A New York newsstand in 2008. Photo credits: Wikipedia Commons, Corn Fed Chicks

Gone are the days when you could buy your favorite magazine around the corner. The famous New York newsstands sell everything, but very little press. Why did we get there?

For Max Bookman, a lawyer representing the New York City Newsstand Operators Association, an organization that defends the rights of kiosks, it all began in the 1980s, when many immigrants from western India arrived in New York City: They had the entrepreneurial spirit and were looking to manage small businesses, that's how they gradually started to work in newsstands". Seeing that the sale of newspapers and magazines was not working very well, they managed to get permission from New York City to diversify their offer and not just sell the press. The transition has spread over time. In the 1960s, the city gave the green light to the sale of cigarettes, then to pre-packaged food in 1979 and increased the maximum price of items sold from $ 5 to $ 10 in 2013. " They started selling tobacco, sweets, sodas and jewels Says Max Bookman. Kiosks told him that they sold several thousand newspapers a day in the 1980s. Today, they are lucky to sell twenty.

The Wall Street Journal explains that the weak demand for the press is not the only one in question. "Operators say they receive only 5 cents on the sale of a dollar tabloid, compared to 80 cents on a bottle of Poland Spring to a dollar and 65 cents on a Snickers bar at $ 1.25".

The lawyer, while traveling to Paris, realized that newspaper kiosks were selling mainly press: " In New York, kiosks want to sell what earns money. They did not make the decision not to sell newspapers, it's just that nobody bought them. "

French kiosks must respect several constraints, including selling press on at least two-thirds of their commercial surface. This regulation was adopted in 2011 when kioskiers put one by one the key under the door and they were not allowed to sell anything other than the press, unlike New York freelancers.


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