Australian Newsagency Blog

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

Entries from February 2008

Pay for February 29

February 29th, 2008 · 4 Comments

Hey, do I get extra pay for February 29 since this year has 366 days and my pay is for 365 days.  That’s what Ben Fielding wanted to know at our Forest Hill store.  It’s the funniest thing I’ve heard all week.  not that I should laugh at his expense.  But, well, I am.  Even […]

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Tags: About us · Newsagency challenges

Good Taste at the counter

February 29th, 2008 · No Comments

We sold out of Good Taste in 24 hours with a display at the counter. If we’d placed the title in its usual location we would not have achieved the result. This counter location for titles with giveaways works! I’d rather sell out of a title than have sales drip over the month, especially when […]

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Tags: magazines

Beating the mortgage pain

February 29th, 2008 · No Comments

We have been opportunistic today, using the magazine cover to respond to the newspaper headline as the photo below shows: 0 likes

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Tags: magazines · Newspapers

Bill Express stares down newsagents

February 29th, 2008 · 22 Comments

JULY 2008 UPDATE => for my latest posts on Bill Express, click here. Bill Express (ASX code – BXP) has unleashed a firestorm of anger among newsagents, its retail network, by removing a long standing marketing subsidy making the relationship loss making for many. The subsidy was removed prior to Bill Express advising newsagents. The […]

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Tags: Bill Express · Bill Payment · Newsagency challenges

Fairfax chases gen Y

February 29th, 2008 · No Comments

Heads up newsagents: Fairfax Media, the digital part of the newspaper publisher, is making an online play for Gen Y with a site currently called Kwerky. Here’s another newspaper publisher with a pure online play for a generation disconnected with newspapers. 0 likes

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Tags: Media disruption · Newsagency challenges · Newspapers

Chocolate magazine stand

February 29th, 2008 · No Comments

We’ve found a good way to promote the free bueno chocolate with New Idea and Famous this week – using the acrylic unit in the photo with the magazine in one pocket and the chocolate in another, in front. It’s an easier pitch than having the magazines in their usual place and the chocolate bars […]

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Tags: magazines

The Australia Post phone company

February 28th, 2008 · 3 Comments

The brochure on the left has been pushed out far and wide by Australia Post. It makes the Post Office look like a phone retailer which they are in some locations. What is it with this government enterprise? Are they not happy with their postal service monopoly to the extent that they have to continue […]

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Tags: Australia Post

Australian Photography cover-up

February 28th, 2008 · No Comments

I apologise for the photo of this month’s Australian Photography magazine.  It’s how it looks though, all packaged up in a sealed plastic bag like some porn product.  Its’s not porn though.  This month’s issue of Australian Photography is in a sealed bag because it is being given away with a copy of Great Walks […]

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Tags: magazines

Easter marketing tips for newsagents

February 28th, 2008 · No Comments

Here are some sales/marketing tips for Easter which I put together a week ago for Tower Systems users – I share it here in case some visitors find the ideas useful. Some are old chestnuts and others are, well, different. Egg Hunt. Invite families in to hunt your store for eggs on one day. Make […]

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Tags: marketing · retail

More small magazines

February 28th, 2008 · 1 Comment

It seems that small is in with magazine publishers. We received Healthy Living from ACP magazines this week. I’m happy with the product and the category – health related titles are doing well. I’m unhappy with the long shelf life and more unhappy with the size. While they’d like us to put the title on […]

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Tags: magazines

The state of newspapers

February 28th, 2008 · No Comments

Douglas McLennan has written an excellent blog post about newspapers in the US and how they are dealing with challenges. He makes some interesting suggestions, especially the need to connect with small business. 0 likes

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Tags: Newsagency challenges · Newspapers

Women’s Weekly flood

February 27th, 2008 · 1 Comment

I was surprised to see our supply of Australian Women’s Weekly increase 10% with the issue out today. There is no justification for this in our sales numbers. Nationally, the audit figures for the six months to December 31, 2007 showed a circulation fall of 5.7% for AWW. So, I cannot work out why supply […]

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Tags: magazines · Newsagency challenges

The sales counter up-sell

February 27th, 2008 · No Comments

We’re taking a different approach with our counter based magazine offer this week. We’re not promoting magazines at all but educational books – as the photo shows. I liked the idea of resting magazines for a week. The books were left from a book sale and rather than shove them to the back of the […]

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Tags: magazines · newsagency marketing

News cover-up at the Financial Review

February 27th, 2008 · No Comments

Oh, it was Michael Luscombe, CEO of Woolworths, obscured by the ad for Smart Investor magazine stuck on the front cover of today’s Australian Financial Review. The decision to stick this ad on top of news on the front page and over a news photo can’t have been made by newspaper people – I’d be […]

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Tags: newspaper masthead desecration · Newspapers

How much for that newsagency?

February 27th, 2008 · 37 Comments

I think it is time for change in how newsagencies are valued. The multiple of between 3 and 4.5 times net earnings where net earnings is a figure with too many add-backs is not viable for incoming newsagents. It is more important for us to make our money week by week rather than relying on […]

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Tags: Newsagency challenges

Easter eggs on show

February 26th, 2008 · No Comments

The Darrel Lea Easter egg range is drawing attention.  The photo below shows around half the range we have in store.  We have it on the dance floor, right at the front of the shop – nest to our range of Easter cards. We made a decision a couple of years ago to promote aggressively […]

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Tags: confectionary · retail

Hollywood fashion tape, free with OK!

February 26th, 2008 · No Comments

I’ve never heard of fashion tape before and when I found out it was the giveaway with OK! magazine this week (an exclusive newsXpress promotion) I was, well, surprised.  It turns out, it’s the tape is the ultimate fashion accessory, helping keep closed attached to the body when otherwise they might fall off.  Now that […]

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Tags: magazines

Thomas The Tank at Easter

February 26th, 2008 · No Comments

Easter is close and we have our Darrell Lea range out including this Thomas The Tank package. It includes an activity as well as the egg which is good. I’m curious about the management of brands such as Thomas since we access the eggs from one place, cards and bags from another, books another and […]

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Tags: confectionary · marketing

St Patrick’s Day cards

February 26th, 2008 · No Comments

We are promoting our range of St Patrick’s Day cards away from the usual card display in one of our newsagencies. Our view is that some people may buy a card as an impulse and not as a destination purchase – hence this small display at the counter. We’ll move it around a bit including […]

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Tags: Greeting Cards · newsagency marketing

The cynical newspaper publisher

February 25th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Newspaper publishers often seek to mitigate the impact of a price rise. Smart ones do this through promotions wh9ch add value to the product. Less smart publishers offer steep discounts off the increased price. Even less smart publishers offer steep discounts through one channel (home delivery) while expecting equally loyal customers through the other channel […]

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Tags: Newsagency challenges · newspaper masthead desecration · Newspapers

Trashing the newspaper

February 25th, 2008 · No Comments

What does today’s Sydney Morning Herald tell us about the state of the newspaper. As the photo below shows, the marketing department has succeeded in having their ad – for cheap home delivery – stuck on top of the masthead, obscuring the Sydney in the title. I was shocked when I saw this when I […]

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Tags: newspaper masthead desecration · Newspapers

Off to the Gift Fair

February 25th, 2008 · No Comments

Along with thousands of others I am in Sydney today for the Gift Fair. Actually, there are three fairs in three locations. I’ll be there for the day. Others from our retail businesses will spend longer. What’s interesting about Gift Fair is how the retailers interact with suppliers. They are in a marketplace where the […]

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Tags: Newsagency challenges · newsagency of the future

Another free digital magazine

February 25th, 2008 · 2 Comments

Dennis Publishing, the publisher of the highly successful Monkey digital magazine, has launched Gizmo, a consumer technology digital magazine. They claim it’s a world first. Gizmo will be free, just like Monkey. Dennis Publishing publishes more than 50 titles. They are leaders when it comes to successful digital launches. It is news like this which […]

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Tags: magazines · Media disruption · Newsagency challenges

Spin digital magazine free offer

February 25th, 2008 · No Comments

Spin Digital magazine has struck a deal with iTunes and MySpace to provide members access to Spin Digital free for 12 months – according to Digital magazines.  They say they are using the digital edition to drive print subscription sales.  That’s an odd goal given the interaction of the MySpace and itTunes generation with print, […]

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Tags: magazines · Media disruption · Newsagency challenges

Marketing failure learning success

February 24th, 2008 · 7 Comments

It seemed like a good idea at the time – an in store marketing campaign which sought to turn magazine browsers into greeting card customers. The idea didn’t work and now we’re processing the learnings from the experience. I came up with the idea and convinced my colleagues at newsXpress to test it through five […]

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Tags: Newsagency challenges · newsagency marketing