When looking at where (class of trade) the recent declines in magazine retail outlets occurred, MAGNET data shows that a big chunck fell out of the Convenience class of trade. Over 6,800 Convenience stores vanished from the playing field, a 16% decline over the 3-year period under review. Given the typical low-sell through efficiencies generated from these types of magazine outlets, the losses here are not necessarily tragic to many publishers, with the exception of adult magazines for example.
However, the loss of over 1,100 Bookstores (a 12% decline) which typically generate high sell-through efficiency, is more troublesome.
On a positive note, it’s great to see Grocery, Drug and Terminal all posting gains in dealers (+1,297) which more than offset the losses in bookstore dealers (-1,113) when combined. These types of retailers of magazines have traditionally generated larger unit sales in aggregate and typically more efficiently than Convenience too.
Plus, when you add in the gains from Mass Merchandisers, SuperCenters, Newsstand and Military accounts (+2,026) the story improves yet again, as these types of stores sell product efficienctly, and often provide more retail space than Convenience.
The big whopping number is the vaguely titled Misc/Other category, which shed (-11,031) dealers, over a 29% decline from the 2008 tally.
Of the total of 15,868 dealers that have vanished since 2008, nearly 70% of them came from the Misc/Other bucket. The devil is in the details. While the top line number is clearly worrisome, when drilling down a modified picture begins to emerge.