I've never had a subscription to ME, always relyed on picking up a copy in my local WH Smiths, and until recently, this has been no trouble. For the last couple of months its been increasingly difficult, and last week I must have looked in about 6 different braches of Smiths with no luck. MEW, yes no problem, EIM, yes no problem, ME - nothing. I asked about this and was told that it was likely that sales had been too low, and Smiths had just stopped stocking it. Anyone else had this problem? I've 'cured' it now and taken out a subscrition.
I took out my subscription many years ago (circa 1989) because the Smiths where I lived never had it in stock, so I used to pick it up at Victoria Station. Having changed jobs, I was no longer able to get it from the station and the Smiths where my new employer was located only had a few copies, so it was touch-and-go if there was one left on the shelf on publication day.
Seems that, with so many mags fighting for shelf space, it depends on the level of sales which ones are stocked. Rather like finding different "lines" at each Sainsbury's or Tesco depending on local tastes and ethnic mix in the immediate area.
I noted ME, MEW and EIM are all available in our nearest big " shopping mall", but not in my local high street.
Also, Smiths are one of the biggest wholesalers as well, so even placing an order at my local shop wasn't a guarantee of getting a copy. If there were limited copies available, the Smiths retail side was obviously supplied in preference to my local 7/11. Same with newspapers. After missing odd issues, I submitted to subscribing, even then, some went missing requiring me to chase around to find one in the shops.
The subscription service now has an easy "missing copy" service, but in 25 years of subscribing, I've only had about 4 claims for undelivered issues.
There's no end to the good you can do in the world - so long as you don't mind who gets the credit
I've never found any copies of the engineering magazines in my local supermarkets. Haven't looked in a local Smiths in years so I'm not sure, but a Smiths near to where I work used to always have them in stock. Haven't had one in a year or two, though, so no recent experience.