Australian Newsagency Blog

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

Newsagents are responsible for business collapses and closures

Mark Fletcher
August 27th, 2014 · 3 Comments

quadrantIn Launceston Monday night I noticed that Quadrant News & Cards had closed. The empty shop with a For Lease sign is a sad sight.

It is easy to see this as a sign of the times, the decaying Aussie newsagency. But that would be wrong.

Quadrant News & Cards closed due to poor management. Plain and simple. All we owe the death of any business is the truth.

The truth is that this business was not well run. I will not go into details but I do know them

I have heard a few newsagents who have presided over newsagency business closures recently blame others: the landlord, their bank, staff, publishers. In most cases, the newsagent is to blame.

All of us need to own our situation. We need to be responsible for the decisions we have made and the decisions we make.

  1. Your landlord is charging the rent you agreed to.
  2. Your bank will chase you for debt you took on of your own free will.
  3. Your reliance on newspapers and magazines as a percentage of your overall revenue is up to you and business decisions you have made.
  4. Any decline in magazine sales is, primarily, your fault given how you range, display, promote and engage with magazines.
  5. Your staff are hired, trained, motivated and fired by you.
  6. The relevance of your business in a rapidly changing world is up to you.
  7. Your situation in relation delivery of newspapers is one you agreed to.
  8. The new traffic you attract to your shop is up to you.
  9. Your buying, pricing policies, merchandising … it’s all up to you.
  10. The relevance of your business to your local community … it’s up to you.
  11. Yes, this is your business.

Quadrant News & Cards in Launceston would be open today if the business had strong and committed management. It would be thriving if the owners had decided to stand for something rather than being an agent for what others told them to do.

There are too many newsagencies like Quadrant that have closed and too often the owners point the finger.

If you are contemplating closing your newsagency, if your debtors are threatening action consider taking ownership of your situation and developing a radical plan to lead your business out of the mess. It’s hard work but that’s what being a retailer (and not an agent) is all about.

If you are not contemplating closing and if your creditors are not chasing, you still need a radical plan to lead your business. We all do.

The plan starts with you looking at the business from the perspective of what is needed from today on and not from the perspective of what was done in the past.

The old way of running a newsagency is dead just as the old traditional newsagency focussing just on papers, magazines, cards, stationery and lotto is dead.

The story about the future of your newsagency is one you alone write.


Category: Newsagency management

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Cris // Aug 27, 2014 at 7:19 AM

    Mark, whilst you are mostly correct, sometimes mitigating factors beyond the control of anyone can play a significant part in a business closure, these cannot be ignored and continue to go unneeded. The situation where a director can be held personably accountable for such events is ridiculous and Australia is about the only western economy that still has such laws. There is no real protection for small business where they can seek arbitration and due to circumstances beyond thier control have some one step in and make unwilling parties join in the discussion, not just sit back and plead ignorance to the bombs falling all around. A lot of perfectly able business owners across a myriad of industry’s have succumb to factors completely outside thier direct control and to take such a simplistic approach is naive.


  • 2 Andrew G // Aug 27, 2014 at 9:09 AM

    Boy are you gonna’ get a whoopin’ Cris


  • 3 Who’s responsible for our business? | The LPO Blog // Aug 27, 2014 at 8:34 PM

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