Retail Sales

Retail Sales

The term retail sales describes the sale of newspapers and magazines via press retailers.
An important distribution channel is the distribution through press wholesalers to retailers, just as well as travel bookshops

Press wholesale and retail trade

Germany has a dense network of about 120 000 retail outlets selling press products. By means of a structural analysis of the retail trade (EHASTRA) within the framework of a full survey, all important parameters are regularly compiled and evaluated (among others: location and size of the outlet, equipment with shelves and displays, surrounding factors influencing sales). Thus wholesalers and publishers obtain current and comprehensive data on the structure and structural changes of press retail trade in Germany.
The most important types of retail outlets are newsagents, kiosks, grocery stores and supermarkets as well as petrol stations.
About 50% of press sales is done via press wholesalers. For all enterprises involved, Article 5 of the German Constitution, calls upon them to guarantee freedom of the press and plurality of the press. This results in the cornerstones for the press distribution system described as follows:

Exclusive distribution

In their distribution area press wholesalers have an exclusive distribution right for press products. 


The wholesaler guarantees free market access for all press products. It is his duty to give any magazine and newspaper a chance for distribution and to supply any retailer who may want to sell press products.

Right for allocation of copies– right for return

The publishers bear the main sales risk. Therefore, they and / or MZV hold the right for allocation to wholesalers. The wholesaler then has the right for allocation to retail trade. The retailer is turn has the right of return, i.e. the return of unsolds against a refund of the cost price, to the press wholesaler, and he again to the publisher. This system renders it possible for new, more exotic titles to have an opportunity for sale as well as to maintain a stock surplus for high circulation objects by the retailers to supply the market. However, this right for allocation must not be abused. Special agreements in the industry set upper limits for returns.

Price and usage fixing

It is the publisher’s right and duty to fix the sales prices to wholesaler, from wholesaler to retailer and to consumer. Uniform conditions across the retail trade help to maintain a wide range of press outlets. Simultaneously press products are protected from speculation.

Travel bookstores

Railway bookshops and sales outlets on airports are directly supplied by the publishers and/or MZV under special conditions. As a result of their exposed location 8 million customers buy press products there per week. Therefore, as little as about 400 outlets account for 10% of retail sales. The shops are open 365 days – at least 100 hours a week. These outlets represent an important distribution platform for the large variety medium and high-price special interest titles in the MZV range of products.
Keeping good relations to all press wholesalers and railway bookshops a focus for MZV.
Regular visits on all management levels (representatives, distribution directors, managing board) form the basis for the success of a magazine or newspaper in retail sales.