More scares for UK publishers of newspapers and magazines. The UK’s fifth largest supermarket chain Aldi last week stopped selling newspapers and magazines in its 850 stores. Media consultant Wessenden said: “The German-owned discount retailer’s share of the total magazine business was constrained by its limited range, yet it had still built up a 2.2% share, which was growing through 2019.”
In the UK, retail sales (as opposed to posted subscriptions) account for almost all newspaper sales and some 70% of magazines. So any erosion of supermarket availability can be very painful for publishers.
While Wessenden’s Jim Bilton does not believe the Aldi cut will snowball and lead any of the larger supermarkets to end their sales of magazines and newspapers, there is fear among publishing distributors that the move by the fast-growing Aldi will embolden others to cut (even further) the range of magazines stocked – and continue their aggressive reduction of publishers’ terms.
Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket chain, is also the largest retailer of print, responsible for 16% of magazine sales and 8% of newspapers. The five largest supermarket chains account for 41% of magazine sales and 17% of newspapers.