Exchange & Mart ceases print publication and goes online only

By Staff, brandrepublic.com, Wednesday, 07 January 2009 11:20AM

LONDON - Weekly classified car magazine Exchange & Mart is to cease publication in February and continue as an online only publication with as many as 80 possible redundancies.

Read Gordon's Republic blog post - So long Exchange & Mart.

The title is owned by regional newspaper publisher Newsquest which bought the title in September 2005 from United Business Media as part of a £50.25m deal that also included Auto Exchange.

Newsquest, which is owned by USA Today-owner Gannett, will focus its efforts on exchangeandmart.co.uk, the tenth most popular automotive classified websites in the UK according to Hitwise.

Two years ago it was the eighth most popular lagging behind market leader Auto Trader.

The print version has been hard hit by the collapse of the classified market in print and by the rise of online competitors such as eBay and Craigslist.

The last printed edition of the Poole, Dorset, Exchange & Mart, which according to its last ABC in in December 2007 had a circulation of 21,754, will appear in February 2009.

Eighty print staff based mostly in Poole have been put into consultation. A handful based in Cheam, Surrey are also included in the consultation process.

Debra Healy, digital Director of Exchange & Mart, said: "The future is very exciting for Exchange & Mart, which is very much a loved and iconic brand.

"Those that have enjoyed buying and selling vehicles and items in the magazine can continue to do so through our online product. 

"Buyers have the flexibility to pinpoint what they want, where they want to look throughout the UK and how much they want to spend -- all without having to pay for a magazine. Private advertisers can reach an audience of nearly one million potential buyers for just £5."

Exchangeandmart.co.uk has enjoyed strong online growth and lists over 124,000 used cars and nearly one million visitors each month. The site recorded year-on-year growth of 21%.

Frank McCaffrey, managing director of Exchange & Mart, said, "This move is a natural evolution for Exchange & Mart and marks the beginning of a new era for the brand. It is also very much a trend being followed by the publishing world as a whole."

Hitwise's top ten automotive classifieds for the month of December 08

  1. Auto Trader UK, www.autotrader.co.uk, 37.52%
  2. eBay Motors UK, www.ebaymotors.co.uk, 18.07%
  3. MSN Cars UK, cars.uk.msn.com, 3.49%
  4. Parker's, www.parkers.co.uk, 3.05%
  5. eBay Motors, www.ebaymotors.com, 2.96%
  6. MCN, www.motorcyclenews.com, 1.66%
  7. Motors.co.uk, www.motors.co.uk, 1.55%
  8. Car and Classic UK, www.carandclassic.co.uk, 1.40%
  9. Trovit Cars, cars.trovit.co.uk, 1.33%
  10. Auto Exchange & Mart, www.exchangeandmart.co.uk, 1.20%

Last year Gannett wrote down its assets by up to $3bn to reflect the declining value of its operations in the US and the UK.

It said the bulk of the write-down reflected the declining value in its Newsquest Media Group.

This article was first published on brandrepublic.com

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