Australian Newsagency Blog

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

Sunday newsagency management tip: knowing the numbers

Mark Fletcher
May 4th, 2014 · 3 Comments

Every business can be broken down and worked back to numbers, measurements, that can indicate the success or otherwise of a business. Increasing the right number by a small percentage can have a bigger impact than you might expect.

Take sales revenue in a newsagency and work this back: revenue is made up of a number of customer transactions(baskets), these are a function of destination or browsing shopping (minutes per visit and aisles walked), browsing shopping is a function of shop layout, tactical product placement, shop-floor engagement or other in-store promotion, this shop floor activity is a function of bodies through the door, and this is a function of word of mouth, memory from previous experience, advertising or happenstance (passing by).

You can measure each of these things – although I doubt any newsagent has the time to do this thoroughly. but if you did, you could predict the financial benefit of an increase of, say, 5% more people through the door. Just knowing the financial value could focus your attention on this one activity – getting people through the door.

While I doubt newsagents have enough time to measure everything they could measure, just knowing foot traffic passing the shop, the nu,her who enter the shop and the number (and value) of sales in a day could have you looking at your business differently.

The moment you know your conversion rate, the percentage of shoppers who enter through your door who spend money, is the moment your point of attention changes.

Please don’t think this is too hard or that it relates to a newsagency bigger than yours. In writing this I am thinking of newsagencies of any size. They all come back to numbers. Start somewhere. Get to know your business numbers and chase results.

A good example of the use of numbers is the gifts to cards sati. Some years ago I started measuring this and determined a benchmark newsagents should aim for is gift revenue equal to 35% of card revenue. Some newsagents pursued this just because they had a number, a target. Some achieved it and then passed it Рbecause of the target.

Data can be a valuable motivator.


Category: Management tip · Newsagency management · Newsagency opportunities

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 David @ Angle Vale Newsagency // May 4, 2014 at 3:24 PM

    Interesting Mark,

    Just looked at my data since we bought the business.

    Gift to card ratio –

    December – 31% 5.5%

    January – 30% 6.0%

    February – 33% 6.8%

    March – 80% 14.5%

    April – 75% 13.3%

    The second % is gifts to total sales.

    We have done this by actively seeking a broader range. The business was well known for picture frames, and we still do well with those, but have broadened in to other items, such as wind chimes, dream catchers, china and door mats shaped as cars, among other things.

    We have cleared a lot of the old stock we bought with the business and we keep changing the layouts so that customers even think old stock is new.

    Over the next two years I see us evolving away from magazines and deeper in to gifts and stationery.

    That’s my 2 cents.


  • 2 Mark Fletcher // May 4, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    Don’t ignore magazines though as they bring excellent traffic.


  • 3 David @ Angle Vale Newsagency // May 4, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    Don’t get me wrong, Mark. We are working magazines as hard as we can and trying to grow those sales too. even placing where appropriate, magazines with gifts. For example, MKR recipe book is displayed with the general food titles and with Mother’s Day cards.

    I placed issue 1 of the Star Trek part work on an outside table as well as inside – kept having to take copies from inside to outside as that was working well for us. The same tactic worked with the launch of Disney cakes. Both these titles now have strong holds,

    But I do think that the next 2 years will see a decline in retail magazine sales no matter how hard we work. If I am wrong, then my work promoting magazines and growing gifts will certainly pay off.


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