I have been contacted by a small rural newsagency which has been presented an ultimatum by Gordon & Gotch: pay $30.00 (plus GST) for a once a week delivery or switch to being a sub agent. Here’s part of their email to me:
The other day i received in the mail a letter from Gordon & gotch informing us that we were an uneconomic store due to the low volume of magazine currently sold in the store. It went on the say that they want us to have a one day a week delivery costing us $30.00 plus GST a week or move to being a sub agent and arranging the pick up of magazines our self’s.
I understand why Gotch would make a move like this on an account worth well under $100 a month to them. That said, the newsagency model was, in part, established to reach into all parts of Australia, bringing country town and hamlet access to newspapers and magazines.
Newsagents have in the past been told by Gotch representatives that the profitable titles help cover you for the loss making titles. Surely, the profitable deliveries for gotch help fund the public service of reaching these remote parts of the country.
One option for this newsagent is to accept the once a week delivery and charge customers more. The challenge for them is that they are 15k away from a bigger town where people do their weekly shop and will be able to get magazines more regularly and for no premium cost.
If this is a change in policy from Gotch – and I’m trying to find that out- then it’s a conversation that ought to be had in the open between the company and newsagents. Gotch needs to be fair and prepared to enable newsagents to NOT have to take unprofitable titles just as it is refusing to service unprofitable accounts.
We do live in a world of user pays. Fair enough. Gotch (and magazine publishers) can’t live that mantra only when it suits them.