Today we’re visiting Monocle’s newly opened magazine shop, Kioskafé, which is situated near London’s Paddington station. We catch up with publisher Tyler Brule to hear more about his new venture.
Why open a new magazine shop now?
What better time. As too many independent newsagents shut down and the big chains become more dull and predictable, now seemed like just the moment to shake things up a bit and show the market that there's another way of doing things.
Do you see more publishers moving into retail in the future?
We’re certainly seeing many publishers moving into the e-commerce space but I’m not sure we’re going to see that many taking up real estate. I think it would be good to see some big groups getting back into the business of getting close to their readers.
How do you lay out the magazines around the shop and how did you decide on that set up?
I feel full covers are important and I’m partial to seeing stacks of titles and also mags sold flat. We’re trying a sort of slanted display that will allow people to flick and peruse without having to pick a title up. We’ll see how that goes. I don't think we've nailed the configuration just yet as we opened with too many titles missing and I love density. Nevertheless, it feels cosy and not too overwhelming.
What magazines do you expect will do well?
So far it's a real mixed bag. We want to sell newspapers, so we see the Financial Times and International New York Times doing well. I think titles like Delayed Gratification will appeal to the crowd recovering at St. Mary's Hospital. Fantastic Man’s doing well. Ditto Gourmand. I want titles like 2 from Thailand, ZeitMagazin and hard-to-get supplements to find an audience as well.
Do you have a favourite local magazine?
UK mag? I’d have to say The Economist.
What has the biggest challenge been?
Dealing with contractors not directly under our control.