Australian Newsagency Blog

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

Lottoland launches a petition

Mark Fletcher on April 25, 2018 12:07 AM

Lottoland is begging Australians to sign a petition to keep them in business in Australia. Here is their pitch:


The Federal Government announced in late March that it wanted to ban all forms of online betting on lotteries – the products Lottoland Australia currently offers to our more than 650,000 customers.

The Government says the ban will help newsagents but the truth is that there is no evidence our products have had any impact on news and lottery agents.

Why not?Because we do NOT sell any products that are also sold by news or lottery agents.

We do NOT compete with them.

In other words, the legislation is unnecessary.


If the legislation is passed by Parliament, hundreds of thousands of Australians like you will be stopped from betting on lottery outcomes online.

We know you enjoy the occasional flutter, especially on multi-million dollar overseas lotteries such as El Gordo in Spain or EuroMillions.

That is why in just a little over two years, more than 650,000 Australians have joined Lottoland Australia.

It’s your money and it should be YOUR choice.


If we want to convince the Government to reconsider its proposed ban, we need to act. We need your help.

What can you do? Plenty.

  • You can sign this petition.
  • You can write, email or phone your local Federal Member of Parliament.
  • You can write to your local newspaper or call your local radio station opposing the proposed ban on online lottery betting.

Make your voice heard!


Give them their due, they are fighters. In fact, they came out fighting in Australia at launch, attacking and mocking small business newsagents, relentlessly.

I am not signing their petition.


→ No CommentsCategory: Competition · Ethics · Lotteries · Social responsibility

Gordon and Gotch dumps awful Mother’s Day gifts on newsagents

Mark Fletcher on April 24, 2018 5:28 AM


Gordon and Gotch sent Mum’s Gift Pack 1 to newsagents yesterday. It is priced at $14.99. Inside is a collection of what can best be described as junk. The random and unconnected items look like they are freebies collected and put into a pack.

Check it out.

This is junk. Newsagents contacted me saying they would be ashamed to put it out which poses the question: WTF GOTCH?

Pushing junk like this on newsagents, stealing their time and space, holding their cash, it makes a mockery of the magazine distribution model.

Whoever signed off at Gotch on this Mum’s Gift Pack going out to ought to explain to newsagents why they thought out was a good idea.

I have seen photos of packs from several newsagencies, as I did not receive this at my own stores, and I cannot make any sense out of this move, none whatsoever.

Having to put up with nonsense like this gets newsagents reconsidering their commitment to the category. That ought to worry legitimate publishers and have them calling on G0tch to explain what they have treated newsagents so appallingly, again.

In my opinion, the supply of this pack by Gotch to newsagents through the magazine distribution model is unethical, socially irresponsible and ignorant.

If the folks at Gotch are true to form they will remain silent on this issue. They do not engage. It’s a single lane one-way road on matters like this. And that is another reason newsagents look at cutting back on magazines. It is almost impossible to have a conversation with the company and when you do it usually costs more than the amount you are fighting over.

Things were supposed to improve when Network Services closed. They have not. They are worse.

This Mum’s Gift Pack represents another failure baby Gotch to understand the newsagency channel, another failure by Gotch to demonstrate respect for newsagents.

I urge magazine publishers using Gotch to approach their Gotch account manager and seek an explanation. Gotch needs to get its magazine distribution model right before distributing other products and even then they need to talk to newsagents before making that move.


→ 5 CommentsCategory: Ethics · magazine distribution · Magazine oversupply · magazines · Social responsibility

The $3,000 transaction in the newsagency

Mark Fletcher on April 23, 2018 5:55 AM

At my small suburban high street newsagency on Saturday, not long after opening, we processed a transaction worth close to $3,000.00 for one customer. It was a new customer for the business, someone who contacted us through social media, chasing some of the high end limited edition collectibles we have access to.

We arranged to meet Saturday morning. Not only did they make the purchase, they made it clear they would be back in a few weeks. They are not local to the business but are happy to drive for the personal service and access to hard to find high value product for their collection.

This all happened in a shop that serves an older conservative community, a shop that deals daily with the challenges of competition from massive shopping centres (Chadstone, The Glen, Knox), a shop that has to reach way outside its four walls to fine people who will travel for what they want, a shop not relying on any high-traffic agency business to get people through the door.

I share this story today too make several points:

  • Any newsagent can achieve a sale of $3,000, even more, to a single customer. Plus, they can bank on repeat business.
  • Out of store marketing is key to attracting new traffic.
  • Having unique, loved, products is key to attracting new traffic.
  • Being accessible online is vital to serving people who find you online.
  • Promoting leveraging respected brands is more important than promoting your brand.
  • The first transaction like this will change our you see your business, forever.
  • What you can sell is not bound by your shingle, what you like or what you have sold in the past.
  • The sale was achieved 100% in the  business and by the business. There was no corporate support, no corporate spend. This is important to reflect that any newsagency anywhere in Australia could achieve this.

This story of what happened on Saturday is not isolated. I know of other newsagents who have done it and who have gone on to repeat the extraordinary sales from the new customer they found and others that person introduces to the business.

While for sure, our channel is surrounded by challenges, which can bring one down, there are also many opportunities for us, often outside what we have ever considered for our businesses before.

Be open. Connect with people who can help you be open. See out success stories and unpack them to learn whether you could try the same.

$3,000 at 45% GP is equal to 3,600 newspapers.


→ 6 CommentsCategory: Newsagency management · Newsagency opportunities


Mark Fletcher on April 22, 2018 6:37 AM

A perfect song can help you process business challenges and see through them to opportunities on the other side. It can motivate you to see things you might otherwise miss.

I have a collection of ‘perfect songs’, including this one. It is from a movie, Sunshine on Leith, which is a feature film build aroud the songs of The Proclaimers.

I like this video because it is a modern take on a song from twenty years ago. The modern take makes the (relatively) old song relevant to today and that is what many of us are doing in our businesses.

I also like the video because it is a community coming together to celebrate. Shot in Edinburgh in 2013, what you see in the video was shot after the film was completed. The team felt the original ending was a bit small so they approached the financiers for £500,000 to shoot this bigger new ending. Key to it was bringing in the community and what is what makes it special.

To me, this video reflects making something old relevant to today and the value and thrill of working together. I hope you like it.


→ No CommentsCategory: newsagency of the future · Optimism

Marking tip: pitch gift cards in the newsagency

Mark Fletcher on April 22, 2018 6:16 AM

While Coles supermarkets may gave the fancy, season specific, stand, there is nothing stopping newsagents pitching gift cards with Mother’s Day cards, especially gift cards for their own business.

Gift cards are an easy gift for this season of notoriously last-minute clueless male shoppers.

I share this photo as inspiration to engage with the gift card opportunity in the newsagency.


→ 1 CommentCategory: marketing · marketing tip · newsagency marketing

It is not too early to pitch Mother’s Day

Mark Fletcher on April 21, 2018 7:03 AM

A newsagent mentioned to me this week that it is too early to pitch Mother’s Day, that most people buy in the last week to ten days.

While I agree that purchases are usually close to the actual day, having a pitch out now is key as it reinforces your store as having a Mother’s Day offer. If you are not out now with a pitch you may not be thought of when it comes time for the person to make the purchase.

In my own situations, we have been out with Mother’s day since immediately after Easter this year. Sales are already good.


→ No CommentsCategory: Newsagency management

Wonderful narrative campaign from Lotterywest

Mark Fletcher on April 21, 2018 6:18 AM

Lotterywest has launched an inspiring and beautiful campaign. The campaign offers collateral retailers in WA can use to pitch lottery products in a community-focussed way. Check out the first in the series:


→ 4 CommentsCategory: Lotteries · newsagency marketing

ALNA responds on Lottoland pitch to newsagents

Mark Fletcher on April 20, 2018 6:04 AM

Adam Joy, CEO of ALNA, shared the following with me yesterday and I share it here with his permission.

The Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association (ALNA) has taken a considered approach to the public advertisements by Lottoland Australia Pty Limited, which have appeared in newspapers last week, and on radio this week, regarding their commissions proposal aimed at members referring bets and customers from their retail venues to the online betting company.

ALNA remains resolute that Lottoland’s offer to newsagents is nothing more than a desperate PR manoeuvre that uses newsagents as advertising tools for an unethical business that is facing the closure of the loophole that it operates out of. This is backed up by overwhelmingly positive feedback we’ve received from members across the country who support the government’s positive move to ban betting on lottery outcomes to protect Australian consumers.

Nonetheless, in order to protect and inform our members, and our industry more broadly, we have made inquiries with regulators in each jurisdiction you sell lottery tickets in, seeking clarification as to the legality of the offers being made.

In an opinion piece published in The Daily Telegraph on 17 April 2018, the CEO of Lottoland Luke Brill, peddled some desperate claims as it faces closure of the loophole that it operates out of. And since some of these comments are misguided, we thought it important to clarify the facts.

Luke Brill has called newsagents ‘the little guys’. This is wrong. While newsagents are small businesses, our industry is made up of over 4000+ newsagents, employs over 20,000 people, and generates an estimated annual turnover of $6 Billion. We are one of the largest independent retail channels in our community, and approximately 2.5 million Australians shop at their local agency every day.

As the peak body for newsagents in Australia, we wanted to clarify a few comments that were made about our industry. After all, we know newsagents better than this bookmaker, who is desperately trying to leverage our industry.

The ban that Mr Brill referred to is a soon-to-be-passed amendment to the Interactive Gambling Act, meaning the banning of betting on lottery outcomes. The Federal Interactive Gambling Act already makes it illegal to sell a scratchy online and play a poker machine online, and Lottoland’s business offering is another questionable model that is deemed inappropriate online. In other words, the main reason for the impending ban is consumer protection.

Lottoland are an online wagering company and if they want to enter the lottery market, then they should consider a lottery license and completely change their product to one that operates within those much tighter regulations to offer consumer protections. Their business is operating out of a legislative loophole and their approach is tricky and dodgy, and ultimately one that consumers should be concerned about.

In a last ditch attempt at survival, Lottoland has made an offer to newsagents where the newsagent would act as an advertising platform for Lottoland.

The majority of members have told us loud and clear that they do not want to associate with Lottoland. Their reasons are that Lottoland has spent years denigrating newsagents, they do not want to offer products that are not highly regulated and trusted, and it is not a good long-term strategy for their businesses to refer their customers and goodwill to an unregulated space.

Early indications about the Lottoland offer to newsagents also bring into question its legality and regulators are in the process of looking in to this.

Highly regulated products like lotteries tend to not have a huge number of suppliers, and this does not only apply to lotteries. Appropriate industry regulations that protect consumers in each jurisdiction they are licensed in, mean that new entrants can only exist if they fit within strict criteria. It’s actually a good thing for consumers.

The bottom line is, Lottoland needs to understand that the Aussie way is one of fairness. Fairness is paying out an advertised prize amount. Fairness is not taking advantage of newsagents customers. Fairness is not operating a bait-and-switch model. Fairness is not misusing trademarks of other businesses. Fairness is not looking for loopholes. And fairness is not being misleading.


ALNA has been funded by Tatts and or TABCORP for the media and PR work.


ALNA has received no funding either financial or otherwise by either entity individually or combined in their government relations, Public relations, Media or any other campaign to eradicate synthetic lotteries from our industry. ALNA did receive in 2017 a Bronze Sponsorship package to subsidise the Awards for excellence attendance tickets for retailers and provide Prize Money to the winners at the Awards for excellence Lottery retailer of the year in each participating state, there was no profit achieved from this money.


ALNA are supporting a monopoly environment at the detriment of their members and they are stopping members make more money!


ALNA are in fact working to protect their members and here is why

  1. There are clauses in the current contracts that may cause our members to be in breach if they attempt the Lottoland offer.
  2. Early indications about the Lottoland offer to newsagents also bring into question its legality and regulators are in the process of looking in to this, including its lack of license to provide betting services in retail venues.

iii.               Highly regulated products like lotteries tend to not have a huge number of suppliers, and this does not only apply to lotteries. Appropriate industry regulations that protect consumers in each jurisdiction they are licensed in, mean that new entrants can only exist if they fit within strict criteria. It’s actually a good thing for consumers.


ALNA is a mouth piece for Tatts or now TABCORP and is now allowing them to build a monopoly at the expense of our Members.


ALNA has been in deep negotiation with Tatts or now TABCORP on commissions, Omni channel share and Shop fits for the last 12 Months, these negotiations are continuing and have not been finalised. There is more to be achieved in these negotiations but they are completely separate from our support to eradicate synthetic lotteries. We are certainly very clear to Tatts or now TABCORP that there is a large gap between current earnings/conditions and deserved earnings / conditions for our members. Our public submissions and research will support this and any copies you require of these documents can be achieved by merely asking me.


ALNA is technically Insolvent


ALNA is audited every year, and all of our records are lodged with ASIC every year without fail, We hold our Annual general meetings as per the Corporations Act.

Our Audited reports contain an Auditors independence declaration and our reports can be obtained via ASIC. Any copies you require of these documents can be achieved by merely asking me.


Another association is in a position to represent Newsagents.


ALNA is the only Association that has ACCC authorisation to collectively represent newsagents both locally and nationally.

ALNA is the only association representing over 2000 members in our industry.

As always feel free to contact me to discuss anything that may be of concern.


Warm regards


In this correspondence Adam responds to rumours being put about by others. A few weeks ago I mentioned anonymous correspondence I had received and suggested people sending it should publish it themselves. In two cases recently, the correspondence has attacked ALNA. I have not published it here and will not publish it here.

On the issue of Lottoland, I support the work of ALNA on this. They have done an extraordinary amount of good work for newsagents on this.


→ 42 CommentsCategory: Lotteries · Newsagent representation

The NANA position on Lottoland’s offer to newsagents

Mark Fletcher on April 19, 2018 9:37 PM

Plenty of newsagents have sent me this email published today by NANA. Many sent it saying WTF NANA?

Their line about not being in anyone’s pocket reads as a passive-aggressive statement to me.

Their line about monopolies, too, is odd as they have dealt with monopolies in our channel for years.

NANA’s Position on Lottoland’s Offer to Newsagents
From tomorrow (19 April), you are likely to receive a letter from Lottoland.  NANA understands the letter will refer to an offer Lottoland has made to NANA on behalf of its Members and other interested Newsagents across Australia.

NANA is considering that offer.  It is substantially higher than previous offers made to ALNA and to Newsagents in the media.  The offer is based on a percentage of sales value, not profit.  The percentage rate is higher than the percentages Newsagents and other lotteries outlets receive in commissions from Tatts Group Lotteries for their lotteries products.

Firstly, NANA is not in anyone’s pocket.

Secondly, Newsagents have asked NANA to negotiate with Lottoland and other alternate lotteries/wagering products providers to deliver a benefit to them.  Lottoland is not the only player in this space.

NANA says that Lottoland’s approach to the industry in the past been ham-fisted.  At the end of the day, it is about income and income that Newsagents and other lotteries outlets are already losing to online lotteries and wagering product sales, irrespective of who the product owner is.

NANA has not finalised an agreement.  NANA is duty bound to consider any alternative that gives Newsagents a fair share.

NANA has written to the Deputy Prime Minister and Senator Fifield about the proposed amendments to the Interactive Gambling legislation.  If the identified issues concerning taxation, State government revenue, consumer education and income for Newsagents and other lotteries outlets are resolved, why shouldn’t Newsagents get an additional income stream, which balances what they are losing to alternate wagering products and to Tatts Group Lotteries’ own online sales activities.

From day one of the campaign funded and conducted by Tatts Group Lotteries against alternate lotteries/wagering products, NANA has stressed that there will be enormous consequences for Newsagents if Tatts Group Lotteries has no effective competition.  Already, Tatts Group Lotteries has an almost monopoly position in every State and Territory except Western Australia.  If this position is reinforced by a legislated ban on alternate/wagering products, there will be nothing to prevent Tatts Group Lotteries building on their thrust into online sales.  Already their online sales represent a significant proportion of the overall sales of lotteries products.

Monopolies are not good for small businesses.

Monopolies are not good for consumers.

Tatts Group Lotteries do not object to online sales of lotteries products.  They do it all the time.  They do it through their app and online.  They also have a substantial beneficial stake in the online lotteries sales company Jumbo Interactive.  This company is licensed by Tatts Group Lotteries and competes online against Newsagents and other lotteries outlets.

Throughout the campaign orchestrated and funded by Tatts Group Lotteries, a campaign on which they have spent more than $5 MILLION, they portrayed the resistance they have created as being initiated and managed on a grass roots level by Newsagents and other lotteries outlets.  Make no mistake, the campaign was and is funded and orchestrated by Tatts Group Lotteries.  Some Newsagent and Lotteries associations have tied themselves to the campaign and appear to act as mouthpieces for Tatts Group Lotteries.  One must ask the questions “How do they afford their extensive media and public relations campaign when they could be technically insolvent.  Who is picking up the tab for their media and PR agency and keeping them afloat?”

NANA has been approached to represent the interests of significant blocks of Newsagents outside of NSW and ACT.  Why?  Because Newsagents are sick and tired of being used as cannon fodder by the likes of Tatts Group Lotteries and associations that act as their mouthpiece.  NANA is working with those Newsagents to work out what will be best for them.

There is a long way to go in this saga.  NANA has existed for more than 125 years and is here for the long haul.  NANA is committed to continuing to work in the best interests of its Members.  Dismissing any genuine offer from any organisation to work with Newsagents closes the gate and will potentially cost Newsagents income.

NANA will continue to negotiate with Lottoland and other organisations for the benefit of its Members.

If an agreement cannot be reached that is good for Newsagents, then nothing will change.

We will keep you updated as things develop.
Contact NANA on 1300 113 044 or by email to

In my opinion, NANA is a joke, redundant and of no value to newsagents. It has been thus for years.


→ 3 CommentsCategory: Lotteries

newsXpress invites newsagents to Melbourne to learn about what it does to help newsagents reinvent their businesses.

Mark Fletcher on April 19, 2018 6:11 AM

Newsagency marketing grown newsXpress is growing right across Australia. To help it more efficiently manage interest from prospective members and to best show what it does and how the team helps to transform businesses, newsXpress in inviting invite newsagents to a free mini-conference in Melbourne on May 22.

  • Free flights & free accomodation.

Here is what is planned for Tuesday May 22. 8am kicks off a four hour intensive mini-conference. hear newsXpress speakers talk about new era buying, managing your shop floor for profit, how to attract new shoppers through the front door and how to sell products you never thought you could ever sell.

This mini-conference will offer actionable knowledge you can implement regardless of whether you join newsXpress. It is an excellent and practical way for you to learn about what newsXpress does and to asses whether it is right for your business.

After a networking lunch we will head off to two very different newsXpress businesses. One in a shopping centre, one in a high street situation. We will take you behind the scenes to understand their growth. Then, we end the day at the head office for drinks. That night, if you are still in Melbourne, lets have dinner.

We will fly you to Melbourne on May 21, fund your accomodation for up to two nights and provide food and refreshment on the day, May 22.

All we ask is that you are open to joining newsXpress. This means that you want to grow your business and are willing to have at least 75% of your card space for Hallmark cards. In fact, the 75% Hallmark requirement is the only mandatory part about newsXpress.

Click here to read abut what newsXpress offers and what it costs.

Places at the May 22 event are limited. Please register your interest by calling Peter Francis on 0423 298 020, emailing him at or emailing

Consider joining the 249 other businesses in our growing group. I promise that May 22 will not be a hard sell.

Note: if you are a nextra of lucky charm store already, the May 22 event may not be an option for you because of of their usual lock-in contract.

I am a director of newsXpress.


→ 1 CommentCategory: Newsagency management · newsagency of the future

News Corp. gives space to Lottoland to make their case

Mark Fletcher on April 18, 2018 5:22 AM

Oh please, seriously? News Corp. gave space to Lottoland CEO Luke Brill to spin more in an effort to keep their business in Australia viable. This appeared in The Daily Telegraph on the back of support from News Corp. on Sky News. Why is the company supporting Lottoland?

Here is Brill’s opinion piece from The Daily Telegraph:


Lottoland boss says Aussies will lose out with proposed government betting legislation

IF YOU believe the politicians and bureaucrats in Canberra, Australians should not be allowed to bet on what the federal government describes as “synthetic” lotteries, such as those offered by Lottoland, where you can bet on the outcome of overseas lotteries.

And yet, if you are 18 or over, you can go into your local TAB and bet big dollars on an animated racing game offered by Tabcorp.

The recent announcement by the government of plans to ban “synthetic” lotteries means that Australians won’t be able to wager on overseas lotteries like the US Powerball or EuroMillions through Lottoland — but having a punt on cartoon horses running imaginary races on fictionalised tracks is somehow perfectly fine.

Nothing “synthetic” about that!

As our American friends would say, what baloney.

Let’s face it.

Lottoland CEO Luke Brill says his betting agency doesn’t offer products sold by newsagencies.

The government’s proposal looks like a ham-fisted and totally unnecessary move designed to protect and entrench the monopoly currently enjoyed by Tabcorp-Tatts, which by their own admission spent some $5 million of shareholders’ money last year trying to run us out of town.

If the legislation is passed by Parliament, Tabcorp-Tatts will end up controlling the entire lottery market — online and offline.

This will mean reduced choice for hundreds of thousands of Australian customers who enjoy a flutter on the results of overseas lotteries via Lottoland.

And it means the little guys — the newsagents — will be at the mercy of this huge monopoly.

Ironically, the government claimed it was acting in the interests of newsagents when justifying the legislation, even though there is not a shred of evidence to suggest Lottoland harms newsagents.

Lottoland does not offer products sold by newsagents.

In fact, we want to partner with newsagents and pay them for promoting our products and referring customers to our services.

To that end, we are offering newsagents an 11 per cent revenue share on all bets that are referred to us.

This is significantly higher than what Tabcorp-Tatts offers newsagents for in-store purchases only, and is a whole lot more than what newsagents get from Tabcorp-Tatts’ burgeoning online revenue, which is, well, nothing.

We believe in giving our customers more rather than fewer choices. We believe in a level-playing field that encourages rather than restricts competition and innovation. This is an important fight for our customers, for competition, and for newsagents, that we have to win.

Lottoland ought be judged buy their actions. Think back to their TV campaign when they launched into Australia, attacking newsagents mercilessly, hurtfully and deliberately. Shame on them.

In my opinion, News Corp. owes newsagents an explanation for their apparent support of Lottoland. The airtime and space go beyond free speech and giving a fair go. Newsagents have not been given this by the company on this issue.

Click here to see why I think newsagents have nothing to gain from a relationship with Lottoland.


→ 1 CommentCategory: Ethics · Lotteries · Social responsibility

Pitching beyond the traditional newsagency

Mark Fletcher on April 17, 2018 2:39 PM

My newsagency software company is pitching a message beyond traditional for Aussie newsagency businesses: Newsagencies are evolving. Be part of the vibrant future of Australian newsagencies with Tower | #tower #local #retail #newsagency#smallbusiness #smallbiz |


→ 3 CommentsCategory: newsagency marketing

Placement is key to seasonal success in the newsagency

Mark Fletcher on April 17, 2018 5:43 AM

Where you pitch a major season like Mother’s Day is key to success you achieve from the season. To me, the best placement is that which can be seen by people walking past your business. That is, just inside the door, or out the front of the shop if permitted and possible.

If you can achieve the right location, the next key action is to change the display weekly, so that it is noticed by those who walk past daily.

Hiding a major season display in the store so that everyone walking past cannot see it is a lost opportunity, as is leaving the display unchanged for most of the season.

Going out four weeks out from a major season gives you a better opportunity to be remembered as the go to store when the shopper is ready to make the seasonal purchase. This is why I say be in the best front of store location and why you change the display weekly.

Even in this marketplace of extraordinary competition for seasonal card and gift sales, we can grow if we actively engage on the shop floor, through our buying and outside the business through innovative online marketing.

Sure, it is hard work with actions required every day. The reward is traffic and revenue growth for a season that the majority of shoppers will engage with at some point.


→ No CommentsCategory: marketing tip · Newsagency management · newsagency marketing · visual merchandising

How important is consistent branding to Tatts?

Mark Fletcher on April 16, 2018 6:11 AM

One argument Tatts makes in support of regular image refresh at the retailer level is the need for brand consistency. I am told their reps say the company wants customers in-store to see a corporate image consistent with their marketing collateral used on TV, online and elsewhere.

This argument would carry weight if Tatts was consistent in its application of this desire.

Check out how how the shop at the Qantas terminal in Melbourne airport looks as of last night.

This corporate image is quite old – at least two, maybe more corporate image generations ago. Yet here it is, in a high profile location seen by many visitors to Victoria.

I am surprised Tatts permits it. Oh, and I do see it as 100% on Tatts and not the retailer.

If I was a Tatts retailer and under pressure re my corporate image I would be using photos like this one to make the case that how current a business looks is not that important, as Tatts appears to be inconsistent in its roll out of a consistent image … or at least that is what the evidence in the marketplace suggests.

This particular store is interesting in that the image is not the most recent prior to the current. That, to me, makes it useful in terms of the case I make here.

In addition to the corporate image is the matter of the digital screens, the additional in-store marketing infrastructure spend that Tatts says is vital to sales growth.l While I doubt there is any evidence from stores supporting that argument by Tatts, a high profile stores such as this one at Melbourne airport should have the screens, almost as part of the Tatts campaign. Yet, it is the other way, a step 10 or 15 years back, maybe more, suggesting the Tatts claims have no foundation.

While there could be regulations such as airport requirements, I suspect not given that the folks at Melbourne airport are focussed on their retail offer. Surely they see this offer as out of date, old-school.

Tatts needs to explain why the image of this business is okay while others with more a more recent image need to upgrade. They need to make a business case that stands up.

In my personal opinion, I think Tatts continues to place too high a financial burden on its small business retail network to upgrade image and install digital marketing, a burden that is not rewarded with the sales revenue boost that Tatts says will flow.


→ No CommentsCategory: Ethics · Lotteries · Social responsibility

1 + 1 + 1 = 5

Mark Fletcher on April 15, 2018 7:03 AM

Telling a in retail story is like 1 + 1 + = 5. This card, by itself, in the usual card display will do okay. The Olaf plush item in the usual plush display will do okay. The Olaf key chain, too, by itself will do oaky. Placed together, for impulse purchase impact, and they sell very well, and easily, as a pack.

We make our own success as retailers through the strategic and tactical decisions we make in our businesses every day.


→ No CommentsCategory: marketing · marketing tip · newsagency marketing

Phillipines’ leading magazine published exits print

Mark Fletcher on April 14, 2018 6:54 AM

Check out the story by Mediaweek yesterday about this stunning move from print to digital:

Dramatic move by Philippines’ leading magazine publisher in transition to digital

The Philippines’ leading magazine publisher, Summit Media – which launched its first magazine in June 1995 – will no longer publish print editions of its magazines, which include Cosmopolitan, FHM, Preview, Top Gear, Town & Country, and Yes!

The company said, “This month, Summit Media completes its full digital transformation. The 450-strong company can now be called digital first as it bids farewell to its magazine past, closing the six remaining print editions of brands already thriving online as,,,,, and”

Summit Media president Lisa Gokongwei-Cheng commented: “As we embark on our new journey towards a wholly digital future, we look back at the values that made us successful, and one thing that stands out is our respect for our audiences. Our brands, each with its own strong voice and well-defined identity, have resonated with our audiences because they stand for something, which is why for 23 years Summit published the most successful and well-loved magazines in the country’s history.

“Today, we embrace the way our highly connected audiences now prefer to consume content. As we follow them from print to digital, we will continue our relentless pursuit and delivery of quality, up-to-the-minute content and a dynamic and engaging editorial experience, this time aided by data, which now pervades and informs many of our editorial decisions.

“In the past three years, Summit Media has become the leading creator of digital native advertising content in the country, generating more volume than all our competitors combined. On top of this transformation, the company’s other pillars – out-of-home (OOH) media, book publishing, and content marketing – remain robust.”


→ No CommentsCategory: magazines · Media disruption

Advice for newsagents on Powerball barcode change

Mark Fletcher on April 13, 2018 8:48 AM

Click here to access the Powerball barcode change that comes into effect today. Lotterywest is yet to advice any change for WA retailers. The advice here is for the 1,750+ Tower Systems newsagency software customers.


→ No CommentsCategory: Lotteries

A must-watch episode of 4 Corners

Mark Fletcher on April 13, 2018 6:17 AM


→ 1 CommentCategory: Newsagency management

How to pitch special interest titles on social media and drive traffic for the newsagency

Mark Fletcher on April 12, 2018 6:11 AM

Here is an approach that I have found works well when promoting special interest magazines on social media.

Special interest magazine shoppers are valuable as they are more likely to make other purchases and they are more loyal. This is what basket data show.

So, which the 25% gross profit not what we need, at least with special interest titles you can drive a greater whole of customer value.

Using photos of parts of a cover like this is, in my experience, more useful than a full magazine cover.

People will travel a distance to purchase a title covering an interest they have.

This type of post works for me. I think it could work in any size or location business with the right facebook post reach parameters.


→ No CommentsCategory: magazines · marketing

Shopping centre businesses need to go big or go home

Mark Fletcher on April 11, 2018 6:09 AM

Newsagency businesses in shopping centres need to be big, bold and constantly evolving. They cannot be the traditional newsagency business or anything even close to it, not now, not in the future.

Events are one way to differentiate and to compete with big businesses. They are important to attract shoppers from outside and from within the centre, especially in the big centres with 250+ stores.

I have two businesses in this major shopping centre situation, where everyday we fight to bring people in from the traffic in the mall.

Last Saturday, as part of the first ever National Beanie Boo Party, which was organised and run by newsXpress, as an optional marketing event for members, we hosted a party at the Knox store. This short video provides context for what we did in that business on the day to be setup – to achieve a revenue boost of in excess of $1,500 in three hours.


Now, anticipating questions, read this:

  1. While I say this is a newsagency, it is a newsXpress business, focussed on plush, cards, gifts, collectibles first.
  2. This plush wall commitment is driving in excess of $100,000 in direct product revenue and not far of that in complimentary basket purchases.
  3. The party is an infrequent activity and deal based event designed to attract existing collectors from other retailers and to introduce non-collectors into collecting.
    net new traffic comes from not only the centre but from our significant out of store marketing on social media.
  4. Given the way this party was run at this location, there was no additional labour on the day.
  5. The video was deliberately shot at a time and in a way to not show those engaging.
  6. I’ve had this business for more than five years in this location.
  7. This feature wall works well. However, nothing is permanent in retail today, nor should it be.

I’d be happy to answer any other questions here. I can also be best reached on 0418 321 338.

Footnote: I am a shareholder in and director or newsXpress. In my newsagency life at different stages I have been a nextra retailer and shareholder and a newspower member. I have been with newsXpress since 2005.


→ No CommentsCategory: Management tip · marketing tip · Newsagency management · newsagency marketing · Newsagency marketing group · newsagency of the future

What’s going on with magazine deliveries?

Mark Fletcher on April 10, 2018 5:32 AM

I have heard from ten newsagents, in several states, in the last week that magazines are either arriving very late or not at all.

In one case yesterday, a newsagent was without weekly magazines for half a day. In their particular business, based on sales history, the revenue loss will be significant.

In a case last week, the freight company has been changed and magazines are arriving twelve hours later than they used to. No announcement. No ability to easily adjust staff rosters.

This post is placed here for newsagents affected by magazine delivery challenges to comment. Publishers read this blog – let them know if you are being impacted and what it means to your business and their business.


→ 10 CommentsCategory: magazine distribution

Donna Hay print magazine to close

Mark Fletcher on April 9, 2018 11:53 AM

Following the release of the 100th issue of Donna Hay magazine, Donna Hay is to leave the News stable and launch a publishing business, which will launch a subscriber only title. Read more at Mediaweek.


→ No CommentsCategory: magazines

Pitching cards at the exit

Mark Fletcher on April 9, 2018 6:11 AM

For years I have suggested newsagents promote cards off location, including at the exit from the business. Coles has been doing this across their network for most of the last year. This photo shows the current pitch, which I have seen in several locations.

To test this in our businesses we can do this without sourcing additional stock and without having a purpose made fixture. I encourage all newsagents to try it.


→ No CommentsCategory: Greeting Cards · Newsagency opportunities

Lottoland still going hard on TV

Mark Fletcher on April 9, 2018 6:07 AM

Last night…


→ No CommentsCategory: Competition · Lotteries

Magazines as a traffic magnet for the newsagency

Mark Fletcher on April 8, 2018 6:49 AM

This placement of magazines on the back wall of the shop works well for us in one of my stores. It is easily seen from the mall, outside the shop, and attracts magazine shoppers into the store for a browse.

Being full face works for individual titles too as shoppers get o see the cover as the creative team intended.


→ No CommentsCategory: magazines