Cookery publications help Australian newsagents survive

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 3rd January 2012

Cookbooks and lifestyle magazines were amongst the top-selling items in Australian newsagencies during the lead-up to Christmas 2011, according to anecdotal reports emanating from a number of sources including various shops, blogs and advertising media websites monitored by Australian Food News during December 2011.

There have been concerns about long-term viability for newsagencies reliant on newspapers and magazines competing against growth in on-line publications. However, the indications were that customers could still be enticed to buy magazines in person through clever tactical placement strategies.

Several newsagent blogs reported sales for cookery-related magazines and publications had increased by more than 30% compared with the previous pre-Christmas season. Some attributed this to their strategic product placement. One example given was the combination of placing the Junior MasterChef cookbook at the counter with Women’s Health and Fitness magazine also located at the counter, while Women’s Weekly cookbooks sold well when placed at the shop entrance, and publications such as Better Homes and Gardens sold better when placed with newspapers.

According to another newsagency that claimed to have experienced strong growth, the magazines in the Food/Wine categories that registered a 30% increase over the previous year in the shop also experienced similar rates of increase for music magazines and motoring magazines. The sharpest decline for a magazine category appears to have been in “Adult Publications,” with some newsagents reporting a 40 – 50% drop on previous year sales volumes.