INDUSTRY INSIGHTS
Q1 2013 Vs. Q1 2012 SALES RESULTS

As the following charts illustrate, the decline in sales in the first quarter, 2013 was both disappointing and startling, as the industry hasn't seen such sales losses when comparing quarterly sales year to previous year since the first quarter of 2009 when Anderson News Company exited the business. As we detail under the Top 1000 title comparison chart below, besides the group of the top fifty titles and the set of small titles ranked in sales lower than 1000, the rest of the business was actually pretty resilient.

 

However, we did find some extenuating circumstances when we analyzed the numbers. The largest contributing factor was that several of the major weekly titles ranked in the top fifty had only twelve issues in the first quarter, 2013, compared to the thirteen issues distributed in the same period, 2012.

 

 We have included a chart that provides the adjusted sales for the weekly titles on an average sale per issue basis. That improved the sales picture for the weekly titles in the US and Canada considerably, even though weekly title sales are still down compared to last year, same period. The dollar sales decline improves to -11.7%, nearly 8.6 percentage points better. The unit sales decline, using average sales per issue, improve to -14.1%, an improvement of over 7.5 percentage points.

 

Another contributing factor was the number of titles/issues released in the first quarter, 2013. There were 975 fewer titles/issues released than were distributed in the same period, 2012, a 6.3% reduction. Nearly all of those were non-weekly titles, a group that had improved their collective performance in the latter stages of 2012. The fewer number of releases contributed to the non-weekly title decline in the first quarter, 2013.

 

While overall industry sales continued to trend lower, there were several titles in the top 100 that performed well with the same number of releases in both periods. Following are a few of the titles that posted increases in the first quarter: FOOD NETWORK MAGAZINE +21.8%; PEOPLE STYLE WATCH +46.3%; WOMAN'S DAY +29.9%, SHAPE +12.4%; GQ +14.9% and MEN'S FITNESS +10.6%.

 

As we have mentioned in past newsletters, MagNet reports sales based on off-sale date for titles and issues, so that we can attempt to ensure that all returns have flowed through the system, and that we are reporting final sales in our analyses.

 

Wkly vs nonWkly V2 matrix
WEEKLY AVG V2  
Q1 2013 Vs. Q1 2012 TOP 1,000 TITLE COMPARISON
Top 1000 matrix V2

The trend continued, as the larger and smaller titles influenced the overall sales decline in the first quarter of 2013. While the retail sales of the top 50 titles fell by over $40 million, the titles ranked lower than 1,000 in sales fell by over $56 million dollars. Combined, those two groups of titles accounted for about 97% of the sales loss in the first quarter. The Top 50 titles continue to dominate the share of business (SOB), capturing nearly 42% of the total, with the Top 1,000 representing over 92% of the sale. The MagNet data included 5,693 Bipads with issues off-sale in the first quarter of 2013, compared to 5,841 Bipads in the same quarter, 2012. Another interesting fact is there were 1,113 bipads in the first quarter 2013 with no issues off-sale in the same quarter 2012, representing over $46.5 million, while there were 1,263 Bipads in the same quarter 2012 that were not represented in 2013.  

Q1 2013 Vs. Q1 2012 CATEGORY COMPARISON

The "Category Comparison" below highlights some categories that posted increases in the first quarter. Several categories had major sales declines, including the celebrity category. As noted, many celebrity titles had one fewer issue this year compared to last, same period. The other categories' sales could have been influenced by fewer or more releases off-sale this year than last.

 
Cat Matrix V4
Q1 2013 Vs. Q1 2012 CLASS OF TRADE COMPARISON
COT CHART
The Top 4 classes of trade continue to dominate the market representing 69.9% of the retail dollars in the first quarter. The growth of Dollar stores sales' has been a positive sign for the business.
  COT MATRIX V2
Q1 2013 Vs. Q1 2012 CHAIN COMPARISON
TOP CHAIN MATRIX V2
As the numbers indicate, the top chains continue to dominate the market, with the Top 50 representing 81.0% of the total business, up nearly 1 full point. While the sales matrix above aggregates the sales for the "Top Chains" in both the US and CA , the list below segregates the Top 10 in both countries in alphabetical order.
 
US Top 10 Chains
CA Top 10 Chains
AHOLD USA INC. COSTCO COS INC
BARNES & NOBLE INC INDIGO BOOKS & MUSIC INC
CVS/CAREMARK CORP LOBLAWS COMPANIES LTD
HUDSON NEWS TERMINAL LS TRAVEL RETAIL NORTH AMERICA
KROGER COMPANIES METRO RICHELIEU
PUBLIX SUPER MARKETS INC PRESSE COMMERCE
SAFEWAY INC SAFEWAY CANANDA
TARGET CORP SHOP[PERS DRUG MART LTD
WALMART STORES SOBEYS INC 
WALGREENS CO WALMART CANADA 
 
All sales are based on issues off-sale in the period described. All data is based on actual wholesale O&R records and reflect all returns processed as of 5/10/2013. Any questions or additional information requests should be submitted to businessinsights@magnetdata.net.