Australian Newsagency Blog

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

Stock turn and stationery

Mark Fletcher
April 28th, 2008 · 1 Comment

refills.JPGGraeme 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 through many newsagencies will show that most newsagents don’t focus on these measurements.

Newsagents often neglect to undertake stock performance measurement – even though their point of sale systems do much of the work for them. I see this when I analyse performance data from newsagencies. It is not uncommon to see stock turns of 1 or less in the stationery department – that is, selling the quantity on hand of an item once a year or less. This is loss making.

Stationery needs to turn between five and seven times a year to be profitable for a newsagent. This can only be achieved with diligent management. It begins with careful buying. Too ften newsagents are fall under thge spell of good sales reps and buy on a deal without lookuing at the performance o the item or similar items in-store. Buying more stock for a discount is not smart is the stock turn does not support such a move.

Th most successful stationery items are the consumables, such as the pen refills in the photo. Wile they are not at the glamor end of the category, they sell well and deliver for the business as good stock does.

This is one reason why I am not a fan of sales reps visiting newsagents – their goal does not always match the business goal of the newsagent. This is why back rooms are often too full of stock and why all too often stationery is left of the shelves in the shop to gather dust and not much else.

The analysis of people like Graeme Day is helpful for newsagents, attention should be paid by those who want truly successful newsagencies.

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Category: Stationery

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Jarryd Moore // Apr 28, 2008 at 10:43 AM

    I agree re the sales reps. We’ve been caught out before (our own stupidity) and nave have a common practice of not purchasing anything at the time of the visit. We get all the information needed from the rep, do the external research if necessary and make our decision from that – having this loose policy makes it easier to just say no.

    We saw poor stock turn items in our stationery depertment from the previous owners. We now use a number of sales reports to make decisions about stationery lines. If it doesn’t turn it gets cut – no excepetions. We’re only just getting enough data to set our own KPIs – hopefully by June (6 months data).

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