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Nigel Bunker

SAM Subscription Bonus

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Gary, so long as it's not all 'RIAT 2016' photo-spreads I'm inclined to think its a pretty neat idea! Like Graham I have returned to being a regular WH Smith purchaser since you took over, especially now that your 'old' mag tends more and more to look like SAM did before you arrived! Given how much the Smith's fee is just to have the magazine on display, perhaps the long-term plan is to move off those shelves eventually ? I've just submitted an article as well, perhaps it might get in now..

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On ‎2‎/‎3‎/‎2017 at 8:48 AM, FalkeEins said:

Given how much the Smith's fee is just to have the magazine on display, perhaps the long-term plan is to move off those shelves eventually ? 

 

 

Strewth, do Smith's charge magazines a fee for display?  What  a rip-off world we live in!

I used to like John Menzies' shops, back in the old days, but now that they have been taken over by WHS, the service seems poorer. Shame.

 

Like you, chrisov, I often have difficulty finding SAM in Elgin. The aeroplane magazines generally are getting squeezed out it seems.

 

John B

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36 minutes ago, John B (Sc) said:

 

 

Strewth, do Smith's charge magazines a fee for display?  What  a rip-off world we live in!

I used to like John Menzies' shops, back in the old days, but now that they have been taken over by WHS, the service seems poorer. Shame.

 

Like you, chrisov, I often have difficulty finding SAM in Elgin. The aeroplane magazines generally are getting squeezed out it seems.

 

John B

Yep, WHS, Tesco's and others charge up to £25,000 per magazine title just for the privilege of putting a magazine on their shelves. I also believe they select which stores the magazine goes into, the publisher is at their mercy.

 

P

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On ‎2‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 4:33 PM, PDH said:

Yep, WHS, Tesco's and others charge up to £25,000 per magazine title just for the privilege of putting a magazine on their shelves. I also believe they select which stores the magazine goes into, the publisher is at their mercy.

 

P

 

That's an extraordinary sum of money! I knew that supermarkets charged their suppliers for shelf space and demanded "contributions" to marketing and advertising costs but it never occurred to me that they did the same to publishers. It doesn't make it any easier being a small or niche area publishing business.

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On 11 February 2017 at 3:54 PM, John B (Sc) said:

 .......I used to like John Menzies' shops, back in the old days, but now that they have been taken over by WHS, the service seems poorer. Shame.........

 

John B

John, all of the Menzies shops in England were sold to W.H. Smith, rather than being taken over,

in the same way as some of the Smith's wholesale branches were sold to Menzies, as wholesale was the direction that Menzies saw the most profit.......  GOOD call !!

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11 hours ago, PhoenixII said:

John, all of the Menzies shops in England were sold to W.H. Smith, rather than being taken over,

in the same way as some of the Smith's wholesale branches were sold to Menzies, as wholesale was the direction that Menzies saw the most profit.......  GOOD call !!

 

Thanks PhoenixII, I was aware of that in a general sense and you are right, there is a technical difference between take-over and sale. For the staff, and for the customer, there may be little difference effectively. I was reflecting the fact that we as ex-customers of John Menzies see a rather poorer service now up in Scotland - I cannot speak for England.  (And having once worked for  a company that sold off part of its operations to a competitor, it can be fairly hard to distinguish between a 'hostile' take over and a sale handover at the operational  staff end of things ! )

 

I didn't realise that was only shops in England, as you emphasise. Are you sure - what happened to the retail shops all over Scotland?  As far as I am aware they are all now Smiths branches. Was there a different exercise done in Scotland? I know that Menzies elected to go towards wholesale only, yes. 

 

John B

 

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After a bit of thought I'll chuck my :2c: in. 

 

IMHO way back SAM had the balance about right between historical information and build articles, the latter often being conversions or vac-forms. True the reviews were certainly rose tinted, sometimes beyond the point of recognition, but the information offered was robust and doesn't date too much. The 'In Detail' subject is often a very good starting place even today.

 

So now we have several different advance notice, news, rumour and 'In box' reviews all of which are done much better by the web. An increasing advertisement content, also done much better on the web. Build articles that tend to be expanded instruction sheets and using whatever finishing products the magazine is pushing this month, very rarely is ANY criticism of the kit made. In my old industry these were known as advertorials but then the customer got the magazine for free. By contrast on the Web anybody can build and show a kit warts and all. Often the thread is interactive with others correcting, suggesting and adding information.

 

What does that leave the print copy? Well customers who aren't on the Web, those who are looking for something to hold and read (but a rather expensive option), tradition (I've always brought it) and finally casual buyers. I suspect the last are a tiny part of a small number.

 

Paying extra for a premium service is used by DAB radio to get ad-free content, download services for heavy users and upgrades to 1st Class benefits and so on. These all offer something more not just more of the same (which may end up in the standard Lite version a few issues later).

 

Want a potentially better way? Look at general aviation magazines and move to the Bookazine format. Limited adverts and timeless content. A good start would be model-making articles that address issues with a release, how to fix them, techniques other than use paint brand X not Y, after-market bits that help/are needed/replace kit detail and what decals there are out there. That way somebody buying a Tamigawa 1/30 Scruggs wonderplane in five years time will still be buying the magazine for the model-making bit, another body after information on the Farley Fruitbat will buy it for the 'In Detail' article and the same for most of the content.

 

I feel a lot better for that. Thanks if you've read it and I hope it's of use to somebody.

 

 

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On 14 February 2017 at 11:45 AM, John B (Sc) said:

..............And having once worked for  a company that sold off part of its operations to a competitor, it can be fairly hard to distinguish between a 'hostile' take over and a sale handover at the operational  staff end of things !

 

I didn't realise that was only shops in England, as you emphasise. Are you sure - what happened to the retail shops all over Scotland?  As far as I am aware they are all now Smiths branches. Was there a different exercise done in Scotland? I know that Menzies elected to go towards wholesale only, yes.

 

John B

 

Evening John,

with regard to the first part of your truncated post (above), been there, done that and NOBODY wants to buy the t-shirt!!

 

Moving to the second part, it was my understanding that the change from retail to wholesale was purely England / Wales,

the retail operation in Scotland remaining, as that was home ground, as reiterated by the then chairman when visiting shops affected by closure.

However, as we know, "a battle plan is perfect, until the first shot is fired!"

 

Onto 'service' at WHS, it's very 'hit and miss' if you find a good member of staff think yourself lucky, however, the retail trade has

consistently been in the bottom 10% of the lowest paid staff for years, that's from the newest member of 'Saturday' staff through

to the store managers. Everyone is expected to do more with less, WHS haven't helped their 'corner' by taking over so many

post office franchises, personally I think they should play to their strengths rather than trying to be 'all things to all men'.

When I was in retail, the phrase most used was "you could teach Monkeys better", the sad thing is, that has now polarised.

 

Paul

 

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just hoep it dosent disappear from the shelfs, as i cant afford subscription being out of work on health grounds, as pick it up and its sister magizine MilitaryModelcraft when i can ....i have knew every issue printed but missing a few lol..but if does go subscription or in favor of that way then may be one that sadley stop getting..and speaking to few others i know im not the only one who feels the same. as for digital its something else i dont like prefer to have a paper copy as always there if need it and dont have to worry if pc is playing up etc...

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