Australian Newsagency Blog

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

Entries from December 2008

Scooters and food

December 31st, 2008 · No Comments

What do scooters and food have in common?  Lots accouding to News Magazines, the publisher of Two Wheels Scooter magazine.  The latest issue which came in today is bagged with Super Food Ideas – although, you have to turn the bag on the side to see what the free title is.    Scooter is one […]

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Tags: magazines · retail

New Year’s Eve masthead cover-up

December 31st, 2008 · 1 Comment

The Victorian State Government has paid to cover the masthead on The Age newspapoer today with an ad prepaid taxi fares. Pity. 0 likes

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Tags: newspaper masthead desecration

7-Eleven aggressively pitches Tattersalls products

December 31st, 2008 · 12 Comments

From the front window to the sales counter, there is no missing the promotion of Tattersalls products at 7-eleven stores in Victoria.  The pitch is aggressive, multi-faceted and co-branded.  It demonstrates the importance 7-Eleven and Tattersalls place on their new relationship. At the front of 7-Eleven stores are generic as well as game based window posters.  In […]

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Tags: Lotteries · Newsagency challenges

November a tough month for cards

December 30th, 2008 · 2 Comments

Our November newsagent sales benchmark Study shows that conditions are tough for newsagents.  Greeting card unit sales fell, on average, 9%.  It also shows that some newsagents are doing well in this environment.  Rather than focus on reporting falling sales for cards, magazines and newspapers, the report highlights growth opportunities.  The keys appear to be […]

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Tags: Newsagency challenges

Strong diary sales

December 30th, 2008 · No Comments

We are seeing excellent diary sales this year compared to last, from the beginning of the diary season, almost two months ago, we have been ahead in sales on last year.  We have kept promotion of diaries on the move, most recently promoting the category in the window which was home to our Christmas display. […]

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Tags: Diaries · Stationery

Yellow Pages earns more from print

December 30th, 2008 · No Comments

Sensis has reported that Yellow Pages’ print revenue was up 5.3% in the financail year to June 30 2008.  The Australian yesterday had a good story which compares this to declines in print directories elsewhere in the world.  It is appropriate I mention Sensis’ success given othere posts I publish on the shift from print […]

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Tags: Media disruption

Lottery sales decline in the US

December 29th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Lottery sales in the US declined 2% in the third quarter of 2008 on a same store year on year comparison according to La Fleur’s magazine, which tracks the lottery business.  This is significant because historically lottery sales in the US have been recession-proof. The Wall Street Journal has the original story but you need […]

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Tags: Lotteries

Magazine publishers miss an opportunity

December 29th, 2008 · 14 Comments

Magazine sales are strong for many newsagents this time of year with new customers in town for the holidays.  It surpriuses me therefore that publishers do not sieze this opportunity.  Instead, they shutdown and stop providing marketing collateral with which we could more easily promote titles which could appeal to holiday makers.  Smart publishers would promote […]

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Tags: magazines · retail

Charity Christmas cards matter in post-Christmas sales

December 29th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Even in the post Christmas sales, a charity connection matters when it comes to selling boxed Christmas cards.  I saw one customer today purchase three boxes from us because we had cards which raised funds for the Peter Mac Cancer Centre.  This customer came in to buy a newspaper and struck up a conversation when waiting to meet […]

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Tags: Greeting Cards · retail · Social responsibility

Digital versus print newspapers

December 28th, 2008 · 5 Comments

A digital version of the USA Today newspaper has just been launched for the Amazon Kindle reading device.  For US$11.99 a month you can get the latest US Today on your Kindle in the US – the Kindle reader is not avaiolable in Australia.  A monthly home delivery subscription of the print version of USA […]

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Tags: Media disruption · Newspapers

The truth about Santa Claus

December 28th, 2008 · 6 Comments

A customer complained at one of our stores yesterday that because of us, their son now knows that Santa Clause is not real.  Their son saw a Letter From Santa at our counter and when they got home he asked them about it.  The customer returned to the store and complained face to face and […]

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Tags: Customer Service

Christmas is over

December 27th, 2008 · No Comments

Our team at Forest Hill removed all of our Christmas decorations before closing Christmas Eve.  With such a long lead up to Christmas and the focus now on sales,  there is no place for Christmas decorations.  The focus right now is on deals. 0 likes

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Tags: retail

Calendar recommendation

December 27th, 2008 · 2 Comments

For newsagents wanting to break into calendars, I can recomment Bartel.  Their range of Australian calendars sells well in each of my newsagencies.  We go out early (September) and achieve good sales from people sending calendars as gifts overseas.  I especailly like that they offer regional calendars – Mornington Peninsular for example for our Frankston […]

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Tags: Calendars

Jam from Better Homes and Gardens

December 27th, 2008 · No Comments

The gift of jam from the folks at Better Homes and Gardens is a nice treat in our kitchen.  Small things like this count in a channel flooded with products.  It also gives our team another reference point to the title – this is important because it is easy to suggest products to people who are […]

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Tags: Uncategorized

Gift cards need to be thought through

December 27th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Gift cards branded to other retailers need to be considered carefully by newsagents.  On the plus side is the thought that making a commission off a sale we would not have got.  On the downside is the promotion of other retailers in our businesses and thereby pulling focus from items we may have which could […]

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Tags: retail

Boxing Day Sale

December 27th, 2008 · No Comments

We put a lot of thought into our Boxing Day Sale strategy this year.  We bought product especially, dressed the stores boldly and staffed so we could achieve.  The day went well for us.  We achieved excellent sales of boxed cards, calendars, Christmas items and diaries.  Some other departments (magazines, counter cards) benefited from the […]

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Tags: retail

More people getting news online

December 26th, 2008 · 12 Comments

Dan Farber, writing at Cnet.com, says print is fading thanks to competition to online.  He quotes the latest Pew study which shows that 40% of people in the United States surveyed get their news online compared to 24% a year earlier.  Michelle Meyers, also writing at Cnet.com, writes about the Pew study and includes data […]

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Tags: Media disruption · Newsagency challenges

Behind the counter

December 24th, 2008 · 3 Comments

I spent five hours behind the counter working in one of my shops this afternoon.  While I am in my shops regularly and invariably serve customers, I rarely put in more than a hour at the coounter in any one stint.  The experience today reminded me… Good customer service is appreciated.  I saw customers spend mroe […]

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Tags: Customer Service

Ready for Boxing day

December 24th, 2008 · 1 Comment

In between handling a busy Christmas Eve our newsagencies have been preparing for our Boxing Day sales.  We have two posters prepared – the one on the photo and another pitching details of our specials.  We have purchased product (cards, calendars, journals and some gift lines) for this two-week event to supplement existing prduct we […]

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Tags: retail

Brain Trainer cash drainer

December 24th, 2008 · 3 Comments

The Puzzler Brain Trainer is a drain on newsagent cash.  The new issue came out today and is to be returned week five next year – the same time as the issue this new issue replaced.  We do not need two issues on the shelf at the same time.  Most newsagents would not have the […]

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Tags: magazines

Fin sell out

December 24th, 2008 · 4 Comments

We sold out of the Australian Financial Review bumper edition yesterday.  Frustrating.  That they have only one issue to cover a week is also frustration – I say that as a Fin reader. 0 likes

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Tags: Newspapers

Well done Springwood newsagency (NSW)!

December 24th, 2008 · No Comments

Christine Lovatt was sent this note from a reader who saw our ad promoting newsagencies in Cluewords recently: On reading the back of the December issue (77) of my favourite crossword magazine, Cluewords, I must agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments expressed about the local newsagents right around Australia. Our newsagent in Springwood, NSW are David, […]

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Tags: newsagency marketing

Christmas gift from Intralot

December 24th, 2008 · 4 Comments

I was surprised to receive a Christmas gift from Intralot yesterday.  I thought it might have been sent to a few but it seems that many newsagents received the same gift.  It is rare that newsagents receive a Christmas gift like this from a supplier.  The folks at Intralot have been thoughtful as the gift contained a […]

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Tags: Lotteries

Online revenue covers LA Times editorial costs

December 24th, 2008 · 5 Comments

Jeff Jarvis has an interesting post at his Buzz Machine blog which says, in part, that the LA Times can cover its editorial staff costs from online revenue.  This is a significant milestone and presents the publisher with options, as Jeff speculates – when to turn off the presses? The question of shutting print and […]

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Tags: Media disruption · Newspapers

Calendars, Diaries, Books and Gifts stand out

December 24th, 2008 · 2 Comments

Sales for calendars, diaries, gifts and books are the stand out success in newsagencies I am connected with this Christmas.  Each is showing excellent (double digit) year on year growth.  At Forest Hill, this has been achieved without the real-estate and labour cost of an outpost which we had last year.  Sometimes I think those […]

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Tags: retail