Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

News Corp. opens its Victorian election campaign with a incomplete attack about Intralot

Mark Fletcher on October 25, 2014 8:39 AM

intralot-biasWhile the Victorian Labor Government screwed up the introduction of Intralot in 2007, they are not to blame for the $63M loss by Intralot in my view. The blame for the loss rests with Intralot for poor management, Tatts for their sales counter land grab and several independent authorities that permitted small business newsagents to be treated in such a way that cost them millions in business costs and lost sales. In my view, many were involved in this mess, not just the Labor government.

I say the News Corp coverage is biased because they have not addressed the inaction by the Liberal government in their four years in power. If Labor is responsible for what happened from 2007, the Liberals are responsible from 2010.

Politicians on all sides let newsagents down. They left us to defend ourselves against extraordinary bullying by Tatts that cost us millions in capital and much more in lost sales. Newsagents lost while many parties, including News, stood by and watched as this happened.

At the heart of the issue was how we used the scratch ticket bays in our Tatts shop fit. The logical approach would have been to sell Intralot scratch tickets from here. Tatts said no. Newsagents were left with expensive real-estate that could not be converted to commercial use. To make things worse, we had to find space elsewhere at the counter, away from the Tatts real estate, for Intralot equipment and materials.

So here we are in a retail lease that we pay for and Tatts is in control, denying us an opportunity to operate commercially. No one knew that Tatts would behave as they did until Intralot started installing. Newsagents were left to fend for themselves.

Professional reporting would have included an analysis if scratch ticket sales around Australia fro 2007 to today and thorough comparison or a monopoly lottery situation versus the more competitive environment. While I don’t know what such investigation would have revealed, the report by News today is incomplete and, in my view, biased.


→ 3 CommentsCategory: Ethics · Lotteries · Social responsibility

Stealing for lunch: I never stole from you

Mark Fletcher on October 25, 2014 6:22 AM

It was a customer who first noticed that an employee in a newsagency was short changing sales by ten or twenty cents. Some careful detective work soon revealed that it was being done in the morning, up to the lunch break.

When confronted, the employee protested that they weren’t stealing from the business. They withheld ten or twenty cents from enough sales to get to the $8.00  a day they spent on lunch.

We’re saving for a house and I can’t afford to buy my lunch is what I am told the employee said in justification for their action. And yes, they did say I never stole from you when they admitted short-changing customers. Oh and they never took more than $8.00 a day – they fought that made it okay.

It took a while to get the money shot on the security system, evidence of the employee removing cash from the register and putting it in their pocket – in time for lunch. Breathtaking!

While this is not theft on the scale I have often seen in newsagencies it is as serious and as damaging of the business and its customers.

Newsagents need a zero tolerance approach to theft. One way of driving this involved proper use of your software when it comes to transacting sales and managing change to be given.


→ No CommentsCategory: Newsagency management · theft

Stunning calendar sales in the newsagency already

Mark Fletcher on October 25, 2014 6:19 AM

calsalesOur 2015 season calendar sales are up 150% on this time last year and that is off an excellent base of 2013 sales.

We are driving sales with placement of an excellent range of carefully selected calendars at the front of the store, on the lease line, facing into the mall.

The sales growth is from right across the range of titles and from large and smaller format calendars.

This success is an example of creating our own success through data analysis, thorough planning and smart shop floor retailing.

It’s unlikely newsagents would get 150% growth in calendar sales from relying on magazine companies. You would certainly not get the 65% gross profit.

Any newsagent can achieve the calendar success I am describing here. I am aware of a newsagency in country Victoria enjoying this success and another in a regional shopping centre in a highly competitive situation enjoying the same success. These newsagents, too, have planned and managed for their success.

We have to own our situation. I write that many times, I hope it’s getting through. Every retail newsagent can grow their business. Yes, it’s hard work. We owe it to ourselves, our families, our employees and those we serve to do this.


→ No CommentsCategory: Calendars · Newsagency challenges · Newsagency management · newsagency marketing · newsagency of the future · Newsagency opportunities

Promoting Family Circle

Mark Fletcher on October 25, 2014 6:11 AM

magsfamcircThe Christmas issue of Family Circle magazine goes off each year. We have it placed with food titles, weeklies and in the location you can see in the photo – in the Better Homes and Gardens themed floor display unit from Pacific Magazines.

We’re investing the space because we know we will get the sales. Family Circle is highly sought after in my experience. Check where your stock is located.


→ No CommentsCategory: magazines

Take 5 and Yours discount pack

Mark Fletcher on October 25, 2014 6:09 AM

t5bagmagI noticed this pack of Take 5 and Yours from Bauer Media priced at the discounted rate of $5.95 in Coles yesterday. We received 7 packs and returned them the same day. It feels like these discounted bags are appearing with more frequently.


→ No CommentsCategory: magazines

ANF offers emotion over leadership to newsagents on magazine oversupply

Mark Fletcher on October 24, 2014 7:15 AM

At the ANF’s National Newsagent blog this week, under the headline of My heart bleeds for these newsagents, the ANF published a letter from a Western Australian newsagent about magazine supply issues including oversupply. Rather than providing leadership on the issue, what is supposed to be the peak body of the newsagency channel offers emotion and “sympathy”.

This post from the ANF reflects the extraordinary failure of the ANF to serve newsagents. It shows why newsagents should save their money and cancel their membership of this organisation which is bereft of ideas for addressing the single most important issue facing newsagents, as voted by newsagents.

The ANF opens the post, before publishing the letter, with:

… and all the other newsagents who write in with the same story. It is so depressing that such distribution practices almost bring these small businesses down and cause them turn away from magazines. What do you think they should do?

Saying it is depressing is unhelpful. Asking newsagents what to do is ridiculous – you know what they think. This was your moment to be a leader!

The ANF representative says in one comment at the end of the post that the ANF is working strategically with the MPA. My understanding is that the MPA has been working for some time and only recently has the ANF become involved. That project, while welcome, is unlikely to address what newsagents need addressed.

Here is what I would have said to the newsagent had they written to me as they did to the ANF.

Dear newsagent,

Thank you for sharing your story. It is one we hear often. Your situation is not unique. The vast majority of newsagents face similar competition pressures.

While it can be hard to confront, you need to face your situation with the knowledge that you chose this, you chose to purchase your business, you chose to sign the magazine supply contracts. I will do everything possible to help, but resolving your situation starts and ends with you.

Lobbying government will not help as politicians care less about small business. Sure they will sit and listen to us but they will not change legislation for us. The ACCC, too, over the years has proved good at listening and a failure at even trying to understand the unfair competitive situation in which we find ourselves.

At the core of the magazine distribution system is a set of practices imposed on newsagents by magazine distributors that are from an era of regulation, monopoly, where they were appropriate. In 1999, when the distribution of magazines were deregulated, those involved, including the ANF at the time, agreed a framework that disadvantaged newsagents. That framework continues today. It is unlikely you or anyone can change it. So, your focus has to be on mitigating your own situation.

The only parties with which you have a contract are the magazine distributors. They need to be the focus of your attention. They are tricking companies, paid for each parcel they shift through their warehouses and on the vehicles they contract. The more parcels they shift the more money they make. It suits their business model to move as many parcels as possible and care less about why they are moving parcels.

In your letter, you mention subscriptions. Let go of this. They have always existed and will always exist. They chase a different shopper. Yes, they are cheaper. However, those buying them are not likely to be your customer. Worry more about what you can change.

With all due respect, you need to take the emotion out of the situation. For example, your question Lastly do these companies understand how many hours a week we devote to their magazines in our stores? is not relevant to any discussion on oversupply. Yes, I understand you invest more time than is warranted and that if this were added to your business costs, magazines would most likely be loss making. 

Take the emotion out of your letter and start again.

If you are being consistently oversupplied, write to the offending distributor(s) and seek a change in behaviour. Ask for a response in seven days. Provide examples where you have received more than 50% above what you would reasonably sell of a title. Explain that this consistent oversupply is, in your view, unfair treatment of your small business and that you feel powerless to alter their behaviour. Ask for a review of supply to terms you consider are acceptable.

While they consider your letter, gather your evidence. Use your computer system to produce a sell through rates report by distributor. If this shows long-term gross oversupply, it becomes vital evidence for your next step. If you don’t have a computer system you will need to manually gather the evidence.

Once the seven days is up, take the matter to the Small Business Commissioner, apply to have your dispute mediated. This will bring you and those you complain about to the table. You should file a separate request for each distributor if you have evidence of sustained misbehaviour.

Send a copy of your correspondence to the distributors and your evidence to the ACCC with a covering letter explaining what the reports show – sustained oversupply of product that makes your independent small business less competitive than your nearby supermarkets.

Stick to the facts. Use the state and federal government departments but always communicate with them on the basis of facts. 

While you do all of this, plan for your future. Create a newsagency that brings in traffic for items outside newspapers, magazines and lotteries. Create a business that is known for other things over which you have more control. 

I know of newsagencies in towns of 2,500 people where the businesses are enjoying excellent growth. It can be achieved by you being a leader of your business.

Complaining cannot be part of a business plan. A business plan requires tangible action points. In this letter I outline specific actions you can take. I will gladly help you with any of the steps covered. But remember, no emotion. regardless of your faith, remembering the Serenity Prayer can be useful through this: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference.

If you know who wrote to the ANF, please pass this letter on to them. Let them know I’d gladly help them through the steps outlined.

Newsagents can achieve more individually on the issue of magazine oversupply than they think. It takes planning and commitment. It requires a whole of business approach not only to magazines but what else you could do to bring traffic into the shop.

The issues outlined by the newsagent in Western Australia are not new. The ANF has held countless meetings and strategy sessions on the issues. It has achieved nothing. It is time for newsagents to deal with these issues themselves.


→ 1 CommentCategory: Ethics · magazine distribution · magazines · Newsagency challenges · Newsagency management · Social responsibility

Stunning retail #4

Mark Fletcher on October 24, 2014 5:39 AM

indoormallSee how this retailer in a mall in Guangzhou, China has used a tree to bring the outdoors inside and make their shop more appealing. This mall is completely underground. There is no natural light. Space is tight. Click on the image, see the detail.


→ No CommentsCategory: retail · visual merchandising

Stunning retail #3

Mark Fletcher on October 24, 2014 5:36 AM

hangarCheck out the shop front created from old coat hangers that I saw in Guangzhou, China earlier this week. In a mall with more than 1,000 retail outlet, gaining shopper attention is challenging. This stands out for their different shop front and clever use of hangers.


→ No CommentsCategory: retail · visual merchandising

Stunning retail #2

Mark Fletcher on October 24, 2014 5:34 AM

deepdiscountThis retailer in Guangzhou, China sells cheap home brand products. Prices are a third of similar items elsewhere. The shop fit, layout and store operations reflect quality. You only notice low prices when you look at specific items. This is a smart way to sell on price.


→ No CommentsCategory: retail · visual merchandising

Stunning retail #1

Mark Fletcher on October 24, 2014 5:33 AM

bshopfang suo commune in Guangzhou, China is a stunning retail business. It’s a bookshop, magazine shop, gift shop, stationery shop, clothes shop and coffee shop. Oh, and it’s an art gallery – all in the one large open space in a premium shopping mall.

It was quiet, even at the sales counter. The product mix was eclectic and interesting and the staff attentive.

fang suo commune is the best bookshop I have ever seen. Their coffee is among the best I have had. If I lived locally, this is where I would do Christmas shopping.

magcaveHere is an example of their approach too magazines. You walk through the tunnel and there are magazines on the inside walls. They have magazines on the outside walls as well. Do not be mistaken by the photo. The experience, live in the space, is extraordinary.

I never expected I would suggest retailers look at retail in Guangzhou, China for inspiration. Having been to fang suo commune and many other shops I’d suggest we have plenty to learn from such a competitive and innovative retail situation.

I am grateful for the opportunity to have seen tis.


→ No CommentsCategory: retail · visual merchandising

Meeting with XchangeIT

Mark Fletcher on October 23, 2014 3:55 PM

I met with Chris Leach the CEO of XchangeIT today as part of a regular discussion Chris has with the various newsagency software companies.

I took the opportunity to express concern that newsagents are pressured to provide accurate sales data yet we see little benefit in return.

While it is outside his purview, Chris listened as I outlined the magazine supply issues I have canvassed here on this blog this week and previously. I made the point that the failure of magazine distributors to supply based on accurate sales data leaves newsagents questioning the value of providing accurate sales data and the impact this has on perceptions of XchangeIT.

The shareholders of XchangeIT – magazine distributors and the ANF – need to affect change by magazine distributors if they are to have newsagents provide access to more accurate data.

They need to ensure that newsagents are supplied based on sales data and not supplied to serve the commercial interests of distributors.

The examples this week of gross oversupply of Top Gear reflect a disregard for good data provided by newsagents through XchangeIT. The supply by Bauer of unwarranted extra stock besmirches the reputation of XchangeIT.  It is disappointing that those involved appear to be uninterested.


→ 6 CommentsCategory: Ethics · magazine distribution · magazines · Social responsibility · XchangeIT

Newsagents caring less about accurate data as a result of worsening magazine oversupply

Mark Fletcher on October 23, 2014 7:48 AM

A newsagents who recently got pinged by XchangeIT for failing to meet their standards expressed anger at abuse of their business by the imagine distributors for overloading them with stock.

Digging into the situation, there was no issue with data quality, just timing. So, the distributors receive accurate sales and return data but it is not always delivered the same day.

In the data from the business I can see more than 60% of titles are oversupplied. That is, for more than 60% of titles this business receives 50% or more stock than they would usually sell.

No wonder the newsagent does’t trust XchangeIT. It is supposed to lead to fairer data-based allocations. That is clearly not the case.

With newsagents more acutely aware of business performance at the product category level than at any time in their past, it is reasonable that the performance of XchangeIT come into scrutiny. All of the attention to accurately recording sales and returns has to play out as a business outcome at some point. Unfortunately, for too many newsagents, the outcome is continued oversupply.

The risk is that newsagents will care less and less about magazines and about XchangeIT – unless this is resolved. But what does resolution look like?

Newsagents deserve:

  1. Equitable supply massed on sales data with an acceptable gap between recent net average sales and supply. I’d suggest no more than 20%.
  2. No new titles unless approved.
  3. Ability to cut a title (in quantity or completely) immediately and without needing to seek permission.
  4. No on-sales greater than 30 days.
  5. No physical return of unsold stock.
  6. Financial penalties for titles that achieve a sell through of vower than an agreed level. I’d suggest 70%.
  7. Financial penalties for SBR supply where there is no data to support it.

Magazine distributors hold newsagents accountable for their level of indebtedness yet they provide no reasonable mechanisms through which we can control our level of indebtedness. Oversupply is akin to them taking interest free loans from us without permission.


→ 13 CommentsCategory: Ethics · magazine distribution · magazines

News Corp. removes newspaper home delivery price protection in South Australia

Mark Fletcher on October 23, 2014 6:40 AM

News Corp. has advised newsagents in South Australia that it will remove price protection for home delivered product within weeks. Here is the advice the company provided newsagents:

Please note that News Corp has decided to remove the price protect for home delivery customers with the forthcoming price increase for the Sunday Mail on Nov 2, 2014. Thus, please charge full price for all home delivery customers from Monday October 27. At the same your rate for agent collect flat wrap copies will rise to the same as the retail papers.

Many years ago newsagents told News that home delivery customers were not concerned about price for the quality premium service. It will be interesting to see what customers think today with the status of newspapers now compared to then so different.


→ 4 CommentsCategory: newspaper home delivery · Newspapers

Finally, consistent coverage of news

Mark Fletcher on October 23, 2014 6:36 AM

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 10.35.36 amIt was good to have a day where newspaper covers right around Australia parked agendas as they marked the passing of former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. Regardless of your politics, key aspects of the Australia we have today is thanks to the transformative but short Whitlam years.

The image is a terrific gallery created by Mediaweek.

My favourite cover is that for The Age.


→ 1 CommentCategory: Newspapers

I see plush he sees a dragon

Mark Fletcher on October 23, 2014 6:30 AM

whyplushA boy in the shop was drawn to this dragon and while that is not unusual, how it happened piqued my attention.

Mum can I have this dragon please? He casked. It’s like a teddy bear, said his mum. No, it’s a d r a g o n (yes he said it slowly, emphasising the difference).

To the boy, the dragon is not a plush item, not a teddy bear. It made me look at plush differently as they appear different to different shoppers.

It reminded me of the value of listening to customers on the shop floor and seeing what we sell through the eyes of our customers.

Whereas the mum sees the dragon as another soft toy, the kid sees a character to play into his childhood fantasies.


→ No CommentsCategory: Newsagency management · Plush

Is it unethical to send more stock of a title a newsagent without justification?

Mark Fletcher on October 22, 2014 5:30 AM

Imagine the surprise of a newsagent this week when they received additional stock of Modern Wedding Styling magazine when they still had stock on the shelves from the August allocation. There is no sales history to indicate they will get through the initial allocation. So, the newsagent topped the supply this week and early returned it.

The newsagent has lost time and money on unwarranted allocation. The publisher has copped the cost of shipping out the stock that was topped this week. They will probably cop a return fee and maybe a topping fee.

The distributor could have saved the publisher and newsagent costs had they used the data they have from this newsagent and not sent the extra stock in the first case.

What happened in this situation could be considered to be a poor allocations, poor management or deliberately actions to generate fees for the magazine distributor.

It’s say it’s not a poor system as that’s an excuse Network has used for decades.

It’s say it’s not poor management because network has had plenty of time to address that.

I think the supply reflects a commercial decision to apply and this is what I’d label unethical. Whoever participated in or facilitated this situation ought to be ashamed of themselves.

This is another example that makes a mockery of the pressure newsagents are put under by XchangeIT for data accuracy. There is no evidence of magazine distributors being put under similar pressure.


→ 4 CommentsCategory: Environment · Ethics · magazine distribution · Magazine oversupply · magazines · Newsagency management · Ugh! · XchangeIT

Evidence Bauer Media sales based replenishment of magazines to newsagents is not based on sales data

Mark Fletcher on October 22, 2014 5:28 AM

Thank you for sending your sales data.

Based on the information you have provided, we have raised an extra order on your behalf.

This order will be delivered to you on the next available delivery day.

Outlined below is a list of what the order will contain.

This is the opening of an email this week from Bauer to a newsagent. The Sales Based Replenishment (SBR) system / experts at Bauer advised he was getting two additional copies of Top Gear. The problem is, he has only sold two copies and has four copies of the initial supply in-store. The sales data sent to Bauer was for the two copies. This is not evidence to support the Bauer claim to supply more. Their email is wrong, it makes this newsagent trust them even less.

It’s not the first time Bauer has said the sales data made them do it to justify sending extra stock. Nor is this newsagency the only one in Australia to receive such an email from Bauer where there is no evidence in the sales data to support the claim.

This action makes Bauer’s systems look broken and their allocations people stupid or deliberately abusing newsagents to serve the company.

My suspicion is that the Bauer SBR system, if it is a system, is broken and raising new allocations without any evidence – causing newsagents to incur more costs over which they have no control and for which they are 100% liable.

This is unfair. It disadvantages our channel. It makes us less competitive against supermarkets.

Looking at Top Gear sales for this newsagency for 2014, I see no evidence in the data for the newsagent to be suppliers more than three copies each month yet the initial Bauer allocation is six copies. Then, weeks into the month, they allocate two more.

No wonder this newsagent does not trust Bauer. The data informs his position on this.

This is another example that makes a mockery of the pressure newsagents are put under by XchangeIT for data accuracy. There is no evidence of magazine distributors being put under similar pressure.


→ 4 CommentsCategory: Competition · Ethics · magazine distribution · Magazine oversupply · Newsagency challenges · Newsagency management · Ugh! · XchangeIT

The Agatha Christie Book Collection: A good partwork

Mark Fletcher on October 22, 2014 5:19 AM

christie61The Agatha Christie Book Collection continues to work well for us. While volumes are not large, supply is consistent and our customers loyal. Customers receive a text message when the next issue is in. We easily track who has collected and who has not as each customer’s copy has their name and barcode. The labour invested is minimal. This is a somewhat rare example of an efficient and reliable part series. More please.


→ 4 CommentsCategory: partworks

Make the most of gifts

Mark Fletcher on October 22, 2014 5:18 AM

magsgwpI encourage newsagents to shop off the gifts with Marie Claire and InStyle to make the most of the gift opportunities. In both these cases the gifts are driving incremental sales. In a shop at the weekend I saw InStyle folded back and there message of the gift was all but lost.


→ No CommentsCategory: magazines

Terrific gift with purchase for Australian Country Style

Mark Fletcher on October 22, 2014 5:17 AM

cs-gwpThe Crabtree & Evelyn moisturising soap packaged with the latest issue of Australian Country Style is an excellent gift for this title. While it’s packaged so that it blocks the title in the pocket behind we can work with that to be fair to that title. After I took the photo I moved the title out of this pocket and placed it in a stand above the section as the feature title of the section. This respects the gift and the other titles in pockets in the section. What looks like a good idea for a publisher can hurt sales for another publisher. As newsagents we have to navigate situations like this weekly. And publishers wonder why we have little time.


→ No CommentsCategory: magazines

Magazine publishers who make supermarkets more appealing than newsagents risk the future of our channel

Mark Fletcher on October 21, 2014 5:41 AM

For years there have been differences between how suppliers who supply newsagents and supermarkets with the same products treat these competing retail channels. While newsagents have complained, they have done nothing about it. I think we are approaching a time when we will need to act.

The challenges now are about much more than better gifts with purchase for supermarket shoppers.

The supply model used today disadvantages newsagents as it encumbers our businesses with financial,. labour and space costs that our competitors do not have. But even that is not why I say we are approaching a tipping point.

Price is the issue. More and more I am seeing different pricing in supermarkets for titles we sell in newsagencies.  News Life Media and Bauer Media are the main publishers engaged in this. They must be doing it to drive traffic to supermarkets and away from newsagents for their products. Why else would they make their products so much cheaper in our competitors?

Why price Inside Out $2.00 less in Coles than the newsagency 50 metres away?

Why bundle weekly Bauer titles in supermarkets at a discount to nearby newsagents?

The only reason can be to drive supermarket sales.

Think abut the long-term implications – either newsagencies close or they reduce their reliance on magazines. What that may not hurt many of the titles sold by Bauer and News Life Media, it will hurt them and it will hurt many other publishers.

Today, the Australian newsagency channel is the largest single magazine retail channel in the country. But for how much longer? Those publishers who appear hell-bent on directing shoppers away from us need to consider the bigger picture for all publishers as well as for small business newsagents and the vital and quintessentially Australian role they play in there communities. Thankfully, not all publishers are so inclined to kill our channel.

Publishers: every action you take against us makes magazines less profitable for us and informs our own actions. Every time you facilitate supermarkets presenting your product as better value from them you harm our businesses.  You’ll blame us when we are less interested in your products or quit as you have blamed us in the past, not thinking for a moment about the role you played in us deciding as we have done.

Every benefit you give supermarkets, every time you make them more appealing than newsagents is another decision against the future of the Australian newsagency channel. Shame on you as we have served you well. It is newsagents who have been key to your success and newsagents off of whom you make more money.


→ 19 CommentsCategory: Competition · Ethics · magazine distribution · Magazine oversupply · magazines · Newsagency challenges · Newsagency management · newsagency of the future · supplier arrogance · Ugh!

Fun with gross body parts

Mark Fletcher on October 21, 2014 5:24 AM

bodypartsThis display unit of miniature slimy body parts is generating a terrific reaction from shoppers as they pore over our Halloween products. We have a heart out of its bag so that people can feel it. When they screw up their faces it’s terrific to see – almost as much fun as when a boy hands the heart to an unsuspecting friend or parent. For a tiny cost, these gross body parts are playing unimportant role in our interactive approach to Halloween 2014. I love it!


→ No CommentsCategory: Fun · marketing · Newsagency management · newsagency marketing · Newsagency opportunities

International airport duty free retail displays educate on visual merchandising

Mark Fletcher on October 21, 2014 5:21 AM

vmabsoluteI get a kick out of displays I see in international airport duty free stores. They teach plenty about visual merchandising.

This Andy Warhol themed Absolute display is a good example. The detail in connecting the floor mat and the lamp cover, for example, is excellent. The layering of the elements on the display gives it a depth which works very well. The brand is the hero – as should be the case with any retail VM display.

Newsagents could say this type of display is not appropriate in our type of business. I know of newsagents who would disagree, newsagents who enjoy sales success from similarly stunning displays in-store and in their front windows.


→ No CommentsCategory: visual merchandising

Promoting Bauer Christmas cookbooks

Mark Fletcher on October 21, 2014 5:19 AM

xmasmagsWe have all three current Christmas books from Bauer together as part of our Christmas themed titles placement. While it is unfortunate Bauer has chosen to not use its sales base replenishment facilities for these titles we’re giving them prime positioning together to attract early Christmas food title shoppers. Placing them together is important in my view.


→ No CommentsCategory: magazines

Retail theatre at the counter – clever visual merchandising

Mark Fletcher on October 20, 2014 6:04 AM

halcountitA team member created this display of Halloween-themed Mickey and Minnie Hallmark Itty Bittys at the counter.

I love  Mickey and Minnie cascading out of a cauldron watched over by a spider, spilling across the front of the counter.

I call this retail theatre because it tells a story and represents movement. It is not your usual static counter display. It makes the products more noticeable and more appealing.

We need to create different displays like this if we want different outcomes at the sales counter. By different I mean better. By outcomes I mean sales.

sales come from grabbing shopper attention, interrupting their line of sight and through thoughts. This display is doing that. People are noticing the Itty Bittys, picking them up and purchasing them.

the products themselves provide a safe and fun way with engaging with halloween. The Disney theme is key here.

Average displays generate for us average results and that is not a win for our businesses. We have to lift our game, if we are to commuter effectively. Displays like this are a small part of what we have to do.

Next time a new display is done in your business, stand back, look at it and ask yourself – is this average or is it a fresh approach that will deliver an above-average outcome?

The days of the average traditional newsagency are over. We have to each play in areas that work for us in our own situation and we have to do this by being creative and playing outside the rules that have been traditional for our types of businesses.

I love this display and am proud to have it in my shop.

I have loaded a high res version of the photo so you can see how the display has been created.


→ No CommentsCategory: visual merchandising