Australian Newsagency Blog

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

Entries from November 2008

Future of e-paper

November 30th, 2008 · No Comments

Editors weblog has published an excellent two part report by Jan Bierhoff, Director for the European Centre For Digital Communications, on the future of e-readers and their possible impact on print media. Click here for part one and here for part two. Bierhoff’s conclusion will comfort some: The conclusion is obvious, the adoption potential for […]

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Tags: Media disruption

Amazing customer from Sam the Taxi driver

November 30th, 2008 · No Comments

Sam, a Sydney taxi driver, delivered one of the most amazing customer service experiences I have ever had. Yes, a Sydney taxi driver! Sam, I don’t know his surname, has been driving taxis for nine months. Prior to that he owned a couple of Italian restaurants and had worked in hospitality in Sydney for thirty […]

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Tags: Customer Service

The compact magazine challenge

November 30th, 2008 · No Comments

I am undecided about the increased number of compact size magazines we are receiving with their full size parents. Traditional newsagent magazine fixturing is not designed to cope with these yet I can understand that some customers would prefer the smaller size. Beyond the display challenge, which can be fixed with a block of wood, […]

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Tags: magazine distribution · magazines · Newsagency challenges

Marketing the calendar range

November 30th, 2008 · No Comments

newsXpress has provided its members with copies of this double sided A2 poster to promote the 2009 Calendar range. Click on the thumbnail for a larger image. The idea behind the poster is to promote range. With most newsagents only selling magazine distributor and card company calendars, the newsXpress approach allows us to promote a […]

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Tags: Calendars

Increasing unemployment

November 29th, 2008 · 9 Comments

A newsagent in country Victoria has let a casual employee go last week following the replacement of their computer software.  The different approach to magazine returns and stock management in the business resulted in sufficient efficiencies to eliminate the role altogether. While this sounds like an ad for Tower Systems, the software company I own, […]

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Tags: newsagent software

Please support Movember

November 29th, 2008 · No Comments

Trent Shields, National Marketing Manager at newsXpress, and Leighton Dougall, Software Developer at Tower Systems are supporting Movember and raising awareness for men’s health issues including prostate cancer and depression by raising funds and growing a goatee (see photo of Trent). I am sure others in the newsagency channel are supporting Movember too. If you […]

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Tags: Social responsibility

Magazine loyalty program update from the UK

November 29th, 2008 · 5 Comments

Steven Denham reports at his Village Counter Talk Blog about presenting to suppliers his learnings from the launch in September of the Magazine Club Card loyalty program in his shop in the UK. The success for Steve and his team since September is excellent: We have given out nearly 400 cards up to now with […]

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Tags: magazines · newsagency marketing · retail

Trimming the store for Christmas

November 29th, 2008 · No Comments

The photo is of the 60cm free standing Christmas sign we have created to take the Christmas pitch onto product shelves in our Sophie Randall business. At Sophie, the retail experience is different to a newsagency, shopping is more relaxed. It is a bit of a treasure hunt experience. While our windows are professionally dressed, […]

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Tags: marketing · retail

Making licenced product work

November 29th, 2008 · No Comments

The Hannah Montana and High School Musical stationery and calendars from Hallmark have hit at a good time. They fit nicely into the Christmas and trade on the back of excellent recent publicity. The products also serve a demographic for our traditional shoppers shop. While taking offers such as these from Hallmark and other suppliers […]

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Tags: Gifts · Stationery

Marketing magazines as Christmas gifts

November 28th, 2008 · 2 Comments

Below is the poster artwork I have had created for newsagents to use to promote magazines as a Christmas gift. You can download the artwork – A4 or A3 size – from the front page of Tower website.   I have kept away from all newsagency branding – so that any newsagent could use the poster. […]

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Tags: magazines · marketing

What to do with Chess Life Magazine

November 28th, 2008 · 4 Comments

We received Chess Life Magazine today for the first time from NDD, two copies.  The price is $9.95.  The US price is $3.95.  This title has a sixty day on sale.  We don’t sell any chess magazines.  We don’t have any titles with which this could be placed except for, maybe, poker or hobbies.  Had […]

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Tags: magazines · retail

Women’s Weekly sales strong for us

November 28th, 2008 · No Comments

We started promoting the Australian Women’s Weekly at the counter on Wednesday.  The free movie with each copy and that it is a bumper Christmas edition make for a compelling offer.  Sales have been excellent over the last two and a half days – sales for AWW in both my stores have been good the […]

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Tags: magazines · retail

No form here

November 28th, 2008 · 11 Comments

We do not have The Form for customers of The Age because our supplier refused to fair terms. He is paid ten cents by Fairfax. Given that we would supply his home delivery customers as well as our retail customers and provide premium space for the product we considered that the ten cents should be […]

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Tags: Newspapers

NDD refuses to cancel Universal supply

November 28th, 2008 · 18 Comments

NDD has advised that they refuse to cancel the supply of Universal Magazines titles to my businesses.  I know from my own sales that these titles are loss making my business once I account for the retail space and labour – even at a sell-though of greater than 60%.  For titles of greater than 30 […]

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Tags: magazine distribution

The cost of magazine returns

November 28th, 2008 · 23 Comments

I spoke with three newsagents yesterday about how much they spend per bundle to freight returns back to the magazine distributors. One pays $1.30 per bundle, another $3.00 and another $8.00. This is for product off of which the newsagent made no money. UPDATE (1/12): I have now been told of newsagents paying as much […]

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Tags: magazine distribution

Tracking magazines by week

November 28th, 2008 · 10 Comments

Talk to any newsagent this morning and they will tell you that they will be glad when the week is over.  Being the last week of the month, magazine volume has been high.  Magazines delivered today have to be paid for in three weeks.  A few years ago I had a report developed for Tower […]

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Tags: magazine distribution · magazines

Humor is in for Christmas cards

November 28th, 2008 · No Comments

The feedback from our Sophie Randall card and gift shops is that consumers are looking for humorous cards this Christmas – but smart or quirky humor as opposed to what some might call rude jokes.  This card in the photo is a good example of the kind of card our customers are enjoying.  A couple […]

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Tags: Greeting Cards

NSW newsagents ignore the ANF

November 27th, 2008 · 2 Comments

I am told that only 12 NSW newsagents voted in the election of their director to represent the state on the ANF Board. If this number or something close to it is right then to relevance of the association has been judged by newsagents. Marking a vote on a ballot and posting this is the […]

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Tags: Newsagency challenges

Monster moves on CareerOne

November 27th, 2008 · 1 Comment

US online ad giant is taking over half of the News Ltd Career One online employment business.  This is interesting.  I suspect the deal has been struck to strengthen the Career One brand against the market dominator Seek.  Paid Content has more details on the deal.  Newsagent interest in this has to be around the […]

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Tags: Media disruption

Economic stimulus bypasses the engine

November 27th, 2008 · 3 Comments

The Federal Government’s focus at the top and bottom ends of the economy in the face of the current economic challenges misses an opportunity to work on small business efficiency and sustainability. While giving pensioners and others in need $10 billion cash to spend will help is important, I would like to see money invested […]

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Tags: Newsagency challenges

Christmas display sells magazines

November 27th, 2008 · No Comments

This very basic looking retired card unit filled with Christmas themed magazines and placed at front of our shop next to the main lottery counter requires topping up daily.  It is working a treat!  As new Christmas-themed magazines arrive, we add them to the mix.  I like that we have popular titles such as Better […]

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Tags: magazines · retail

Responding to growth in DIY magazines

November 27th, 2008 · No Comments

I read recently (cannot recall where) that DIY and handyman magazines are travelling well right now. I checked our numbers and saw that this is a healthy segment for us. Handyman from Reader’s Digest is one of those magazines selling particularly well. We are promoting it at one of our counters this week as our […]

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Tags: magazine distribution · magazines

Check phonecard terms

November 27th, 2008 · No Comments

Some phonecard companies recently changed their terms, effectively increasing costs for customers.  One introduced a surcharge of 69 cents once a call passes three minutes, another introduced an 80 cent disconnection fee and another introduced a daily service fee.  There are other changes beyond these.  The per minute cost is just part of the equation.  […]

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Tags: Customer Service · retail

The MX habit well established

November 26th, 2008 · 3 Comments

I watched the distribution of MX, the free daily newspaper from News Ltd in Sydney late today.  Most people walk up to collect the paper – it is sought after.  It is fascinating watching this from a newsagents perspective.  I bet that half the newsagents in Australia don’t know about the MX success on the […]

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Tags: Newspapers

VANA spins its new marketing group

November 26th, 2008 · 10 Comments

VANA has announced its Future Project to its members. This is the new marketing group I blogged about three days ago although VANA is at pains to point out that this is not a marketing group. The announcement reads differently to the pitch given to newsagents who have attended a briefing. VANA’s announcement points to […]

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Tags: Newsagency challenges · newsagency marketing