Australian Newsagency Blog

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

Getting out of newspaper home delivery

Mark Fletcher
March 22nd, 2007 · 2 Comments

It is six months since we sold our newspaper home delivery business. Time has shown this to be a wise decision for us.

We have eliminated the weekly loss generated by the home delivery business, freed up employees by not having to fix mistakes and lost newspapers, eased management effort by eliminating four employees and benefited by specialising in retail as opposed to splitting our attention. We have also eliminated some over the counter frustration.

Prior to the decision to sell, we had sought for some time to acquire other runs so we could grow a profitable distribution business. We had just over 600 home delivery customers but not all were seven days. Our financial modeling suggested that we needed around 1,200 with better than average street penetration to make the home delivery model viable.

Since we were unsuccessful in acquisition, selling was something we considered. For a year we thought about but could not bring ourselves to disconnect from the core newsagent function of newspaper home delivery. It was like we expected the world to end when we sold the run.

Selling the run did not bring our world to an end. The opposite has happened. Our retail business has flourished. Our old delivery customers still shop with us. None complain about the change in service provider. We’re better off and our customers are better off.

Given what I see as an inexorable march toward lower margin home delivery business I am glad to not have to balance the competing needs of home delivery and retail. I am sure that both will prosper but more as separate businesses than we have seen in the past.

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Category: Newspapers

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Kevin Boylan // Apr 16, 2007 at 9:54 PM

    Mark
    I am looking at purchasing a newsagency in Brisbane and the delivery side of things is one I would prefer to “outsource”. Are you aware of anyone / company that does this in Qld or nationaly.

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  • 2 mark fletcher // Apr 16, 2007 at 9:59 PM

    Kevin I don’t. I suggest you contact the Queensland Newsagents Federation – they ought to know. Mark

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