Frontline’s history started in 1986, when it was created by the magazine publisher Emap. The vision was to create the first dedicated magazine circulation and distribution business managed by specialist and experts in this field.
The value of such an organisation was quickly recognised by other publishers and in 1988 Frontline gained its first new Joint Venture partner; Haymarket Publishing (now Haymarket Media Group). Two years later BBC Enterprises (now BBC Worldwide / Immediate Media Company) entered the JV partnership to create the largest magazine sales, marketing and distribution company.
The partners soon recognised that Frontline’s operational expertise could be offered as a valuable service to other publishers in the UK. So in 1994, Seymour Distribution was created through a Joint Venture agreement between Frontline and Hachette Distribution Services focussing on fulfilling the distribution requirements of independent publishers.
Frontline strengthened its market leading position even further when H Bauer Publishing became Frontline’s fourth partner in January 2005 and its current ownership structure resulted from the acquisition of the Emap Consumer Media division by Bauer Publishing in December 2007.
Even more recently, in July 2013, Frontline acquired the remaining 50% shareholding in Seymour distribution. Whilst both businesses are maintaining their clear independent focus on their respective clients, publishers and retailers, the Frontline group now has a clear shared vision for end to end supply chain operations. The Frontline Group is now uniquely placed to develop services within copy management, online reporting, supply chain fulfilment and digital services that will outperform competitors and amaze our publishing clients.
As the UK’s leading magazine sales, marketing and distribution company, representing 42% of the magazine category, we sold 309m copies of our 800 different magazines through over 55,000 retail outlets ranging from the biggest superstore to the smallest newsagent.
The 230 talented people at Frontline and Seymour make us the successful business we are, at the forefront of industry thinking and driving sustainable innovation at a time of significant change.