover-mounts are hugely important, even for adult titles, according to Meenan. “If it’s a good, quality free gift, consumers will go for it. For example, if it’s a good brand of mascara, nail varnish or hand cream, it will sell. But it can’t just be any mascara: it has to be a branded one, or people will not go for it, free gift or not.” Cover-mounts, however, are often a bone of contention. Consumers love them, but retailers generally don’t. “The whole idea behind cover-mounts is the same as banding products together: to sell more. Retailers often complain that cover-mounts are too bulky and they don’t have room for them, yet, nobody complains when a shampoo and conditioner are banded together, for example. If a retailer gets in, say, 10 copies of Thomas The Tank Engine with a fantastic free toy, the instant reaction is to return five copies, citing lack of space as the reason why, and then sell out of them. The knee-jerk reaction is to return cover-mounts, rather than use them to improve sales.” Rotation is the Key Ensuring your magazine display is fresh is vitally important too. This is as simple as rotating your stock daily, in magazines and,

especially, comics. “For example, if you have Postman Pat at the front today, you should have Fireman Sam there tomorrow and Tractor Tom there the day after,” Meenan explains. “If you do that, the child who is coming into

John Whelan, Chairman, Magazines Ireland.

that shop every day with his parent has three different opportunities to see three different titles.” Any shop that has implemented this policy has seen comic sales increase by up to 300%. “Retailers often complain that rotating stock is a hassle, yet they have no problem clearing out a deli bowl a few times each day, which is more work than just rotating titles on your magazine stand. If a shopper is walking by the magazine stand every day and sees the same magazine at the front of the display, if they’ve bought it, they can’t buy it again, but if they see a fresh title every day, you have a much bigger opportunity to grow your sales.”

The Daily Profit Property of:

The Daily Profit ‘The Profit is in the Detail’

THE Daily Profit was established by Karen Meenan in 2008 to help retailers to make the most of their Newsagency category in-store. Karen helps retailers to become a destination newsagency, boasting that retailers who sign up to The Daily Profit are out-performing the Irish market by a whopping 133%. For more information, see or visit

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