Australian Newsagency Blog

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

Entries from April 2008

The Mars / Wrigley marriage

April 30th, 2008 · 2 Comments

Wow, if the merger proceeds they are likely to become what the Motley Fool calls a confection powerhouse. Newsagents are challenged when dealing with these mega FMCG suppliers: Mars, Wrigley, Cadbury. We want to have their products because they are what consumers know yet we cannot negotiate terms which enable us to be truly competitive.  […]

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Tags: confectionary · Newsagency challenges

US newspapers at 62 year low

April 30th, 2008 · No Comments

Alan Mutter’s analysis of the continuing slump in circulation of US newspapers is sobering. Based on the record 3.5% drop in daily circulation reported today for the nation’s largest newspapers, it appears that average daily circ this year will be no better than 50 million. If so, that would be the lowest level since 1946, […]

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Tags: Media disruption · Newsagency challenges · Newspapers

Announcement to newsagents

April 30th, 2008 · 56 Comments

What follows is the text of an fax sent to all newsagents this morning: With more than 300 electronic voucher / recharge products available today, eziPass a great offer for newsagents.  Commission on many products is higher.  There is no long contract to sign and no extra equipment to install.  All you need is broadband […]

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Tags: Bill Payment · Newsagency challenges · phone recharge

The morning rush in Hong Kong

April 30th, 2008 · 9 Comments

It is fascinating watching the commuter rush here in Hong Kong. You soon see how The Standard has become so successful with its free newspaper – excellent locations at all high traffic transit positions. Their people are easy to spot and they are good at what they do. It’s all about fast and efficient distribution. […]

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Tags: Newsagency challenges · Newspapers

Free Comic Book Day

April 30th, 2008 · 1 Comment

More than 40 US and Canadian comic book publishers have got together to support Free Comic Book Day 2008 by offering free samples at participating comic book stores. This is a brilliant idea! Comic sales are down and there is no better way to attract new interest than a national campaign based around a free […]

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Tags: magazines · newsagency marketing · retail

Innovation, investment and newsagencies

April 30th, 2008 · No Comments

The April 28 issue of Business Week lists the 25 Most Innovative Companies as compiled by the Boston Consulting Group. It’s a fascinating read. What stands ot from reading the article is the commercial value of investment in the business. Apple has rocketed to #3 in the smartphone marketn because of innovation which came our […]

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Tags: Newsagency challenges · newsagency of the future

eziPass update

April 29th, 2008 · 2 Comments

Even though I am in Hong Kong I have been in close contact with the Tower office about the fall out of the increasing difficulties Bill Express finds itself in.  We have been swamped with calls today about eziPass, how to sign up, whether Optus and Vodafone will come on board.  I have prepared a […]

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Tags: Bill Payment · phone recharge

Hong Kong Gift Fair

April 29th, 2008 · No Comments

With close to 4,000 exhibitors from 40 countries and booths covering 78,000 square metres this is the biggest gift fair in the world. From 9am the floors were packed with people looking for products. While there is junk, there are many good items worth considering. While I am here looking for gift related items, I […]

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Tags: Gifts · retail

Impressive free newspaper in Hong Kong

April 29th, 2008 · No Comments

The Standard in Hong Kong is one of the best free newspapers I have seen. It easily beats mX – but it’s chasing a very different market, the early morning commuter here in Hong Kong. Today’s edition is 48 pages. While it has some puff pieces, most of the coverage is real news – a […]

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Tags: Newsagency challenges · Newspapers

Why discount cards right now?

April 29th, 2008 · 6 Comments

I checked the John Sands card offer at an Angus & Robertson more closely yesterday – it’s a three for two deal. Buy three Mother’s Day cards and you pay for two. Discounting Mother’s Day doesn’t make sense – it is one of the best card selling seasons of the year. A&R must be discounting […]

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Tags: Greeting Cards

Mindfood at the counter

April 29th, 2008 · 1 Comment

We’re taking a different approach with the second issue of Mindfood, this time promoting it at the counter in the space usually reserved for titles which come with a free gift.Given that the title is being launched with no advertising budget we have to be more creating in chasing consumer interest. With a title like […]

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Tags: magazines · retail

Opportunistic magazine retailing

April 29th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Your Mortgage, Money and other titles in the mortgage / personal finance space have come into their own with the credit crunch and increasing interest rates. To leverage the fear around increasing mortgage rates we are placing these titles in a more prominent position so people who would have an interest in the issue but […]

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Tags: magazines · retail

eziPass and Optus and Vodafone recharge

April 28th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Following the growing challenges facing Bill Express / Dialtime and their apparent loss of Optus recharge product from their platform, we have been inundated with calls about when / if we will get Optus and Vodafone recharge on eziPass. There is no doubt that the more newsagents registered for eziPass the stronger our pitch to […]

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Tags: Newsagency challenges · phone recharge

Newsagents acting on Bill Express

April 28th, 2008 · 6 Comments

The following was posted as a comment to one of my posts. I re publish it here to bring greater focus to the comments. The writer is discussing follow up to a meeting of newsagents in Sydney about Bill Express: News Letter (follow up Newsagency Auburn meeting) Re: Bill Express We will take this opportunity […]

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Tags: Bill Express · Bill Payment · Newsagency challenges · phone recharge

Grazia already here

April 28th, 2008 · No Comments

Grazia is being launched here by ACP Magazines very soon so it’s odd to see the UK edition being air freighted in and distributed through newsagents. It happens with other titles so why not with Grazia I guess. I’m happy at the moment as having the imported Grazia it starts to educate consumers about the […]

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Tags: magazines

Bill Express jitters re Optus

April 28th, 2008 · 16 Comments

The trading halt announced by Bill Express this morning has newsagents nervous. The rumor is that they are set to announce the loss of Optus mobile phone recharge off their Dialtime platform. I put this to Bill Express management last week and they denied the rumor. 3,500 newsagents are waiting to discover the next chapter […]

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Tags: Bill Express · Bill Payment

Stock turn and stationery

April 28th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Graeme Day delivered a presentation at the Queensland Newsagents Conference last week about how to measure financial health of your newsagents. He talked about stock turn as one measure and return on investment (ROI) as another measure. It was an important presentation for newsagents who want to get the most from their business. A walk […]

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Tags: Stationery

Free training for newsagents

April 28th, 2008 · No Comments

Tower Systems has scheduled more 1 hour online training opportunities for newsagents. We’re trying Wednesdays following feedback from our users: Wednesday, 7 May 2008 11:00 AM Magazine Management Wednesday, 7 May 2008 2:00 PM Stock Re-Ordering Wednesday, 14 May 2008 11:00 AM Magazine Management Wednesday, 14 May 2008 2:00 PM New User Training Any newsagent […]

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Tags: newsagent software

Great use of post it notes

April 27th, 2008 · No Comments

Check out the WebUrbanist site for some excellent examples of art created from post-it notes.  I especially like the ideas which invite participation from passers-by like in the photo below.  This is something which could work on our window. The site is a great resource of ideas for newsagencies wanting to make a statement in […]

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Tags: newsagency marketing · Stationery

Promoting OzLotto $40 million

April 27th, 2008 · 2 Comments

The LIFE BEGINS AT $40 MILLION banner we have across our entrance is certainly attracting new customers into our newsagency for tickets in the $40 million jackpot. In addition to this we have posters at our counter and elsewhere as well as some enticing syndicate products. We back this at the counter with a reminder […]

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Tags: Lotteries · newsagency marketing

Frustration with newspaper bumper editions

April 27th, 2008 · 6 Comments

It is Saturday, I have just paid my second lot of $2.20 for The Age this week. The bumper concept, to this consumer, is a crock!There are sections in the paper today that were there yesterday, I had already read them so I didn’t pick up those sections. I couldn’t help but think of the […]

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Tags: Newspapers

Promoting Australian Women’s Weekly

April 26th, 2008 · No Comments

Like everyone involved in the title, we’re concerned about the future of Australian Women’s Weekly. While no one will talk about it publicly, sales are in a slump. Customers tell us it’s because of the product itself, people say it has lost its way with its key demographic. AWW remains the most redeemed title selected […]

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Tags: magazines · marketing

Boxing Mother’s Day

April 26th, 2008 · No Comments

In our Frankston newsagency the team has created a display of funky boxes and bags for packaging Mother’s Day gifts. In the middle of the dance floor, the bright display is drawing attention to our offer and showing a range people would not often see in a newsagency. As with any retail display, the key […]

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Tags: Gifts · giftwrap

Burke’s Backyard promotion

April 26th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Even though the latest issue has been on sale four weeks we have placed Burke’s Backyard on display at our counter space – reserved for titles with a good free gift. We figured the free seeds needed another push, hence the display we put up yesterday for the long weekend. This display at the counter […]

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Tags: magazines

Tattersalls kiosk closure hurts

April 26th, 2008 · 3 Comments

The Tattersalls kiosk outside our Frankston newsagency was closed yesterday when the rest of the centre was open from 1pm.  Their closure was odd because of the $40 million OzLotto Jackpot.  They would have done well.  Instead, their closure meant people walked to the lottery outlet on the other side of the centre – this […]

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Tags: retail