Australian Newsagency Blog

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

Sunday newsagency management tip: run your newsagency to afford your replacement

Mark Fletcher
June 15th, 2014 · 5 Comments

BEFORE YOU SCROLL ON: This is the type of blog post here that attracts little comment, few likes and little attention yet it goes to the heart of what hundreds if not thousands of newsagents need to do in their businesses today. This like all the other Sunday tips is a challenge.

If you want to sell your newsagency it will need to generate sufficient net profit to pay for someone to work the hours you work in the business. If your businesses is not generating sufficient to profit to pay for your hours and deliver a profit it will be of less interest to prospective purchasers.

I understand this suggestion will frustrate and or challenge newsagents who today cannot draw even a basic wage in return for their time. If you do want to sell at some stage you will need to address this.

Newsagents have more capacity to improve net profit than they often think.

The three top areas on which to focus to improve the money you make in your newsagency: overall business gross profit, average shopper visit spend and frequency of shopper return. Focus on these and you will improve the profitability of your newsagency.

You improve gross profit by working on the price of what you sell (for products where you have price control) and the range of products you offer. You improve shopper visit spend, basket size, with more active shop floor management, better displays and a better range of products. You bring shoppers back more often with a loyalty program attuned to the needs of your shoppers.

If your newsagency today is not paying you a reasonable wage for your time, you need to act with urgency to address this. It is unacceptable to blame others. It’s your business. You decide what you sell, how it is displayed, how it is priced and how your customers experience the business.

I’ve seen newsagents realise this and reenergize their focus on their business with success. I have seen newsagents add ten percentage points of gross profit to their business and more. It starts with the decision to take control.


Category: Management tip · Newsagency management

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 allan wickham // Jun 15, 2014 at 9:02 AM

    Spot on Mark. We all have to make sure our businesses are more profitable. I really started to only think about the possibilities of this after listening to Jarod Tump from Dynamic Supplies talking at a newsXpress conference last year (no this isnt an ad for newsXpress…LOL).
    Jarod gave a great presentation based exactly on this topic….growing margins in our stores. He put it in an easy to understand manner and gave us real insight into how easy it is to achieve such a goal. Whilst Jarod was specifically talking Ink & Toner it would be just as easy and important to do to other ares of our stores where we have control on pricing and margin. And isnt that what we all should want?



  • 2 BruceZ // Jun 15, 2014 at 5:38 PM

    GP is elusive but must be pursued. I reviewed stationery pricing a year ago and the figures show an extra 10k in GP over the fin year. Another biggie I reckon is making sure we are getting the best rebates possible on greeting cards eh!


  • 3 Mark Fletcher // Jun 16, 2014 at 8:06 AM

    Bruce GP is all about product mix and what attracts shoppers to your store. This is where gifts, plush and similar categories play well. It’s all about transforming our businesses.


  • 4 Wally // Jun 16, 2014 at 6:35 PM

    But there is so much trial an error. We decided to look at plush after Marks comments. We purchased more expensive lines and are still looking at them whilst the cheap ones have turned over twice in the same time. Horses and courses. Our gifts fortunately have progressed much better. Our rewards program after an initial period last year we stopped as no improvement was seen. But restarted this year and have had it running for 6 months. Our weekly mags are now up on last year but is it the rewards or is it something else?? Like Coles dont appear to put their mags out very quickly. But thankyou Mark for your inspiration as we try and try again. Sometimes it works and sometimes it dont but each little improvement helps the bottom line and we all learn a little more of the fickle retail market.


  • 5 Mark Fletcher // Jun 16, 2014 at 9:14 PM

    Wally if you are not achieving plush sales equal to 25% of greeting card revenue then you’re making mistakes either with your range, pricing or displays.

    Newsagents who are part of a proactive marketing and management group have more to go on than trial and error.


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