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"Hasty replacing of press kiosks with the French model threatens the press distributors and publishers", - Dmitry Martynov, president of PDA, Part II

- Julia Kazakova indicates in her interview, that today a significant amount of press objects idle in Moscow. Is that right? What are the reasons?

- Indeed, in large metropolitan networks around 15-20 % of the objects are permanently or temporarily idle. Leaving aside administrative reasons, when kiosks were just brought in one place, as happened in the South-West in the metro Konkovo, where several stalls from different parts of Moscow were brought up to one place, the main reason will be the economics. Which ultimately is expressed by the absence of sellers. People just avoid to work in the press kiosks because of low salaries. And it is not always possible to pay more money - just in cases, when the  kiosk is located through passage areas, entrance locations close to public transport. In all other cases, especially in residential areas, the revenue of stalls is small and does not allow the vendors to pay a decent salary.

That's why  at one time PDA sought permission for the installation of advertising structures on the newsstands? Just to get from advertising, though small, but still the money and then send them to increase salaries for kiosk keepers. For many years kiosk network in France, Spain, the Baltic’s, are working according to this scheme and even more recently in Kazakhstan: the ads  posted on newsstands here significantly improve the economy and establish a decent salary for the stall men.

However, the project proposed by the Department of Media and advertising not only fail to improve the situation, but on the contrary - will change for the worse. After all, its implementation requires not receiving extra money from advertising, but vice versa - to pay 60,000 roubles for the kiosk rental! In addition, the promotional design will be installed on the kiosk, hence the amount of consumed electric power consumption will increase service outlet. The result will be an increasing number of unprofitable kiosks. And the city will not fulfil the task to improve the overall network of press sales objects. It will be good enough not to lose their amount.

- How much can make a loss?

- I think 30-40 % of today's network.

- What do you think - the situation can be corrected by introducing an additional range?

- This problem has been discussed many times. And here there are two aspects.

 Julia Georgijevna also speaks on one thing – that it’s unacceptable to increase the prices for periodicals or tariffs for publishers. This position is quite true : mass press – is a low-cost press. Now, the retail prices of newspapers and magazines, already had reached the ceiling. The slightest price increase will lead to a drop in sales. The world experience shows the way out of this situation: selling a variety of goods of daily demand and supply of additional services. This practice is widespread in kiosk networks in Poland, the Baltic States, the Czech Republic, which allows them to keep low end prices for consumers. And the market volume of the press in these countries, per capita is much higher than in Russia, and the number of sales outlets exceeds the average European standards. For example, in Poland the figure is 600 people per kiosk, in the Czech Republic - 450.

The second aspect - is the so-called traffic generating goods. This is the product for which buyers specifically look into the booth , acquiring the press at the same time. Such group of product in the kiosks were in Russia, and remains in Europe, is tobacco. After the ban on the sale of tobacco products in the non-stationary retail, the replace for this product group was not found.

The economy of modern press stalls requires a different groups of impulse demand and commercial advertising , a wide range of services to the population, above all, to ensure the sales of a significant number of newspapers and magazines at affordable prices. I want to remind you that the appearance of mass newspapers in Europe at the time was due to low prices for newsprint production at the expense of serious advertising revenue funds. The dualism of the publishing business was manifested in the generation of income from retail and advertising, and the last item of income was 60-80 % in the budget of the publisher. Currently, in the fall of print media, the Western publishers are moving from ad-centric business model to sales-centric. Under present conditions, when there is a continuous rise in energy prices, utility and rent payments, maintaining the press sales channels is only possible if they have additional income. In this case, I mean the kiosks. Not to understand this, especially, resisting it, means to doom the whole system of press distribution.

Returning to the subject, I want to say that in terms of the offered product range, the draft proposed by the Department of Media and Advertising has two difficulties.

First, how the assortment will be regulated? The project so far say nothing. A PDA proposal on the matter are pending in the structures of the Moscow City Government already several months.

Second, the model shop, proposed to replace in the entire Moscow, in fact is a large, beautiful, but not a stall, rather a vertical tray. Perfectly designed for the needs of periodicals, but is not intended for sales of related products.

Here you can see how many problematic issues arise. And all of them are expecting explanations and solutions. I have spoken only of the most basic "pitfalls". And there are a lot of smaller ones. For example, few people know that the life of a kiosk at the main roads lasts for only five years. Furthermore, it requires a minimum of constant repair and replacement, if it does not spoil the view of the city. Q: if the auction for a period of ten years has to win an advertising agency, then at whose expense will be changed or repaired the kiosk once in five years?

- Dmitry Vladimirovich, the problems are sorted out. But how to solve them? What does the PDA proposing?

- Once again , I stress that we all in PDA, and I among them, understand the need and, most importantly , the complexity of the replacement of all the stalls of the press in Moscow. We are ready to work in this direction. Seek a reasonable compromise and overcome all difficulties. The main stumbling block is, in my opinion, in the haste and the very tight timing of the program.

I'm a scientific and technical worker due to my previous profession. And all my rich past experience and knowledge suggest that you first need to establish a pilot sample, test it, then complete it and only then start the production. The current proposal is - rather take the quick decision, to hold auctions and immediately replace all 2,600 kiosks by May of the next year - strongly contradicts all my experience, recalling rather the Bolshevik approach.

Hasty replacement of press kiosks to the French model threatens the press distributors and publishers. Therefore, having a heated discussion about the ways out of this situation today, press distributors offer, first, do not rush out and spend a full experiment. It is necessary to establish several new pilot stalls, and not a single "kardosovsko -french" look style, and a few that are based on various European models, a total of not less than one hundred units. During the experiment to work out all aspects of the project in practice: from the adaptability of the kiosk for the autumn -winter period and the possibility of successful sales of tying products and ending by working off the auction conditions and agreements in practice.

The second proposition of distributors: based on the results of such an experiment to develop the existing legal framework of the press distribution system in Moscow, which is mandatory to provide preservation of the existing deployment of retail outlets for the operators of the press sales. I can responsibly say : if the pres distributors were given the opportunity to install kiosks for a period of ten years or more, and thus the risk of no return on investment reduced to a minimum, the market would have gone for it. However, we just did not get the chance provided. Anything that gets us again - are the endless auctions. Look at newsstands in Paris or Rome - their appearance does not change not only over the years, but even for decades. Repair and replacement occur only due to depreciation. This consistency allows the press distributors the opportunity to work normally. I will say more - the same positive examples exist in our country: in Kaliningrad kiosk rental period is 25 years, in Kazan - 49. And it is justified because such retail facilities pay off for many years. And if we want to establish a truly beautiful, functional, decent kiosks in Moscow, let's provide similar conditions for the capital’s distributors.

Eugenia Trushina

Source : PlanetaSMI.RU