Australian Newsagency Blog

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

Zoom meetings keep small business newsagents connected during COVID-19 challenges

Mark Fletcher on April 4, 2020 8:19 AM

For a month now newsXpress has been helping its member community connect with regular Zoom, video conference, meetings. For the last three weeks, these have been daily @ 2pm Monday to Friday with a morning meeting as well on some days and a weekend meeting some Sundar afternoons. A tradition has developed on Fridays with suppliers joining in the meeting.

Conversation is free flowing, with plenty of topics covered. No topics are off the table. People share their stories, how business is going, what is working, what is not working. The meetings often consider issues of collective interest.

newsXpress was on to the landlord challenge close to two months ago so there has been plenty to talk in the Zoom meetings about in terms of how different landlords have responded to the various newsXpress strategies proposed. newsXpress was also onto the jigsaw opportunity early, back in February, and this, too, has been part of the Zoom discussion.

The most significant value of the Zoom meetings has been the opportunity to experience that as a business owner you are not alone in confronting COVID-19, that your fears are fears others share, that there can be comfort from an openly shared experience.

Each Zoom meeting has between 35 and 40 people engaged live with more than 100 watching the recording overnight.

newsXpress also sends a daily email, usually by 7am, with updates on any issues covered in the Zoom meeting the day before as well as news that relates to our channel, links to relevant government resources and details of relevant supplier opportunities.

There have been plenty of stories in the media this week about Zoom meeting fails. These newsXpress meetings have been wonderful and very much appropriate to the times.

Our next one is tomorrow, Sunday, at 3pm. I’ve cast as a more relaxed meeting, with wine (or beer or a cocktail) in hand. Then, on Monday at 2pm, we’re back to weekday business.

Now more than ever we in small business retail need to be connected to each other as we can learn from each other and support each other. That is central to the newsXpress use of Zoom for daily member meetings. Oh, and if you think you don’t have time, people have the meeting on their computer while they get other work done, each lunch or take calls. Multitasking is applauded.

Footnote: I am a director of newsXpress.


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Unified industry lobbying of shopping centre landlords

Mark Fletcher on April 3, 2020 10:05 AM

This week, ALNA has lead discussions with the newsagency marketing groups Newspaper, nextra, newsXpress and The Lucky Charm to agree a unified approach to shopping centre landlords on challenges resulting from the impact of COVID-19. ALNA sent the following to the Shopping Centre Council of Australia.

2nd of April 2020


Angus Nardi
Executive Director
Shopping Centre Council of Australia

Cc: Kate Carnell, COSBOA


RE: Australian Lottery & Newsagents Association letter to SCCA requesting landlords to immediately play a bigger role in addressing the COVID-19 Pandemic with their Tenants


Dear Angus,

The Australian Lottery and Newsagents’ Association (ALNA) is the national industry body representing Lottery Retailers and Newsagents’ who represents small businesses in almost every rural town, regional centre, urban and metropolitan shopping centre in Australia.

There are over 4000+ Lottery Retailers and Newsagents’ in Australia. They are an important and trusted part of Australian communities and approximately 35% of the Australian population visit these small businesses at least once a week (source – Retail Doctor Group Insights study).

The current COVID-19 Pandemic is impacting our small retailer’s businesses in a significant way. Newsagents and Lottery Agents are not businesses with huge financial capacity or large margins, they are generally mum’s and dad’s, family enterprises, who are having a go, being their own boss and working hard to make a success of their business.

Their biggest immediate concern now to surviving this crisis, is their financial capacity to continue to pay rent to their landlords during the crisis. Many are reporting that they will have limited capacity to continue to pay rent over the several months it may now take before any recovery in customer visitation occurs after social restrictions are lifted.

When they have reached out to landlords and their representatives as almost all have, and as the Prime Minister has suggested they do,  to have a conversation about sensible rent relief and abatement to meet the requirements of their business surviving this crisis that is no fault of their own, they are consistently and overwhelmingly met with delay and obfuscation.

Examples include:

  • Landlords and their representatives who simply point to government or bank support as the only solution.
  • Landlords and their representatives who ask tenants to sign a confidentiality agreement before any discussions can occur.
  • Landlords who have asked retailers to dip into reserves (assuming they have them) and pay up, saying every business should have sufficient funds to operate with a downturn in business for at least a few months. We expect our April invoice to be paid.
  • Landlords and their representatives who use delaying tactics like requiring evidence that tenants have accessed every single state and federal support scheme announced and who require detailed P&L’s and projections in a fluid global crisis that no one can realistically predict.

We are relying on each other to get to the other side of this crisis, and many businesses have stepped up in this crisis, banks have for example stepped up to assist individuals, businesses and landlords alike, providing short-term solutions to get each other through and governments across the board have as well.

But when it comes to landlords being asked to step up, they roll out the good work of others as solutions to the predicament of their small retailers, and ask for unrealistic bureaucracy to delay outcomes or conversations actually occurring, rather than contributing consistently to shoulder the load they abrogate all responsibility.

This behaviour puts the mental wellbeing of many small business owners and their staff at risk in a crisis, and this is un-Australian and disrespectful to your members business partners and our community more broadly, who are all in this crisis together with you.

Consequently, we are writing to ask your industry to step up, to show some leadership and to genuinely partner with your commercial tenants, to help see them through the crisis through immediate dialogue and delivering rapid outcomes.


In conjunction with the four major Franchise and Marketing groups in our sector, which include; The nextra Group, Newspower, newsXpress and the Lucky Charm Group, who collectively represent approximately 1000 retailers, along with the rest of our members who are not part of these groups, we are asking you and your members to do this without delay.

Many many of these businesses are tenants in your members businesses, we ask that your organisation and your members do significantly more to address this consistently objectionable behaviour.

We believe arrangements between landlords and our retailers’ that properly acknowledge the significant reductions in turnover occurring, are immediately put in place without delay, as the Federal Government have done. Then as a result, reduce commercial rent payments immediately and in the case of those tenants who have already paid for April rents, refund them.

For these effected businesses, rent payments will need to be reduced to close to zero in most cases for six-months as this will be critical to their survival, as it will be for the long-term survival of your members businesses. For shopping centre and CBD newsagency businesses, we seek an immediate measure to suspend all rent related obligations for three months with no change to rental period and no requirement to catch up rent that would have been paid in the suspended period and a commitment to review an extension of this six weeks into the three months.

Re-starting rental payments after the crisis will deliver small retailers the capacity to continue in business and landlords will still have tenants able to pay reasonable rents as a result. The alternative is broken lives, empty shops and having to offer six-month or more rent holidays to attract new tenants

We implore you to work with us on this to find a sensible solution now. This remains the big piece of the puzzle that is still unresolved and urgently required to make it possible for small businesses to go int a semi-hibernation state during the crisis and to not lose the capacity to come out the other side.

We thank you for your time, consideration and support.


Yours sincerely

Ben Kearney
Chief Executive Officer
Australian Lottery & Newsagents Association


→ 14 CommentsCategory: Retail tenancy · Social responsibility

Scratch tickets sales bump due to poker machine venue closures?

Mark Fletcher on April 3, 2020 6:23 AM

Plenty of lottery retailers are reporting a bump in instant scratch ticket sales with some wondering if it due o the closure of poker machine venues. The first payment of the additional Newstart funds could be a key factor too.

Some retailers have reported a bump as high as 15%.


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Sunraysia Daily to print on Saturdays

Mark Fletcher on April 3, 2020 6:20 AM

Great news out of Mildura yesterday:

Sunraysia Daily to print on Saturday
THE Sunraysia Daily will revive its printed publication with a Saturday edition.

After temporarily ceasing all its printed publications last weekend due to the economic impact of the coronavirus, the Elliott Newspaper Group decided on Thursday morning to print a Saturday only edition while the crisis continues.

Elliott Newspaper Group managing director Ross Lanyon said the move wouldn’t have been possible without the support of staff.

“We have seen an enormous community push for us to revive a printed product this week and we are listening to our readers,” Mr Lanyon said.

“While we have a strong online presence with our revamped website, people still love their paper and are desperate for it back.

his is terrific news as newsagency sales of the Saturday paper were terrific.


→ No CommentsCategory: Newspapers · Social responsibility

Bauer closes NZ magazine business permanently

Mark Fletcher on April 2, 2020 10:16 AM

NZ Herald reports that Bauer has closed its NZ magazine business permanently.

New Zealand’s biggest newstand magazines have been folded, as Bauer Media NZ abruptly closes its doors permanently as a result of the Covid 19 crisis.

The New Zealand wing of the German-owned company publishes a range of New Zealand magazines including Woman’s Day, New Zealand Woman’s Weekly, The Australian Women’s Weekly, the Listener, North & South, Next, Metro, Kia Ora, Home NZ and Your Home & Garden.

The closure brings to an end many decades of publishing in New Zealand, with around 300 staff out of jobs.

A staffer spoken to by the Herald said they were “devastated” and “didn’t see it coming”.

This move is a shock.


→ 5 CommentsCategory: magazines · Media disruption

The safe hug this Easter is a card

Mark Fletcher on April 2, 2020 5:49 AM


→ No CommentsCategory: Greeting Cards

A perfect time to promote crossword titles

Mark Fletcher on April 2, 2020 5:34 AM


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Sing Tao newspaper closure costs newsagents

Mark Fletcher on April 1, 2020 4:35 PM

Newsagents have lost out from the unexpected collapse a few weeks ago of Sing Tao Newspapers Pty Ltd. Despite this, the liquidator is pursuing newsagents for what could be dubious amounts. Further, they are being heavy handed in their approach.

Newsagents were supplied newspapers by the company. Newsagents paid for newspapers. Then, later in the cycle, they claimed for unsold product. Who knows what the actual debt is given the surprise collapse of the company. Timing is key in determining an accurate position.

The liquidator is threatening legal action to recover what they claim is a few hundred dollars owed in one instance shown to me. I doubt a liquidator would take legal action to recover this.  However, I am no expert and offer no advice.

If I received such a notice, I’d show the liquidator an invoice for my costs from the collapse covering any uncredited returns.


→ 3 CommentsCategory: Ethics · Newspapers · Social responsibility

News Corp. to suspend print editions of 60 community papers

Mark Fletcher on April 1, 2020 3:12 PM

Nine has this story:

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp will suspend publication of 60 community newspapers including The Manly Daily, The Wentworth Courier and The Diamond Valley Leader due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company announced on Wednesday morning it would turn its 60 community newspaper mastheads to digital-only products and suspend print publication from April 9 due to rapid declines in advertising revenues.

It’s understandable. Ad revenue has all but disappeared. The question is, will they come back?


→ No CommentsCategory: Media disruption · Newspapers

Nine suspend some sections of print newspapers

Mark Fletcher on April 1, 2020 3:03 PM

Mumbrella has this story:

In light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Nine has pivoted its publishing arm. The changes include the suspension of some print sections and the optimisation of newspapers’ webpages to provide consumers with COVID-19 updates.

Non-weekly magazines have been suspended and some lift outs have ceased. The staff impacted by the changes will be redeployed as appropriate, said a Nine spokesperson.


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NZ government closes non daily newspapers

Mark Fletcher on April 1, 2020 2:59 PM

Kiwi blog has this story:

Govt closes down all non daily newspapers

The Government announced:

  • The current focus for government and all New Zealanders must be on minimising the movement of people to stop the transmission of Covid-19

  • In relation to news and  this applies both to the movement of staff of  organisations and their supply and distribution lines

  • The focus for news and media as an essential service has to be on the provision of timely news and current affairs

  • Daily newspapers are currently included in the definition and are expected to take strong measures to ensure safety of staff and the public; combined with their digital reach, they remain essential at this stage for the timely dissemination of news to the majority of New Zealanders

  • Printed periodical and non-daily publications are not considered essential under the news and media designation


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Safety screens for retail

Mark Fletcher on April 1, 2020 1:24 PM

Click here to download a PDF of this flyer detailing of Aussie made safety screens for retail that are important for employee and customer health and safety today. While I know the owners of the business, I have no commercial relationship with them whatsoever.


→ 1 CommentCategory: Newsagency management · Social responsibility

Ovato seeks help from banks

Mark Fletcher on April 1, 2020 11:21 AM

This story The Australian just now:

Printer Ovato cuts pay by 40pc, seeks bank aid

Australia’s largest printing company, Ovato, is seeking help from its banks amid the coronavirus crisis and will slash pay by 40 per cent for most of its staff, including all executives and board members.

Ovato, previously known as PMP Group, said ANZ and Assetsecure have agreed to waive the testing of financial covenant ratios.

It is also working to secure “similar waivers and covenant relief from noteholders” of the $40m secured subordinated notes due in November 2022.

Chief executive Kevin Slaven said the company is working to ensure its expenses match its revenue during the economic uncertainty.

“While this uncertainty continues, Ovato remains confident in its ability to maintain our service standards with plants operating in all Australian states, albeit at reduced capacity,” Mr Slaven said in a statement released late on Tuesday night.

Chairman Michael Hannan said the group is facing the “unprecedented crisis with the most experienced management team in the industry”.

“We have acted early and are adapting to the daily changes. We have managed capacity by shutting down equipment at all sites, while retaining the flexibility required to ramp up or down quickly.

“I am proud to say that we have had good co-operation from our entire workforce, which will see an effective 40 per cent pay reduction for most of our staff, including all executives and board members,” Mr Hannan said.


→ 1 CommentCategory: magazines

State governments support small businesses

Mark Fletcher on April 1, 2020 7:04 AM

Newsagency marketing group newsXpress, of which I am a Director, in its daily support email to members, included this list of financial support from state and territory governments, which you may find useful:

State government support packages.
Here are links to state / territory government support packages announced to help businesses through the COVID-19 situation. While each state has different rules, some will allow the packages to be used for useful things such as website development and other activities that support the operation of the business. Please click on the appropriate link for your location and read up what you may be able to tap into. The text for each state is from the government websites.

  1. Victoria. $10,000 grant that could be used for business improvement including web development or similar.
  2. ACT: Earlier in the month, the government released a recovery plan, including a $20 million business improvement scheme. Under the scheme, businesses will be eligible for grants of $10,000 for improving business premises. This can include new equipment, new fit-outs and physical changes to attract customers. It is not currently clear what is required for eligibility. If they can also contribute $10,000 of their own, they will receive an additional $10,000, for a total of $30,000 funding.
  3. NT: $20 million All Territory businesses will be able to access a $10,000 grant, followed by an additional $10,000 grant if they contribute $10,000 of their own.
  4. Western Australia: No grants as such, other than the Lotterywest announcement from Monday. However: The WA Government will waive rental payments for small businesses and not-for-profit groups in State Government-owned buildings for six months. One-off $2,500 credit on electricity bills for small businesses that consume less than 50MWh per annum.
  5. Queensland. Nothing substantial for small business here.
  6. Tasmania. Several grants available, somewhat limited in scope and subject to eligibility.
  7. New South Wales. Several options available, somewhat limited in scope and subject to eligibility.
  8. South Australia. Nothing specific yet.

Our advice is that you carefully read the information for your location and that you then apply for every thing you could possibly be eligible for.


→ No CommentsCategory: Newsagency management

Pandemic selling out

Mark Fletcher on April 1, 2020 6:46 AM

Yeah, I know it’s April 1, but seriously, Pandemic, the game, is selling out. It’s been a hit. We jumped on a couple of months ago and are grateful for the insider supplier tip.

Pandemic is another early adopter move that has provided some welcome sunshine in an otherwise challenging time for retail.


→ No CommentsCategory: Opportunistic retail

ACCO to open direct accounts with newsagents

Mark Fletcher on March 31, 2020 8:58 AM

A news release just now from ACCO.


With the continuous changing landscape of our market, external conditions and the need to better service the newsagent channel, we are pleased to advise that effective April 1st 2020 a new team of ACCO Representatives across Australia will be calling directly on newsagents in each state. 

This exciting new venture doesn’t change our relationship with the Newsagent Wholesalers or Buying Groups, this simply gives you a more direct voice and relationship with ACCO Brands. We will assist you in merchandising, improving store layouts, showcasing new products and providing you with an opportunity to purchase our marketing leading brands including Marbig, Artline, Spirax, Colourhide, Stabilo, Maped, Cumberland to name a few. 

Effective 1st April, 2020 all Newsagents can open a direct account with ACCO Brands Australia subject to ACCO Brands General Terms and Conditions of Sale. This includes the option of 30 day payment terms and $550.00 (ex GST) Minimum Order Value. Alternatively, you now have the option of paying via credit card at the time of order placement and be entitled to a reduced Minimum Order Value of only $250.00 (ex GST). The payment via credit card, at the time of order placement will waive the surcharge for ordering under $550.00 (ex GST) – Note surcharge will still apply if the order value is less than $250.00 (ex GST). This facility is only available when you order via our website ( 

As we work together in these unprecedented times, we are pleased to offer you this improved service and continue to provide you with market leading brands, strong products and great customer service. 


→ 2 CommentsCategory: Newsagency management

Lotterywest to pay every Lotterywest retailer $30,000

Mark Fletcher on March 30, 2020 7:18 PM

Lotterywest sent this email to their retailers today:

Today we are announcing a $17.5 million COVID-19 Retailer Incentive Package to assist Lotterywest retailers during this very difficult time.

The package includes $30,000 for each Lotterywest retailer, which will be paid in three $10,000 monthly instalments, starting from Wednesday 8 April 2020. We will also suspend terminal and service fees for every store for six months.

Premier Mark McGowan and Lotterywest have also established a $159 million COVID-19 Relief Fund to provide support to organisations that are helping people experiencing hardship, announced by the Premier earlier today. Read the full media statement here.

Lotterywest responds to COVID-19


Here is a list of Questions and Answers we’ve put together about the package.

You can also access all the information on the Retail Link website.

We’ll continue to keep you updated. In the meantime, please direct your questions to your Retail Relationships Officer, or contact our Customer Services team on 133 777.

Thank you and please take care.

Kind regards

Susan Hunt PSM
CEO Lotterywest and Healthway


What an extraordinary move for WA newsagents and lottery retailers. I know from calls already tonight that this announcement has delivered extraordinary personal relief in addition to the money that will flow.

Kudos to Susan Hunt and the Lotterywest board and to Premier Mark McGowan for delivering on his election promise to Lotterywest retailers.


→ 6 CommentsCategory: Leadership · Lotteries · Social responsibility

A visit to the mall

Mark Fletcher on March 30, 2020 6:15 PM

Westfield Knox, today at lunchtime, usually the busiest time of a Monday.


→ 2 CommentsCategory: Social responsibility

How the government’s inaction on retail tenancy in this COVID-19 world is problematic for small business retailers

Mark Fletcher on March 30, 2020 11:19 AM

The Prime Minister late yesterday asked business owners and landlords to sit down and work with each other to find a solution to the retail tenancy challenge presented by the restrictions imposed in government responses to COVID-19.

Based on my work with retailers in many situations, city, country, high street and mall, the approach of sitting with landlords will not work for most.

While some individual landlords have already delivered practical help with rent holidays and rent discounts, too many have not. In the shopping mall situation, I am not aware of any of the major landlords like Westfield offering any financial support. Indeed, in my now experience with Westfield, their approach has been quite threatening – don’t close, pay your rent on time.

At the independent landlord point, I have seen discounts as high 75% for six months put in place, April / May rent free in a couple of situations. The most common discount I have seen is 50% off for April with a commitment to reassess.

My experience is that independent landlords are more likely to act sooner and at a more valuable level.

This is where the Prime Minister’s announced approach is problematic as it relies on too much work to be done, too many conversations to be had. Big landlords like Westfield operate in silos, they treat each tenant differently with independent small business retailers usually be treated worse than big retailers.

What we need is national consistency. We need this urgently. We need the federal government to set a position, urgently, that all – retailers and landlords – can rem;y on as a single national position. Without this. the weak will carry the higher per square meter cost, as is the case today.

I urge the Prime Minister and others in authority to resolve this nationally for the benefit of the mental and financial health of small business retailers.

We have been hearing about something coming for two weeks. With each day that passes with no decision, the perspective and health of those so desperately waiting deteriorates and this is problematic for their businesses and those who rely own their businesses.

We can’t trust the Westfields of the world to fix this. They have no track record in this regard. This is something the federal government needs to address, and urgently.


→ 6 CommentsCategory: retail · retail leases · Social responsibility

News Corp. removes paywall for 28 days

Mark Fletcher on March 30, 2020 6:34 AM

In a move that it says is designed to help the community, News Corp. has removed the paywall for its mastheads for the next 28 days. I wonder if the move is more about getting more people to taste their wares before they offer a sweet post-corona deal to stay inside a paywall. Or, maybe, it is about broadening the reach of their mainly ignorant opinion writers who yell nonsense daily. Or, maybe, it is neither and purely innocent.


→ 5 CommentsCategory: Social responsibility

How retailers including newsagents are making their shops safer in this coronavirus world

Mark Fletcher on March 30, 2020 6:13 AM


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Black Dog Institute mental health resources

Mark Fletcher on March 29, 2020 7:02 AM

Black Dog reached out Friday and provided some terrific resources for the times:

  1. Managing anxiety in times like these.
  2. Advice for reassuring children and young people in the current situation.

While they are not the only service providing resources, they are succinct and timely.


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Online Powerball $80M winner helps Tabcorp and not retailers

Mark Fletcher on March 28, 2020 7:17 AM

The winning ticket in Thursday’s Powerball $80M draw was purchased online. Given the usual rush to the retailer of the winning ticket, online purchases will increase.

While Tabcorp cannot control the purchase location of the winning ticket, they can control the level of support for their physical retail network. My view is that it is grossly inadequate, as it has been for years.

Their focus is on compliance and not proactive support and encouragement. The margin paid to retailers is also inadequate. Retailers stick with it out of fear for what business might look like without it and in the hope that Tabcorp will behave better.


→ 1 CommentCategory: Lotteries · Social responsibility

Older customers more likely to disrespect social distancing requirements of Coronavirus response

Mark Fletcher on March 27, 2020 5:59 AM

Older customers, 70+, male and female, are the cohort most likely to ignore social distancing requirements laid out by government in their coronavirus response according to retailers.

Older customers are more likely to shop in groups, cluster with too many in a limited space, touch others in the business, want to stand still for a talk and mock moves being taken by the government to flatten the coronavirus infection curve.

I have been hearing this all week from newsagents and other retailers across the country in one on one conversations and in video conferences with groups of retailers. Retailers are frustrated, and they feel helpless to fix the problem.

One retailer talked about two grandparents coming into a small shop with two grandkids.

Another told me about an old customer who reached across the counter and patted a staff member on their arm saying it’s nothing to worry about.

Another retailer tells of two older male shoppers saying that social distancing is for sissys.

Plenty said that in their experience the older customers are less like to take the coronavirus risk seriously.

With my newsXpress group we have a daily video conference meeting and with my Tower Systems POS software retailer business customers we have a video conference every few days. It is these coronavirus related meetings to discuss business conditions and encourage each other where I have heard about the problem withholder shoppers.

How some older people are behaving is a challenge for all retailers and those who work in retail. While not the same as the health workers helping those with this illness, those who work in retail face a considerable challenge every day with their safety very much in the hands of customers and their behaviour.

Retailers are protecting employees with gloves, hand sanitiser and good, safe, practices. They have floor and other markings to guide social distancing. Some I know are installing perspex partitions to create a better distance between staff and customers to reduce the opportunity for droplets to pass.

The challenge remains how to deal with older customers as they represent the cohort causing the most difficulties. 

I think our communication needs to be clear and consistent – at the front of the store, in-store and on social media. we need to be vigilant at front of store, controlling shop entry and being firm to stop people if they present a risk because of the number in the group or because of their behaviour. We need to be prepared to ask people to leave if their in-store behaviour is inappropriate.

I appreciate some here may say this is overkill. Of course, I disagree. These are unique and challenging times. We need to provide a safe workplace for all who work in our businesses and for those who shop with us. Anyone who puts this at risk needs to leave the business.

Here is a message I put on social media this morning to address this issue:


→ 10 CommentsCategory: Social responsibility

Advice for retail businesses designated essential

Mark Fletcher on March 26, 2020 9:19 AM

Here are some tips for your consideration should your retail business be designated an essential business in the looming lockdown. We hope they are useful:

At some point, retailers around you will be shut down for a time. If you are designated essential, the move will see affected retailers possibly upset at your favoured treatment for the newsagency channel, upset at you that you are open.

Your focus needs to be on how to adjust your business to the changing conditions. That does not mean going all out to rake in as much cash as possible. Rather, our advice is that you modestly adjust the business to serve the needs of locals. Those shop permitted to remain open could serve broader needs through this time

Look around and plan now for modest moves you could make to broaden the appeal of the business. Our advice is that you focus on categories you are already in – but with an expanded range, or products that fit with categories you already serve today.

We think stores remaining open need to make significant shop floor moves, to reflect the needs of the tougher circumstances and to demonstrate your respect for these as well as the wellbeing of shoppers and your team.

  1. Change your shop to look different. You are moving from open and competitive retail to special circumstance retail, essential service retail – there is a big difference. Making your shop look fundamentally different is very important.
  2. Create more space for shoppers to move around safely. Consider policing at the door how many enter.
  3. If appropriate, consider and entrance and an exit.
  4. Move destination products to the front of the shop.
  5. Pitch popular products at the counter. 
  6. Reset the counter. De-clutter. Keep essentials there. Have a thoughtfully selected range of impulse items. but, again, do not clutter the counter.
  7. Cashless. We urge you to encourage customers to pay by a card.  Click here for advice on how to safely remove hand gloves.
  8. Staff safety. We urge you to provide staff with gloves and the request they are changed every hour and that the outside of the gloves are regularly hand sanitised.
  9. Make the counter safer. Consider installing a perspex counter to further protect.
  10. Hand sanitiser freely available.

→ 5 CommentsCategory: Social responsibility