Altrincham Today

There are three main things we would like to highlight which we believe are fundamental to the ongoing success of our print magazine.

The first relates to our distribution model. Instead of the scattergun approach favoured by many local publishers, we have deliberately sought to promote a 'scarcity effect' and make our readers want to proactively go out and pick up a magazine. So although it's a free magazine, we know our readers place a value on each issue and don't just flick through and discard. Indeed, many collect it and are proud of their full set! We have intentionally kept our stockist list at around 15 - including Altrincham Market, Waitrose, M&S, independent cafes and book shops and even a shoe shop - and the most common feedback we get from stockists is that the magazine "flies out". We categorically know this because our editor, David Prior, is also the distributor, hand-delivering copies on foot and via his car boot. So we know exactly how many copies were actively picked up at each stockist - for our most recent issue, in autumn 2022, over 800 of the 6,000 copies were picked up at Jake Shoes. The second reason relates to the news model and the way in which this magazine is showing that hyperlocal journalism can have a sustainable future. We were covering the daily news of Altrincham for over three years online before launching a print title, prompting much eyebrow-raising. But in our experience there is still a genuine appetite for a quality print product, from both readers and advertisers. What the magazine has done is enable us to bring on board a full-time sales executive and to invest more in the quality of the title. The result is that the business now has a six-figure turnover with our profit margin in both Q2 and Q3 2022 running at over 50%. The final main reason relates to our content. We're very proud to use the magazine as a real champion of local people. Not celebrities or influencers, but local restaurant owners, shop owners, local craftspeople, market stall traders and the farming family that runs the local farm shop, among others. While we tackle more 'newsy' stories on our website, we see the magazine as the chance to dig deeper into our town and the people within it, to assimilate all the great things about our town into one place and to really celebrate the passion, skill and knowledge that exists within every business. In recent issues we have done major interviews with the doctor and volunteers leading the town's Covid vaccination effort, a Hongkonger driven out of his homeland who has set up a shop in Altrincham, and an incredible interview with a Ukrainian refugee and her Altrincham host. We would urge you to look at the latter interview in Issue 18. Using Google Translate, we interviewed the refugee in Russian to ensure that her story was properly expressed. The final piece makes for a very moving read.