Niall Lanigan, winner of the Multiple Magazine Retailer of the Year award and News and Magazines Category Manager at Eason & Son, gives us his views on the industry and talks about how the market in Ireland is faring.
Congratulations on winning the award Niall, aside from your win, what is your proudest moment in your magazine career?
Given that pride comes before a fall, I will remain modest and let this go unanswered.
The judges said that Eason stood out due to the progress shown in the last 12 months and your level of investment in a difficult market. What has this investment in the category delivered?
Simply put, sales and market share growth. A number of customers have commented that they can see the difference in the category in the last number of months and this is translating into sales. It has also delivered a confidence that there remains a good future for the category if it is properly nurtured.
You recently moved to Eason after working at a magazine distributor, what is the biggest difference being on the ‘front line’ as a magazine retailer?
Working on the distribution side we tend to see our completion from within the category - title fighting title for space and distributor fighting distributor for space. Working on the retail side, the need to justify space for the category over other categories is the biggest difference in my view and the area where the trade should be supporting its category.
There is a bright future for magazines but it must be underpinned by continued investment in the category by all players within the supply chain
In an ideal world, what would your perfect magazine retail promotion be?
Free magazines for all customers, with the full cover price funded by the publishers! Given that that is unlikely and perhaps improbable, I would settle for any promotion that encourages loyalty through repeat purchase.
What was your first magazine?
How do you feel about the future of magazine retailing?
There is a bright future for magazines but it must be underpinned by continued investment in the category by all players within the supply chain.
What do you think are the biggest opportunities for the category?
To focus on improving retail perceptions of the category and what it delivers in terms of revenue and customer footfall. In order to do this, the industry must present the arguments to compete for space with other categories.
You have worked in magazines for a number of years, what do you like about the newstrade?
While it is a cliché, the magazine industry can truly claim to be about passion and passion is all about people. So I guess it’s the people that I most like.
What magazines do you currently read?
As a Neil Young obsessive, Uncut would be well read. Mojo for its classic soul and reggae coverage, New Scientist and the San Francisco based literary magazine, The Believer are other regular reads.
What do you do when you're not driving sales of magazines?
I coach a junior hurling team and the team is currently top of division one in its league.