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

Build it and they will not respect you

Newsagents have been good at supporting many businesses in getting a footprint across the Australian retail landscape. Our 4,600 stores see, according to some, 17 million people every two weeks. Even if that number is a bit off newsagents see more than any other retail channel every week than all comers except, probably, Australia Post.

So, because of our national footprint, companies come to newsagencies with promises of good gross profit if we put their new products into our shops.

Such was the case with mobile phone recharge product.

We did the work, provided the retail footprint and enabled a faster national roll out than any other channel could deliver.

Vodafone has just joined other carriers showing their respect for newsagents by cutting the gross profit from each sale. Newsagents have put in the technology, trained employees, put up the point of sale material and attracted customers – as a key part of the Vodafone story.

The thanks we get, now they have critical mass, is less payment for our effort.

Australian newsagents need to stand up to moves by companies like Vodafone and negotiate respect for our unequalled footprint, our extended trading hours and our connection with the community.

Newsagencies are the quintessential independent retailer and we’ll disappear if suppliers like Vodafone continue to squeeze us.

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