Staff interview at Frontline Magazine Distribution

Introducing Chrissy Dillon

Name: Chrissy Dillon

Current job: Category manager

Joined Frontline: 2010

I joined the company in 2010 as a copy planner; in 2011 I became category operations manager. I then had two kids so went on maternity leave for a couple of years and came back in as a category manager. I did a secondment in the news trade marketing team before jumping back into category management.

Copy planning is very supply chain focused, newstrade marketing is publisher focused and then category management is very retail focused so I now have a thorough understanding of the business and the end to end journey of magazines.

In my role now I unbiasedly look over the complete magazine category, providing retailers with insight and support on their strategy. To give you an idea of the scale of our work, I work with WH Smiths – airports, railway stations, service stations – there are over 500 stores, and each has a range specific to them. My focus changes daily depending upon what the retailer needs.

The magazine market may be in decline but it is still a multi-million pound industry. Magazines are a good source of information that you can trust (there’s no fake news!). There has been a 7% decline year on year for the last decade but that’s what makes this role so much more challenging, in a good way. We have to strive for something different, innovative and creative around in-store space. It’s all about the ‘£ per bay’! Conversely, this makes for a more exciting role. Plus, there are so many launches with new magazines, publishers are investing all the time, which is a really positive sign, and great to be part of.

Future ambition

I am very analytical so for me, my current ambition is all around good analysis and being able to present the results to an audience. I really enjoy this and want to do more.

Tell us about the Frontline culture

The best part of the company is the culture and our working environment. Everyone knows each other, it is like a big family; I can talk to anyone in the company. I would work for Frontline every time – the culture is so much better than anywhere else I’ve worked, that’s why I’ve been here for 10 years. It’s a friendly environment – even when pressure is on, there is still that environment where everyone pulls together.

The office itself is lovely to work in, there is space to have meetings in a booth or a break out area, and the canteen is brilliant!

Are there three words that sum up the company

Friendly, progressive, exciting.

Any advice for job interviewees

Know a bit about the magazine market, go and have a look at the magazine fixtures in local stores to you and understand difference between stores. Also think about demographics and about the challenges the magazine market might be facing.