Wholesalers are looking at ways of feeding daily updates on new magazine titles and prices directly into retailers’ EPoS systems.

Currently, retailers can keep abreast of new information via the fledgling online national title file, said MD of the Association of News and Magazine Wholesalers Terry Perry.

However, automating this data would save time and make the category easier to manage, he added. “We have yet to fully define the format for daily data feed updates, but envisage that they will probably be flat file format embracing all new or changed information.”

The ANMW will meet retailers
and EPoS providers later this year to explore how such a scheme might work in practice.

Although there was still a lot of work to do to make magazine distribution more efficient, significant progress had been made to ensure that titles generated in the national file corresponded more closely with titles on actual publications - a major bone of contention for retailers trying to manage stock, said Perry.

Likewise, retailers’ calls for off sale dates to be printed on magazines to help them return unsold stock more promptly were also being addressed, he claimed. “We’ve suggested that off sale indicators could be added to one shots or specials.”

Periodical Publishers Association CEO Ian Locks said publishers were considering the proposal for the “small number of magazines” that caused the most problems.