Australian Newsagency Blog

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Another example of why time of day pricing for newspapers should be considered

Mark Fletcher
September 3rd, 2014 · 28 Comments

timebasedsalesI took this photo at 3pm Monday this week in Sydney. The sign, on the lease line of the cafe facing into George Street, pitches their fresh sandwiches at a deep discount. I mention it today to connect back with my June post about time of day pricing for newspapers.

Publishers and newsagents need to consider this as I think we could sell more newspapers as a result and without educating shoppers to wait until the end of the day to save a few cents.

A check of the sales decay curve for newspapers in any newsagency will show where such a move makes sense. I’d suggest publishers work with newsagents to find ideal locations where sales are all but over by, say, 2pm or beyond and then trial time of day pricing. I think it needs to be 50% off to be of any interest. The goal has to be to sell newspapers you;d otherwise have to return.

This is a project best run by publishers and newsagents together, a project that is data driven and tested on different days as it could be something run only on certain days and in very carefully selected locations.


Category: Newspapers

28 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Brendan // Sep 3, 2014 at 8:31 AM

    An Asian take away in our centre does the same with their food in the late afternoon. It provides customers with a cheap take home dinner and saves wastage of food. The principal for papers would be the same and probably increase readership.


  • 2 June // Sep 3, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    I understand this concept with food (perishable) but when we get 16 cents for selling a daily Advertiser how can we justify putting the price down 50%.
    As it is I give far too much room (and time and attention) to a product that is not
    returning me anywhere near what it costs me to retail it in a shopping centre so I won’t be giving too much attention to growing newspaper sales.
    Funnily enough my paper sales are up on last year so I am against the norm here in an ageing demographic (still love their papers). Interstate papers are still a requisite but we never get enough and that can cause angst.
    My energies are focussed on gifts and stationery these days.


  • 3 Mark Fletcher // Sep 3, 2014 at 11:06 AM

    This suggestion for papers only works with publisher support.


  • 4 Brad // Sep 3, 2014 at 11:36 AM

    It could be worse, as some people might change their normal purchase time from morning to afternoon because they can get it cheaper.


  • 5 Mark Fletcher // Sep 3, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    Arrgh! Will we ever learn? Our future depends on us innovating and trying new things and new approaches to old products. We need to spend less time chasing barriers and more on experimenting.


  • 6 shauns // Sep 3, 2014 at 12:09 PM

    Agree with June and Brad


  • 7 Carol // Sep 3, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    We don’t get our papers until midday so would not be to pleased to have to immediately discount them. We have trouble getting enough to last they day as it is. There is more to worry about than discounting papers.


  • 8 Mark Fletcher // Sep 3, 2014 at 12:52 PM

    I’m not saying everyone should do this. rather, I’m saying that those in appropriate areas should consider doing this with publisher support.

    If we keep doing the same thing the results we will achieve will be the same.


  • 9 shauns // Sep 3, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    publisher support ? not sure if you are trying to be funny there, I have never heard of such a thing


  • 10 Judy // Sep 3, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    don’t like the idea of a different price at different newsagents. some shops rely on that late day trade when commuters return home. this just adds to the perception that smaller suburban newsagents are too expensive.


  • 11 shauns // Sep 3, 2014 at 2:57 PM

    Brendan with food you have to bin it at the end of the day totally different situation you cannot even compare the two . Papers you get to return them so no money lost ,from what you read on here and from my own experience no one seems to get enough papers anyway . Sold out of CM by 11am today …The only possible way this idea would ever work is if we buy the paper out right with no returns then that way you have room to discount and that’s not going to happen .


  • 12 Mark Fletcher // Sep 3, 2014 at 3:01 PM

    I’m not suggesting newsagents discount anything.


  • 13 Brett // Sep 3, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    It makes perfect sense as the product ages for it to decrease in value. I’m sure in 2014 the publisher and the POS suppliers would be able to time stamp sales and have a sliding sell price to match. Margins would also become slimmer but a sale beats a return every time.


  • 14 shauns // Sep 3, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    Margins would also become slimmer but a sale beats a return every time.

    and that is why newsagents are used and abused we will do anything for the smallest amount of money , the paper company will make more and we make less there advertising dollars will sky rocket because we will be basically giving away free papers . Just doesn’t sound like a moving forward idea


  • 15 Mark Fletcher // Sep 3, 2014 at 4:02 PM

    Brett – yep, easy as.

    Shaun, don;t know how often I have to say – this is my suggestion as a supplier driven deal with newsagents not taking any hit at all. That’s the way I see it.

    Now we can argue about or two something or do nothing and what we’re used to will keep happening.


  • 16 Paul // Sep 3, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    you say- without educating shoppers to wait until the end of the day to save a few cents and then you say a 50% discount(which will be more than a few cents)-maybe we will educate shoppers to wait and save MORE than a few cents and we all have customers who will do that


  • 17 Andrew I // Sep 3, 2014 at 5:13 PM

    My local brothel offers reasonable discount between 2pm and 4pm Sundays when the football is on. I think that is very community minded of them don’t you think?


  • 18 shauns // Sep 3, 2014 at 5:35 PM

    Have you approached either paper company on this ?


  • 19 Brendan // Sep 3, 2014 at 5:38 PM

    If supported properly by the suppliers it need not cost us anything. We could receive the same $ (sorry for exaggerating, cents) commission and the suppliers reduce the cover price, say after 2 or 3pm so that we can clear surplus papers and avoid returns. Increased circulation can only be of benefit to all of us. Being a subagent though, I am not sure how this would work for me.


  • 20 Mark Fletcher // Sep 3, 2014 at 8:27 PM

    I’ve had discussions with one publisher and it turns out they were considering it. I first discussed it with a publisher in the 1990s when assessing the sales decay curve for their title.

    Print newspapers face major challenges. The best way to confront these challenges is to think outside the square. That’s what this post is about.


  • 21 allan wickham // Sep 4, 2014 at 6:50 AM

    Here we go again…..Mark puts forward an idea and so many jump straight into bemoaning their “personal situations”.

    It was an idea people….nothing else… idea open for thought. Mark never suggested that we newsagents take a hit on price, it was a suggestion that the publishers may consider.

    I too have spent a lot of focus on gifts, Ink and other “new money” lines but we cannot forget who we are. We need Newspapers, Magazines and Lotteries. We need the foot traffic that these traditional lines bring to our stores so that we can harvest other sales. Gifts have been a huge player in our store but I certainly dont want to end up as a gift store only… many gift stores have closed in recent years?

    We need new ideas people…..and more than ever we need to trade off of the traffic that traditional lines bring to us everyday.
    While this Industry has the “poor me” or “that wont work in my store” element then we wont be able to grow and prosper.

    We need more ideas like this one Mark has put forward.


  • 22 shauns // Sep 4, 2014 at 7:24 AM

    Allan it is called conversation we do not always have to agree with every idea that is put forward , one idea might be great for some and not so for other hence expressing an opinion. Anyway moving forward..


  • 23 allan wickham // Sep 4, 2014 at 8:13 AM

    shauns, I fully agree with you. Lets have the conversation but lets stick to the topic. I want to hear ideas about the topic in question, not whingeing or moaning about “why I cant do it”. Sure, I can understand that a particular idea might not suit everybody and I love to hear all the pros and cons but lets not let “personal situations” cloud the conversation.


  • 24 Wally // Sep 4, 2014 at 8:45 AM

    I like Andrew,s comment and wonder if there is not an opportunity for us as agents perhaps to be able to act on behalf of the brothels much as i do for the local dry cleaners. This could open up a completely new line in gifts as well. Could we get a top up thru Touch perhaps as well.


  • 25 Paul // Sep 4, 2014 at 9:54 AM

    and your suggestion/conversation is Alan


  • 26 June // Sep 4, 2014 at 1:12 PM

    Alan, we need innovative ideas but it is very important to put both the positive and the negative ideas – otherwise we end up with “”pie in the sky””.
    I agree with you that we still need to have lotteries, magazines and papers but we also need to ensure that each particular category is paying its way.
    By the way I have now done about 10 reader rewards (bauer) and I was a sceptic so I am pleased that I kept trying because it is aimed at new customers not
    existing customers and I am always happy to have a new customer.
    Once I mastered the redemption part I was away (I still think it is a bit cumbersome though – is that negative after a positive???????
    This blog is a sharing ideas place but we all need to “vent” sometimes.


  • 27 allan wickham // Sep 4, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    Paul, I like the idea. As a Retail only agent I have had plenty of issues with under supply over the years. I have access to QNP to set my own supplies but they too can make frustrating changes. My delivery agent hates returns as I`m sure the publishers do. Imagine if an idea like this was implemented and the publisher could lessen the returns/risk. An example would be that maybe they could increase supply fractionally and late in the day sales might actually reduce returns. Shauns in post 11 said he had sold out of CM by 11.00am, this happens to us too often, maybe the increase could help avoid this problem of early sell out and if you get a quiet morning the following week the discounted afternoon sales would help the sell through. I`m in a neighbourhood shopping centre and whilst we have a very steady flow of traffic some weeks can be very different from the last. Factor in lotto jackpots, holiday seasons etc etc and you can certainly get caught with not enough papers.
    June, my comment was not about putting forward any particular argument for or against but more about not letting the actual topic get away from the conversation itself.


  • 28 allan wickham // Sep 6, 2014 at 5:58 PM

    Must be over to you now Paul….


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