November '19

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NOVEMBER 2019 THE SHOP 117 these are non-auto-related and cater more to craft and health customers, but it's all part of the experience. According to Lynn Marshall of USAu-, an importer of American auto parts in nearby Bedford, "Magazine Heaven is a fantastic place where I can find a wide range of diverse magazines both domestic and international." According to Palmer, "More than 800 million magazines are distributed across the UK and consumers spend almost $1.3 billion annually on magazine media. Maga- zine Heaven is aiming to satisfy some of that need." FINDING THEIR WAY Graham Rennie of American Auto Mags (AAM) is trying a different approach. In busi- ness since 1991, AAM is a premier supplier of American car magazines, books and manuals offering a primarily mail-order service. We spoke to Rennie at the recent Drag- stalgia event at Santa Pod where he was doing brisk business. "We set up at most of the major classic American, rod and custom shows and drag races in the UK. It's a matter of taking the cart to the horse," he explains. "Magazines tend to be an impulse buy and if the public can't see it, they can't buy it. Rodders tend to be our best customers as they are inquisi- tive and always looking for what's new. Hop Up and The Rodder's Journal are our best sellers." Incidentally, helping influence that impulse buy in the UK are all sorts of spiffs or special offers such as calendars and gifts that are poly-bagged with the magazine. Of course, that wouldn't work as well in the U.S., where the majority of sales are by subscription. Looking along the shelves at Magazine Heaven, it appeared that the UK auto maga- zine business is doing OK—though maybe not as OK as it once was. For example, the July 2019 issue of Britain's Classic & Sports Car, for which there is no immediate Amer- ican equivalent, measured 8-1/2-by-11-1/2- inches and contained 258 pages jammed full of both display ads and smaller classifieds. And, Classic & Sports Car is not the only title catering to this market. A brand new, high-end quarterly mag- Printed UK titles such as Magneto and Classic & Sports Car continue to connect advertisers to well-defined readerships.

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