I took a look at Jan. – Mar. 2014 vs. 2013 data for a newsagency from a major suburban shopping centre this week and here are comments I shares with the owner:
Being in such a major shopping centre with so many competitors for what you sell can be a challenge.
I don’t know how you manage the business with so many categories of products in departments. Take cards, they account for 17.05% of your revenue and you have more than 120 categories of products listed in your card department – many delivering sales of 1% or less.
Once I break this out I can see the various major suppliers and do wonder whether spreading your card offer across so many suppliers offers the best shopper experience. I understand the desire for variety. However, this needs to be balanced against management time cost and the overall shopper experience. Focussing on a major supplier allows you to leverage them more in telling / selling your card story.
Your card revenue is down 3% year on year. This is in a quarter when the majority of newsagents are reporting growth. In fact, there is a gap of nine percentage points between your business and the average newsagency.
Your gift sales are considerably below average. Based on your card sales, your gift revenue this quarter ought to be in excess of $20,000. With 16.38% of your gifts uncategorised it is challenging to be detailed on the opportunities.
Magazine unit sales are up 10% year on year in a terrific result. Your growth in weeklies of 5% is excellent. Not so good is that 22.8% of your magazine sales are uncategorised. Your data management is not up to standard.
Your stationery revenue is down 7% which wile not ideal, is not dreadful. What is dreadful is your data management. You have categories that may mean something to you but are non standard – making it hard for you to eventually sell the business with good data management.I have never seen categories like you use and while they may help you, they make like for like comparison challenging.
Your book results are excellent and against trend. That this department generates 1.58% of your revenue is terrific. The year on year growth of 4% is great. It see an opportunity for you in gifts and calendars based on your book sales. For example, food titles account for 11% of your book sales and these can play out in calendar and gift sales.
You have a large and successful business but I am left wondering if it could be more successful with better data management.
I hope this helps.
In response to a question I had yesterday, I don’t disclose the identity of the newsagency as it serves no purpose. All of us have challenges in our businesses and things we miss in the day to day running of our businesses.
I post this information here so newsagents can read it and see things that relate to how they run their business as well as to see opportunities based on good things newsagents are doing.