Tesco magazine has become the UK’s most read printed publication, overtaking The Sun

The grocer’s magazine has grown 8% in the year to September to capture a readership of 7.2 million, eclipsing the tabloid’s 7.1 million readers, according to the National Readership Survey (NRS).

The figure reflects Tesco’s continued store expansion and emphasis on influencing shoppers through products in its magazine as well as the decline in traditional print media, which has caused The Sun’s readership to drop by nearly 20% in 10 years, the Financial Times reported.

Tesco magazine is free, published twice a month and displayed at the front of more than 800 of its UK stores.

It is produced by content marketing agency Cedar and features recipes, celebrity interviews and lifestyle tips that highlight Tesco products. Earlier this year, the grocer released its first issue that featured augmented reality triggers on every page, meaning shoppers could use their smartphones to watch videos associated with the articles.

The supermarkets are now among the most important UK publishers. The NRS study found that Asda magazine has 6 million readers, Sainsbury’s 3.4 million and Your M&S 3.7 million. 

Tesco magazine editor Helen Johnston said: “What’s clear from these results is that right now, when it comes to print, branded content is king.”

However, the NRS said people spend more time reading The Sun, an average of 29 minutes, than they do Tesco magazine at 16 minutes.

  • Tesco has moved the director who spearheaded expansion in Japan to its Indian business. Mark Murphy, who moved from the UK business to develop the grocer’s operations in Japan in 2006, has moved to India where Tesco has franchise stores under the Star Bazaar fascia. His move follows Tesco’s exit from the sluggish Japanese market and indications from the Indian government that it may relax the laws on Foreign Direct Investment for multi-brand retailers.