Australian Newsagency Blog

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

We need to look for stationery that sells outside the stationery department

Mark Fletcher
March 28th, 2014 · 6 Comments

postitbagOne way retailers Smiggle and Typo are driving traffic and sales success with stationery is by pitching stationery outside of the usual approach for pitching stationery. They are doing this through innovative packaging and product selection whereby everyday items look more appealing that much of what newsagents have in their everyday stationery department. They focus on stationery as a fashion more than functional purpose.

I was reminded of the opportunity of pitching stationery in a newsagency outside the stationery department when I met with some folks from 3M yesterday.  Among a terrific range of products (available from GNS) that I saw was this handbag post-it note dispenser. While the majority of newsagents have post-it notes on their shelves, few have this and other fashion and fun post-it note dispensers.

Our narrow buying of stationery, buying as if we were buying for the 1980s and 1990s shopper, misses opportunities for us. Here is 3M, a relatively boring (sorry guys) consumer products firm offering more fashion oriented versions of traditional products that enable us ti pitch stationery as gifts and too few in our channel embrace the opportunity.

Let’s make stationery fun. This starts with us buying better. We can do this by talking more with suppliers and seeking out fun and fashion related stationery products – for seasons and through the year.

Stationery sales are challenged in many newsagencies and we have only ourselves to blame since we do the buying, merchandising and promotion. Let’s stop letting Smiggle, Typo and others win by buying better.


Category: Newsagency opportunities · Stationery

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Chris // Mar 28, 2014 at 7:18 AM

    GNS had stilleto tape dispensers. I was sceptical but bought some and we sold out within a week! We also have started stocking a lot of “Spencil” stationery as it is similar to Smiggle and the younger generation love it. Plus with all the rain lately we have sold over 100 Spencil Umbrellas!


  • 2 Tracey-Ann Chin // Mar 29, 2014 at 9:15 AM

    We are currently revamping our stationery department. Where we have had 4x types of staplers we are bringing it down to one.
    Rather than Texta, Crayola and Faber Castell products in the children’s section we have reduce to having just the full range of Texta. Has anyone had or redone there stationery department that could provide some valuable advice?
    Love the idea of intergration of essential stationery and the modern like 3M sticky note dispenser.


  • 3 Shalu // Apr 17, 2014 at 7:31 PM

    Really a great idea to promote products in a creative way. Would definitely try this out for the promotion of my business too.


  • 4 Wally // Jul 7, 2014 at 7:39 PM

    A little off subject but i couldnt find anything else. Government forms. Do we HAVE to hand them out. Having received various from GG I phoned to ask what i would be paid for distribution. $10 was the reply. They take more space than $10. Convenience for my customers. Most that are looking for these forms dont buy a thing and are not regular customers. Why do we hand out forms for a government. I bet Coles wouldnt do it. Do ALL newsagents hand out forms and if so why


  • 5 Amanda // Jul 7, 2014 at 8:47 PM

    Stopped doing it years ago Wally. Along with selling stamps, and doing newspaper deliveries!


  • 6 Mark Fletcher // Jul 7, 2014 at 9:37 PM

    We have the forms behind the counter and cheerfully give them out.


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