Unique Magazines MD, John Porrett.

A North East magazine subscription and distribution firm has seen a marked increase in the number of publications being delivered to homes throughout the country due to the lockdown, leading to a change in the company’s business model.

Unique Magazines based in Gateshead, was established in 2009, and now delivers a choice of more than 3,500 magazine titles to thousands of readers in 160 countries all over the world.

The recent lockdown has seen a dramatic rise in magazine subscriptions leading to MD, John Porrett, expanding his business by starting a recruitment campaign looking for a management accountant, a digital marketing manager and an in-house web developer. The new positions will strengthen his senior management team and help the firm grow and expand even further.

As well as the additional postal distribution of magazines, John has redesigned his warehouse space to cater for the general public to call in to buy and collect their favourite weekly, monthly or quarterly periodical.

“It may seem strange when many shops have closed their doors to the public, but magazines and newspapers are classed as essential retail. We have social distancing rules in place and every customer has access to wipes and sanitiser," said John.

He continued: “The beauty of people coming to us is that we can get access to any magazine the customer wants in whatever language they need too. We’ve had people popping in for Vogue’s Italian version, people learning to play the guitar buying Guitar World and a huge increase in sales of The Gentlewomen. We’ve also found that people are willing to travel long distances to find hard to reach titles and it’s wonderful to see the delight on their faces when they get their copy in their hands. Something we never see when we post the magazine.”

As well as specialist magazines, mainstream publications like What’s On TV, Good Housekeeping and Cosmopolitan are also selling well, an indication that the lockdown has seen people reverting to the written word for advice, information and entertainment.

Children too aren’t forgotten as educational and leisure publications cater for all needs. Popular titles include Horrible Histories, Eco Kids and National Geographic Kids.

“We’re probably the UK’s biggest magazine store and the benefits it brings to both our business and the customer are phenomenal", said John.

Please visit Unique Magazine's website for more details.

Kate Buckle
Article by Kate Buckle
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