Australian Newsagency Blog

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

Entries from October 2008

Foreign language Christmas cards

October 31st, 2008 · 2 Comments

Just as foreign language newspapers are popular in newsagencies so too are foreign language Christmas cards.  It makes sense to sell the cards since we have the market with newspapers.  My only minor beef is the range – it would be good to have better quality designs and more of a range from which to […]

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Tags: Customer Service · Greeting Cards

Card sales growing in newsagencies

October 31st, 2008 · 1 Comment

I have been fortunate to see some up to date sales data for greeting cards comparing the performance of newsagencies to department stores, supermarkets, card shops and discount retailers.  The newsagency channel has achieved more growth than the other greeting card channels.  We remain the number one consumer preferred destination for greeting cards with just […]

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Tags: Uncategorized

Newsagents should ask the ANF for a refund

October 31st, 2008 · 5 Comments

A lawyer has suggested to me that newsagents who have continued to make lease payments for the now useless Bill Express equipment on the basis of advice from the ANF ought to approach them for a refund – on the basis of the action commenced in the Federal Court on yesterday by the ACCC about […]

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Tags: Bill Express

We need to experiment

October 31st, 2008 · No Comments

Robert Scoble, in his column in Fast Company, exhorts to newspaper publishers to experiment in response to the challenges they face. Scoble’s words apply equally to newsagents. We all need to experiment as this is the only we will find new customers, new revenue and new opportunities out of which will emerge our future., 0 […]

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Tags: Media disruption

Snakes in the shop

October 31st, 2008 · 1 Comment

Opposite the Halloween display, near greeting cards, at our Frankston newsagency one of the team members placed a large snake. It’s all part of the theatre of Halloween and having some fun in the shop. Halloween is great for that – engaging with the shop and customers for some light relief.  It is also a […]

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Tags: marketing · retail

Strong Popular Science launch

October 31st, 2008 · 1 Comment

The local version of Popular Science has been launched with a good mix of in-store and external marketing. I especially like the reward for achieving a 50%+ sell-through. Engaging with newsagents is important and the folks behind Popular Science have worked hard to understand key levers to use to drive good outcomes with and for […]

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Tags: magazines · retail

VANA spins re executive election

October 30th, 2008 · 6 Comments

VANA has sent out a bulletin today referring to my post yesterday about them calling in the Australian Electoral Commission to manage the election of an Executive positions.  The bulletin says this is the same process VANA has used in the past.  My understanding is that this is not accurate.  It has been put to […]

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Tags: Newsagency challenges

ACCC press release on Bill Express

October 30th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Click here for a copy of the ACCC press release regarding the application lodged with the Federal Court yesterday. 0 likes

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Tags: Bill Express

Newspaper masthead trashed

October 30th, 2008 · No Comments

The Sydney Morning Herald brand was well and truly trashed by the placement of an ad for real insurance stuck on top of the newspaper’s masthead today. This is the worst of these stock-on ads I have seen. It demonstrates a complete lack of respect for the SMH brand and the newspaper masthead by Fairfax. […]

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Tags: newspaper masthead desecration

ACCC commences legal action on Bill Express

October 30th, 2008 · 6 Comments

The ACCC yesterday applied to the Federal Court of Australia for orders under section 87 of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (TPA) and injunctions under section 80 of the TPA in respect of contraventions of sections 47(1), 52 and 53(g) of the TPA. The respondents to the action are: Bill Express Limited, Technology Business International […]

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Tags: Bill Express

How to compete with national retailers

October 30th, 2008 · No Comments

I have updated the the Local Marketing advice sheet at the Tower Systems website. This advice sheet has tips for competing with the national retailers. Advice like this could get you thinking of other ideas which may be more suited to your own circumstances. 0 likes

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Tags: marketing

When the card is the gift

October 30th, 2008 · No Comments

Through our Sophie Randall gift business we see a diverse range of greeting cards, far more diverse than in a newsagency. This is only natural because card and gift shops attract a very different consumer to newsagencies. One range of Christmas cards which really interest me are these which have a recipe inside for the […]

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Tags: Greeting Cards

Halloween and pizza

October 30th, 2008 · No Comments

Halloween, October 31, is one of the five busiest days for pizza delivery in the US. Newsagents strong in Halloween should check their local pizza shop and see if this trend is emerging here. if so, next year a tie-in with the local pizza shop around Halloween could be a smart move. 0 likes

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Tags: newsagency marketing

Complete Poker fizzer

October 29th, 2008 · No Comments

The Ultimate Guide to Poker has been a dud in my newsagency.  In three months we have sold one of the ten copies sent.  I have given the title three months, investing my space and tile in this new title.  Based on my spend, I’d estimate that newsagents have invested somewhere between $30,000 and $50,000 […]

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Tags: magazines · Newsagency challenges

Complete Wedding failure

October 29th, 2008 · No Comments

Complete Wedding from Universal Magazines is a good example of a failure of a magazine.  In my newsagency this title has a sell through of 30%.  That is, 70% of copies sent are returned.  The poor sell through, thanks to too much stock and its six month on-sale makes this title loss making for me […]

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Tags: magazines · Newsagency challenges

Magazines helps in Daniel Morcombe case

October 29th, 2008 · No Comments

Kudos to the folks at Woman’s Day and ACP Magazines for getting behind the Daniel Morcombe case. Daniel was abducted from a bus stop in Queensland on December 7, 2005. This week’s Woman’s Day poster calls for people with any information on Daniel’s case to contact the police. This is terrific use of newsagent real […]

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Tags: magazines · Social responsibility

Is it time to kill off Universal Magazines?

October 29th, 2008 · 17 Comments

No!. It is not time to kill off Universal Magazines. It is, however, time to develop a magazine supply model which is fair to independent publishers such as Universal Magazines, Australian newsagents and consumers. I published a blog post here under this headline on October 29, 2008 in frustration about my inability to control the […]

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Tags: magazine distribution · magazines · Newsagency challenges

Politics fails newsagents in Victoria

October 29th, 2008 · 2 Comments

I am told that at the VANA Board meeting yesterday, Board members were convinced to call in the Australian Electoral Commission to handle the election of a Chairman. Why eight Directors could not conduct themselves to elect a Chairman is a mystery. It suggests that the new Directors went into the meeting ill prepared. Newsagents […]

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Tags: Newsagency challenges

How to sell more crossword magazines

October 29th, 2008 · 3 Comments

If you want to sell more crossword titles, place a selection of titles from the category next to your women’s weeklies section. The photo shows our display at Forest Hill on Saturday. This space in a high traffic area to your target demographic will work, crossword sales will increase. We know from UK newsagent sales […]

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Tags: crosswords · magazines · retail

Magazine cover up steals space

October 29th, 2008 · No Comments

The masthead of latest issue of The World of Cross Stitching by the calendar included in the sealed bag with the magazine. This will confuse non-regular customers. The other problem with this issue is the packaging. They have cone for a bag which is around 12% bigger than the usual magazine which steals space from […]

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Tags: magazines · retail

The Broons calendar 2009

October 29th, 2008 · 2 Comments

It surprises me sometimes the products which we sell in Australian newsagencies. Take the 2009 calendar for The Broons, a soap-opera comic strip developed around seventy years ago in Scotland. This is a product for a highly specialised market. Given our sales of Scottish magazines we are a good candidate for receiving stock of The […]

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Tags: Calendars

More on US newspaper woes

October 28th, 2008 · No Comments

Ken Doctor adds his perspective of the latest data reflecting performance of US newspapers at his Content Bridges blog.  While there is a considerable difference between the US and Australian newspaper markets, his analysis is helpful for those newsagents considering the next phase of investment in their business.  Capital city dailies recording double digit sales […]

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Tags: Media disruption · Newspapers

Labour cost ratio

October 28th, 2008 · 3 Comments

More and more when talking with newsagents I am asked what percentage of revenue labour ought to cost. In a retail only newsagency the figure I consider okay is between 10% and 12% depending on product mix. There are only two ways to achieve a healthier labour cost to sales ratio: increase sales without increasing […]

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Tags: Newsagency management

Dominating the morning

October 28th, 2008 · 4 Comments

I am grateful to a colleague for sending me this list of good ideas in response to a blog post here a couple of days back. These ideas fit what you might call a dominate the morning strategy – a brilliant idea which could work in many newsagencies. Newsagencies on high streets open earlier every […]

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Tags: marketing · Newsagency challenges · newsagency marketing

Reusing retail fixtures

October 28th, 2008 · No Comments

Our team at Forest Hill has reused an old display unit for our range of small magnetic day-to-a-page calendars. This small unit fits nicely right at the front corner of the counter next to the ACP magazine display stand. All too often specially built display units are trashed once the purpose for which they were […]

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Tags: Calendars · retail