Australian Newsagency Blog

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

Entries from March 2008

The magazine distribution centre

March 26th, 2008 · 3 Comments

With more newsagents operating more than one shop it is interesting to see how they manage magazines between the businesses. One smart operator has established their own magazine distribution centre, centrally arriving stock and barcoding each copy prior to shipment. This reduces labour at the retail level. They centralize returns too. And they move stock […]

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Tags: magazine distribution · magazines

Following news on Twitter

March 26th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Over the last week I have been using Twitter as my only headline news source. I am following news headlines from ABC, BBC and CNN. For tech news I am following ZDNet and gossip is Defamer. For local news I wish I could follow the Herald Sun and The Age. Alas they are not up […]

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Tags: Media disruption · Newsagency challenges · Newspapers

Tower Systems sponsors newsagent convention

March 25th, 2008 · No Comments

Tower Systems has signed on as a Gold Sponsor of the ANF national convention this year.  We are also a Gold Sponsor of the QNF Queensland State Conference.  These conferences provide excellent learning and networking opportunities for newsagents – I am glad we are supporting them.  Hopefully newsagents will attend in record numbers and make […]

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Tags: Newsagency challenges

Selling blank cards

March 25th, 2008 · No Comments

We are having extraordinary success with packs of blank cards with images of Australian flora and fauna. They are well priced and provide a good margin. The only downside is that they could hold back sales of premium blank cards. I’m not about to test this – we were out of stock of recently and […]

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Tags: Greeting Cards

Vanishing newspapers

March 25th, 2008 · No Comments

Eric Alterman writes at The New Yorker this month about the death and life of the American newspaper. Fascinating. 0 likes

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Tags: Media disruption · Newsagency challenges

Newsagents and reputation

March 25th, 2008 · No Comments

The Daily Telegraph published a story last week about a newsagent demanding payment from a customer for three towels used to keep his head off the concrete floor during an epileptic fit. The story does not read well for the newsagent.  She wants $60.00 for the towels plus $1.00 if they are to be paid […]

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Tags: Newsagency challenges

Promoting quilters magazines

March 24th, 2008 · No Comments

We’re promoting quilters magazines in the display next to our counter this week. Even though most of the titles are in sealed bags, they still sell here. On Thursday a customer buying something else noticed a new title which had just come in. I didn’t know you carried this. Not only did we win the […]

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Tags: magazines

Ralph, FHM shift welcome

March 24th, 2008 · 2 Comments

It will be good to see Ralph and FHM target different demographics now they are under the same roof. Both titles have been placed near Zoo and the adult titles. A less raunchy FHM will give us a new title to promote with or at least near mens fashion titles. 0 likes

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Tags: magazines

Burger King greeting cards

March 24th, 2008 · No Comments

Odd story of the day goes to reports that Burger King has licenced their character for a range of greeting cards.  Maybe I am out of touch but why would you buy a birthday card with the Burger King character on the front? 0 likes

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Tags: Greeting Cards

News Corp. faith in newspaper

March 24th, 2008 · 2 Comments

Interesting to see reports Rupert Murdoch is bidding to purchase another newspaper – Newsday in the US.  While the strategy seems to be about controlling a competitor, US$400M is a lot of money for a newspaper. We (newsagents) don’t do that.  We point at competitors and complain. 0 likes

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Tags: Newspapers

Reinventing newspapers, reinventing newsagents

March 23rd, 2008 · 12 Comments

Newspapers are doing it tougher in the US than Australia with many dropping circulation and ad revenue at alarming levels.  We’re insulated here by a cost effective (for publishers) home delivery network, a strong national retail network and the natural delay of trends hitting our shores.   That said, newsagents should read Ted Leonsis’ 10 plan […]

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Tags: Newsagency challenges · newsagency of the future

The view from Mt Wellington

March 23rd, 2008 · No Comments

I have been fortunate to spend a few days in Tasmania, taking a break and enjoying the sights. The most amazing sight in the south east region is the view on top of Mount Wellington, way above Hobart. Not the view down over Hobart but the view at the back, across territory which could be […]

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Tags: About us · newsagency of the future

Tower Systems milestone

March 22nd, 2008 · No Comments

Tower Systems passed 1,500 software systems in Australian newsagencies on Thursday. I’m grateful to newsagents for the commitment that this achievement demonstrates in the team. 0 likes

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Tags: newsagent software

Fighting clock watchers

March 22nd, 2008 · 1 Comment

Sundays and some Saturdays at Forest Hill, some retailers around us close early. Some ten minutes, others up to half an hour early. This sucks. We are at the end of the mall so people looking our way see these closed shops and because we are set back they don’t even walk down to see […]

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Tags: About us · retail

Promoting Mindfood

March 22nd, 2008 · No Comments

Thanks to the folks at Network Services, we have been provided some excellent collateral to enable us to promote the new Mindfood magazine. This is the type of material I was referring to when I first blogged about Mindfood. Since this is a title which could work in several locations, we have decided to go […]

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Tags: magazines

Who needs a newspaper?

March 21st, 2008 · No Comments

Over 300 newspapers, updates every 20 minutes.  Who needs a newspaper when you can access eufeeds.  Their tagline lets you know that they have all the news you could want – up to the minute.  Newsagents skeptical of the impact online could have on print ought to check this site out. 0 likes

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Tags: Media disruption · Newsagency challenges · Newspapers

Newsagents should bid for Borders

March 21st, 2008 · 7 Comments

The news out of the UK for Borders is not good. The Telegraph and others are reporting that the whole business is for sale and not just selected parts. A week back we learned that the A&R Whitcoulls bid had been withdrawn for the Australian and New Zealand operations of Borders. While it would never […]

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Tags: Book retailing · Newsagency challenges · newsagency of the future

Not much Easter fun for newsagents

March 20th, 2008 · No Comments

I feel for distribution newsagents in Melbourne and Sydney this weekend as they navigate the complex Fairfax easter delivery requirements for The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian Financial Review.  The bumper edition process is so convoluted that it adds extra work to newsagents for no extra revenue.  On top of the hassle […]

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Tags: Newsagency challenges

Lower banking fees for newsagents

March 20th, 2008 · 1 Comment

We sent out the following announcement to newsagents today. Newsagents are set to save hundreds of dollars a year thanks to new, lower banking fees negotiated with St.George Bank and BankSA. A 0.63% Merchant Service Fee (MSF) for credit cards and a $0.07 (or 0.227%) fee for debit cards set a new low benchmark for […]

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Tags: Bill Payment · phone recharge

Driving Women’s Weekly sales

March 20th, 2008 · 1 Comment

We have run two separate successful over the counter marketing campaigns for the Australian Women’s Weekly over the last two weekends. We increased sales the first weekend by 32 copies and the second weekend by 19 copies – tabove our usual sales for equivalent weekends in the sales cycle. The campaign was run at each […]

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Tags: magazines · newsagency marketing

Announcement

March 20th, 2008 · 5 Comments

I have announced this morning the sale of the Find It free online classifieds website for an undisclosed sum. While Find It attracted more than 20,000 advertisements, less than half of 1% of these were placed newsagents – even though such ads (including business listings) were free. Without newsagent support, the Find It model could […]

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Tags: Media disruption · Online classifieds

Easter arrives at last

March 20th, 2008 · No Comments

Now that the heat in Melbourne is finally fading people apparently think it’s safe to buy Easter eggs. With more than $20,000 invested in easter chocolate across a few stores I’m relieved. Some customers coming to the counter with an armful of eggs said the heat made them hold back. Sales were great yesterday and […]

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Tags: confectionary · Greeting Cards

Gardening Australia magazine at newsagents

March 20th, 2008 · 2 Comments

According to the ABC, Gardening Australia magazine is available from ABC Shops and via subscription. The lack of support for newsagents shown by the ABC at their website is appalling. Newsagents heavily promote Gardening Australia and it sells well. The ABC is not behaving as I expect our government funded national broadcaster to act. By […]

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Tags: magazines · Newsagency challenges

Staples chasing Corporate Express

March 19th, 2008 · No Comments

Forbes is reporting that Staples is making a hostile takeover offer for Corporate Express.  If this is successful, stationery retailing in this country would change considerably. 0 likes

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Tags: Newsagency challenges · Stationery

State of the news media 2008

March 19th, 2008 · No Comments

News is shifting from being a product — today’s newspaper, Web site or newscast — to becoming a service — how can you help me, even empower me? There is no single or finished news product anymore. As news consumption becomes continual, more new effort is put into producing incremental updates, as brief as 40-character […]

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Tags: Media disruption · Newsagency challenges · newsagency of the future