Australian Newsagency Blog

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

Excellent signage helps capture your shopper

Mark Fletcher on July 29, 2014 6:03 PM

craftI love the signage used in this Typo store for signposting their craft area. The sign reflects fun and connects with the younger shopper attracted to this store.

I watched as shoppers were drawn down to this display, at the back of the store. The sign worked.

We compete with this business but they are far ahead with their in-store messaging. It’s  finely tuned to their typical shopper. Brilliant!


→ No CommentsCategory: visual merchandising

Terrific use of the ceiling in a retail store

Mark Fletcher on July 29, 2014 5:59 PM

ceilingCheck out how one retailer I visited recently is embracing the ceiling with the wallpaper going up the walls and onto the ceiling. The book theme is perfect for as they also sell books. The books on the ceiling help give you an impression that you are shoe where special, somewhere different to out there.

Success in retail depends on giving shoppers are unique experience. This shop certainly does that. The fixtures and merchandising sweep you away.


→ No CommentsCategory: Newsagency management · retail · visual merchandising

Here is one reason shoppers are becoming wary about handing over personal data

Mark Fletcher on July 29, 2014 5:58 AM

hackSecurity protection firm Symantec recently published their Internet Security Threat Report 2014. It is a sobering report of the increase in hacking and attacks through websites, email, mobile devices and more. While I am sure it is does not document the full extent of the impact of digital attacks, what it documents is frightening.

This report and others like it are a reason more and more people are wary of handing over private information for things like loyalty programs. It is a reason companies collecting personal data need to commit to the security of the data they collect and to follow through the commitment with appropriate investment in protecting the data.

The report is also a reminder to newsagents about the importance of proper security protection on all the computers you use.


→ No CommentsCategory: Newsagency management · theft

Embracing the shop door

Mark Fletcher on July 29, 2014 5:54 AM

backdoorI love the way one retailer has embraced the door at the back of the shop I saw in Auckland on Sunday.

Take a look at the photo. The staircase is a photo on the door. What makes it work is the placement of greenery around the door.


I didn’t notice the door until someone used it.


→ 2 CommentsCategory: retail

A good issue of Golf Digest to put in the spotlight

Mark Fletcher on July 29, 2014 5:53 AM

magsgolfdgirlsThis latest issue of Gold Digest magazine is a good one to put with weekly magazines, newspapers or a high traffic location where the title would not usually be placed. The cover is very different for the magazine. Place it somewhere different and get more people browsing – and maybe buying – the title.


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No regular price Woman’s Day at one Coles

Mark Fletcher on July 29, 2014 5:47 AM

cheapmags2One newsagent in Melbourne was happy hearing that their local Coles only received the bagged discount pack of Woman’s Day, NW and OK!. These discount packs were at all checkouts, the Bauer supplied floor unit and in their magazine department.

Maybe this was the plan by Bauer. Anyone else found this at their local Coles?


→ 2 CommentsCategory: magazines

Inexpensive NZ lottery corporate image requirements for retailers

Mark Fletcher on July 28, 2014 7:50 PM

nzlottoClick on the image to see in detail what NZ lottery retailers are required to install in terms of a fit out and external marketing.

Externally, there is stick on signage and inside, there is inexpensive signage at the sales locations.

One retailer I spoke with today said they spent less than $3.000 on their corporate image.


→ No CommentsCategory: Lotteries

Cool promotion of a newspaper at the counter

Mark Fletcher on July 28, 2014 7:42 PM

papercounterI like this placement of The New Zealand Herald at the counter that I saw this morning. The placement of a copy in an acrylic unit showing off the front page is very smart – if the front page can’t sell a newspaper what can? If Australian newspaper publishers moved to a fair margin (25% or more)  I am sure plenty could be encouraged to try this to drive single copy sales.


→ 4 CommentsCategory: Newspapers

Weekly magazines and convenience food

Mark Fletcher on July 28, 2014 7:37 PM

confecmagsI like this display of convenience food placed above weekly magazines in the same book retailer I referred to in the previous post. There is no missing the bags of chips and other items placed above the magazines.

This is very smart retailing, a placement sure to drive a deeper basket.


→ No CommentsCategory: Convenience retail · magazines

Cool kids book nook

Mark Fletcher on July 28, 2014 7:35 PM

kidsbooksCheck out the very cool kids book reading and sales nook I saw in a bookshop at Auckland airport. It was in the centre of the shop – a play area kids could be within easy view of parents browsing the shop. Out of shot in the photo is a couple of kid-size seats.  Very cool.


→ No CommentsCategory: Book retailing

Yours more expensive in New Zealand

Mark Fletcher on July 28, 2014 7:32 PM

yoursnzI was surprised to see that Yours is priced at $5.00 in New Zealand. That is A$4.55, a considerable difference to the price of the Australian edition of the title. It could be due to difference in competition between New Zealand and Australia.


→ No CommentsCategory: magazines

If you are looking to buy a newsagency

Mark Fletcher on July 28, 2014 4:08 AM

I am aware of several new newsagency locations in centres. If you are looking to open a newsagency in Victoria, New South Wales or Queensland, please contact me by email or phone (0418 321 338).


→ No CommentsCategory: Newsagency for sale · Newsagency opportunities

Have you been asked if you accept the Bauer Rewards program?

Mark Fletcher on July 28, 2014 4:02 AM

We have not been asked once by a customer if we are part of the Bauer Rewards program in my newsagency. One pitch reportedly used by Bauer to get people to sign up was that other newsagents nearby have signed up and you will need this too or you will miss out.

While the program is still relatively young, I suspect that take-up is causing some concerns within the company given the money that has been invested out of the Connections budget.

Have you been asked if you accept Bauer Rewards?


→ 12 CommentsCategory: Newsagency management

Retro products work in a newsagency

Mark Fletcher on July 28, 2014 3:57 AM

nostalgiatoysWe continue to have success with retro products from mugs to magnets to retro toys like these pushing puppets.

I love seeing an older shopper showing them to someone. You know if they pick it up the chances of them purchase increase dramatically.

We have had these on the shop floor – near our greeting cards – for just on a week and have sold four. I’m happy with that. The margin is excellent.


→ 1 CommentCategory: Fun · Gifts · Newsagency opportunities

Sure it’s only by a couple of copies but here is evidence of Zoo being oversupplied

Mark Fletcher on July 28, 2014 3:55 AM

zoooversupplyClick on the image the see the screen shot showing the data Bauer has relied on to set our supply of Zoo Weekly. Look particularly at issues 28 through 33. Without justification our supply was increased.

While it’s only an extra copy, Bauer is hard on newsagents who are only a day late paying their bill.

Bauer is tough on newsagents yet it rejects complaints from newsagents when they are tough on the company. It needs to drop its double standards.


→ 5 CommentsCategory: magazine distribution · Magazine oversupply

Interesting 4-day sale

Mark Fletcher on July 28, 2014 3:50 AM

4daysaleI am in Auckland looking at retail and noticed a massive 4-day sale at Whitcoulls – just about the closest they have here to an Australian newsagency.

There were all sorts of deals. With cards it was buy 1 and get one at half price. What was odd was how they promoted it – with small signs stuck in card pockets. It made the display look untidy but that could have been the point. The signs are certainly easy to notice.


→ 3 CommentsCategory: Greeting Cards · Newsagency management · newsagency marketing

Sunday newsagency management tip: research what you sell

Mark Fletcher on July 27, 2014 5:21 AM

learnaboutitKnowing more about what you sell can help you sell more. While that sounds like a glib marketing pitch, it is true.

We researched The Grumpy Cat and instead of placing it on the shelves as a regular product we created small signs that connected the product with the memes on facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and elsewhere on The Grumpy Cat.

Our approach showed we understood the product and how people engaged with it online. It also drew attention to The Gumpy Cat in a far more effective way than if we simply placed the stock on the shelves.

Our signs were fun. We have seen customers smile and point them out to others they are shopping with.

Take a look on your shelves for products you could research and as a result better engage with.  Start with licenced product – you will be surprised at what you learn by reading fan forums and other online content. The better you understand those interested in what you sell the easier it is to sell to them.

Look at your newsagency as more than thousands of SKUs to sell. these are products people will love. your job is to bring the products to the attention of your customers in a way that speaks to their interests.

Researching what you sell will increase sales.

Footnote: we sold ten of the Grumpy Cat in a few weeks.


→ No CommentsCategory: Management tip · Newsagency management

Sunday newsagency marketing tip: think about a 2015 calendar for your customers

Mark Fletcher on July 27, 2014 5:17 AM

It’s the end of July and a good time to think abut a give-away calendar you could make for your customers. Such a calendar would be an excellent opportunity to promote local events and support local groups and causes.

Make sure the calendar promotes your business.

You could get the calendar printed by a local printer. Heck, you could even print it on your copies to save money and promote your copying service.

There are also online businesses that specialise in designing and printing calendars like tho – weigh up the approach that fits your budget and works best for you.

Be sure to create a calendar that is genuinely useful for your customers. +HAVE FUN!

The calendar should connect within your unique selling proposition, it should pitch what is special about your business.


→ No CommentsCategory: marketing · marketing tip · newsagency marketing

Smiles with newspapers

Mark Fletcher on July 27, 2014 5:11 AM

happynewsWe have been testing these cute small yellow happy plush items with newspapers. Customers smile and occasionally they purchase from here. The main stock of the range is on then other side of the aisle so newspaper shoppers with their eyes open will see them twice.

We are constantly trying different items with newspapers – always something with a higher GP to chase a better return from the newspaper sale.


→ No CommentsCategory: Newspapers · Tactical display

Magazine traffic driver for the newsagency

Mark Fletcher on July 27, 2014 5:08 AM

magsfrontHere’s the display we have at the front of the newsagency this weekend. We are using the new issue of Better Homes and Gardens as it always works well at the weekend – and the cover shot looks particularly tasty. We have Good Chef Bad Chef issue #3 next to BHG as it sold well for us from here last weekend.

This stand on the lease line is the only magazine representation at the front of the shop. We count the what we place on the stand so we are sure of its value.


→ No CommentsCategory: magazines

The simple promotions are the best

Mark Fletcher on July 26, 2014 3:43 PM

nexusspreePacific Magazines through their Nexus program is running a $5,000 shopping spree competition starting Monday. These short-burst easily understood promotions work well.

My goal in getting behind this is to build the database that supports my shop through Nexus emails and text messages.

We did some planning today on how to make the most of the launch next week: the floor display unit will be at the front of the store, we will use collateral in front of each major title that is part of the promotion and have a pitch with at least one Pacific title with newspapers – our top three traffic locations will be covered.

For us it’s not about pretty displays – it’s about key location tactical engagement.


→ No CommentsCategory: marketing · newsagency marketing

Get your Disney titles together

Mark Fletcher on July 26, 2014 2:45 PM

disneytogetherCheck where you have the three Disney food titles in-store. Place them together to leverage the Disney brand. The photo shows what we have done. While we have the Cakes cookbook with food magazines, we figured it could also sell from this location.


→ No CommentsCategory: magazines · Management tip

Some newsagents keen to embrace initiatives and opportunities

Mark Fletcher on July 26, 2014 6:34 AM

newsmeetIt has been terrific meeting with newsagents at the newsagency management workshops being run around the country at the moment.

Newsagents I am talking with are looking for practical advice and ideas appropriate to their situation. They don’t want to be sold some froth and bubble, they want specific information on actions they can take in their own situation.

I am sensing a change in the newsagency channel. I have spoken at many events like these over the years and the mood of this series is different. It gives me optimism about the future of the newsagency channel.

It’s been particularly thrilling to meet with newsagents from rural and regional areas. Hearing of someone travelling for four hours to participate is fantastic.


→ 2 CommentsCategory: Newsagency management · newsagency of the future

Eftpos / credit card fraud minimisation advice

Mark Fletcher on July 26, 2014 6:30 AM

I was contacted by my bank yesterday about an online transaction their internal systems claimed was fraud. I called the number of the person who ordered goods from the website and sure enough their response reinforced the bank’s view. The quick check avoided the frustration of cancelling a sale we had yet to fulfill.

Click here for advice from the ANZ Bank on fraud minimisation. This list from the ANZ is particularly useful:

  • check the appearance of the card (for instance, does the card appear damaged or altered?)
  • make sure the signature on the signature panel of the card does not appear altered, and that the signature on the transaction voucher matches the one on the card if a PIN has not been used
  • be alert to customers who appear nervous, have no means of identification and ask for the transaction to be split or hand-keyed
  • do not allow equipment to be used by unauthorised persons
  • only process a refund to the same card used in the original transaction
  • always use CVV2 as part of your authorisation procedure for purchases where the cardholder is not present.

→ No CommentsCategory: theft

Inspiring kikki.k window

Mark Fletcher on July 26, 2014 6:26 AM

kikwindowThe latest window display being used by kikki.k looks terrific: it uses bold colours, an inspiring message … follow your path … and a sense of forward motion to attract.

I am sure this display, in all their stores, will drive good shopper traffic for the group – how could it not?

This is the type of window display we can use for inspiration in our newsagency businesses.


→ No CommentsCategory: visual merchandising