Australian Newsagency Blog

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

It’s like we’re in a foreign land sometimes

Mark Fletcher
December 24th, 2013 · 6 Comments

We’re seeing many out of state shoppers with people on the move for their Christmas holidays. It’s fun watching and listening to them. Often I pick up tips, especially the things they like. These non-regular customers are a delight.

On the weekend a mum and her 10+ daughter were shopping with us and asked to buy an instant scratch ticket. I said we don’t have them. What newsagency doesn’t have lottery tickets? the mum asked. I explained there was a kiosk nearby. What’s a kiosk? the mum asked. The young girl pulled away from a surprised mum and ran to a group waiting outside yelling they don’t have lottery tickets they don’t have lottery tickets. I stood there looking for the hidden camera.


Category: Newsagency challenges · Newsagency management

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 shauns // Dec 24, 2013 at 7:36 AM

    I love the ones on holidays they are normally the ones that will complimant your shop on how good it looks or what lovely cards or gifts etc , where as locals just want to cut you down eg gees you don;t have much of a card range where as 5 min earlier someone will say how good the card range is .
    Just had a lady winge at me because i didn’t have her sratchit ticket that she normally gets (we have been hammerd on scratchit tickets the last few days ) i said instead of being negative could you say gees you must have been busy this week and sold out .
    By the way golden casket and theeir scratchit ordering process sucks ,one week turn around is rediculous


  • 2 h // Dec 24, 2013 at 9:14 AM

    I love the holiday visitors too, they often have a whinge about the newsagency back home ! Wonder what my customers say about us !


  • 3 h // Dec 24, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    The foreign land may be coming our way :

    From the DailyMail (UK )

    M&S faces boycott as it lets Muslim staff refuse to sell alcohol or pork
    • Marks & Spencer’s policy applies to Muslim staff in more than 700 stores
    • Shoppers are being asked to wait to pay for certain items at different till
    • Highlights divide among mainstream food retailers over religious workers

    Furious M&S customers threatened to boycott the store last night for allowing Muslim checkout staff to refuse to serve customers who want to pay for alcohol or pork.
    Managers at a London store told the workers they could ask any shoppers trying to buy the items to wait until a different till was available, it emerged yesterday.
    One shopper said: ‘I had one bottle of champagne, and the lady, who was wearing a headscarf, was very apologetic but said she could not serve me. She told me to wait until another member of staff was available.


  • 4 Unity // Dec 24, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    get over it h,

    Religion is not foreign. Many Aussies follow many religions.

    Respect for all and we will move on. Disrepect and down the gurgler we all go.



  • 5 Jarryd Moore // Dec 25, 2013 at 3:05 AM


    I believe this was a relatively isolated incident and that M&S usually assign people with particular religious beliefs to departments which don’t conflict with such preferences.

    This could be considered a smart business decision by M&S. However, I wonder if they would be so accommodating with all employee preferences (religious or not) – say a person who don’t like smoking refusing to sell tobacco products, or a vegan refusing to sell any animal-based products, or a racist refusing to serve black people. While I usually abhor a slippery slope argument, in this case I think it has some validity.

    An employee’s religious beliefs should have zero impact on their work (as should an employer’s). The moment it does the flood gates are open.


  • 6 Jarryd Moore // Dec 25, 2013 at 3:11 AM


    Respect is a two way street. Just as one should respect the right of someone to hold a belief, that person should respect the right of another to not hold it.

    If a customer must respect the right of a Muslim cashier to not believe people should consume pork, then that cashier should also respect the right of the customer to legally purchase such a product.


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